NORTH 2, GROUP 1
Friday, Nov. 8
3-Technology (14-4-1) at 1-Glen Ridge (10-7-1), 2
Glen Ridge last won the North 2, Group 1title in 2010 when it defeated New Providence, 2010. It has never played for in a Group 1 championship game.
Technology is searching for its first state championship as well.
Glen Ridge has won the last four meetings between these two squads. It won 2-0 in 2016, 4-1 in 2015, 4-0 in Oct. 2014 and 2-0 in Sept. 2014.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Glen Ridge defeated 16th-seeded Warren Tech, 6-0, in the first round, defeated ninth-seeded Hoboken, 1-0, in the quarterfinals and defeated fourth-seeded Dayton, 2-0, in the semifinals.
Technology defeated 14th-seeded Belvidere, 2-1, in the first round, defeated sixth-seeded New Providence, 2-0, in the quarterfinals and advanced past second-seeded Brearley in PKs 5-3 in the semifinals.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Glen Ridge has been a defensively sound team this state tournament with three clean sheets. On the year it has seven shutouts and 1.4 goals against per game. Grant Conte anchors the defense as a senior captain in front of goalkeeper Logan Kotronis. Offensively it averages 1.7 goals per game. It has played in some tight games and has a 5-2 record in one-goal games. Drew Hiner and Gavin Robertson have led the offense for Glen Ridge. Hiner has five goals and eight assists, while Robertson has seven goals and two helpers. Ty Rank (4 g.), Ian Heinicke (3 g.), Lucas Costa (4 g., 1 a.) and Travis Burnett (3 g., 3 a.) have been key pieces as well.
Technology is an offensively savvy team. it is outscoring opponents 55-29 this season and is averaging 2.9 goals per game. It has scored three or more goals in eight games this year. Emerson Altamirano leads Technology’s offense with 14 goals and three assists. Andy Allaico has also been a force with nine goals and three assists. Philipp Dias (6 g., 1 a.), Lucas Estevis (6 g., 5 a.) and Wadson Silveira (5 g., 2 a.) help round out Technology’s attack. It has also played well in one-goal games with a 7-1 record.
GLEN RIDGE WINS IF: It plays to its capability and learned from its difficult schedule.
This team is more battle-tested than Technology and facing off against teams like Verona, Livingston, Newark East Side, Millburn, Montclair Kimberley, No. 11 Montclair, Nutley, West Orange and No. 2 Seton Hall Prep. It is going to need Grant Conte and its backline to keep Technology’s big-time scorers at bay, but lessons learned playing against Essex County’s best will have it ready to win this title.
TECHNOLOGY WINS IF: Altamirano can come through on the big stage.
Emerson Altamirano is the engine that drives Technology’s offense. He is going to be the X-factor in this one. He is going to need to take advantage of any opportunity he gets to send the ball towards goal – even if that means a long shot. Its going to be tough for Technology to win this one, but its offensive depth could play to its advantage here.
PREDICTION: Glen Ridge 2, Technology 0
Richard Greco covers boys soccer for NJ.com and may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @Richard_V_Greco. Find NJ.com on Facebook.