Ramapo stuns top-ranked Northern Highlands in double overtime by Greg Mattura of The Record
ALLENDALE – MaryClare Langan and Ramapo ended Northern Highlands’ bid for a mythical national championship.
Langan scored in the second overtime to lift Ramapo to a 3-2 victory Tuesday night in an on-and-off rain and against an arch rival ranked No. 1 in the USA TODAY girls soccer Super 25.
“We’ve learned so much from this game,” said Langan, a junior who scored from 5 yards, “and to beat the best team, it just feels like we took five steps forward. And if we can beat them, we can go so far.”
Langan’s goal was controversial, as it may have come just as an official had either called for play to be stopped due to dangerous weather – thunder and lightning in the distance – or was about to stop action. Security quickly ordered the field to be cleared after the goal.
Ramapo (8-0) had tied the score, 2-2, in the 73rd minute on a goal by senior Dani Zerbo. The Green Raiders trailed at halftime, 1-0, and tied the score early in the second half on a goal by freshman Julia DiDimizio.
Northern Highlands senior Katie Murray scored the lone goal of the first half. The Highlanders (8-1) extended their lead to 2-1 on a score by senior all-american Claudia Dipasupil.
What it means
It means that Ramapo will replace Northern Highlands as the No. 1 team in the NorthJersey.com Top 25 rankings and could climb into the USA TODAY Super 25. The Green Raiders and Highlanders also are expected to meet again in the Bergen County and Group 3 tournaments.
“I think there’s extra adrenaline and emotion that goes into a game like this,” Ramapo coach Sarah Francini said. “And when you’re a team that’s got nothing to lose coming into it, you’ve just got to put everything on the line.”
Langan scored with 6:45 left in the second overtime by converting a left-to-right diagonal pass from freshman Emily Chico. Langan jumped in the air and put the shot into the far left corner.
“I knew that this was the one chance we had,” Langan said. “Golden goal, it’s the biggest rush, and you just need to get it before the other team gets it.”
By the numbers
Northern Highlands earned the No. 1 spot in the USA TODAY Super 25 thanks to seven shutouts and had only allowed one goal in its first eight games.
Ramapo, which has won a mythical national championship, had arrived with five shutouts and had outscored its first seven opponents, 33-2.
They said it
“I thought it was a very even game, and in the end it just came down to desire,” said Francini, a former player at Ramapo. “But matchup for matchup on the field, it was the most competitive game I’ve ever seen.”
► Northern Highlands plays at Teaneck on Thursday.
► Ramapo hosts Paramus on Thursday.