Montclair Sports Network: Girls’ Soccer Season Recap


The Mounties Girls’ Soccer team rounded up another successful year as one of the best teams in the program’s history, finishing with a strong 15-2-1 record and winning the SEC American Division.

The team started off with a riveting match against rivals West Orange, playing out to a 3-3 tie with pivotal goals from senior captains Sonia Neighbors and Rece Anton. This would prove to be a theme throughout the season, with Neighbors scoring an astonishing 22 goals and 11 assists and Anton tallying 3 goals and 10 assists. Sophomore Morgane Zinn shone in the following game versus Mendham, scoring 2 goals to lead Montclair to their first win of the regular season, a 3-2 overtime battle that avenged a senior night loss to Mendham the year before. Zinn, too, would go on to score 15 goals and 7 assists and prove herself to be a top young talent in New Jersey. The Mounties improved off this success and powered on to 13 straight wins and an undefeated regular season, an unbelievable and rare feat that won the county title and admiration of the region.

A unique strength of the team was how this team handled high-pressure situations. After going down 2-0 at the beginning of the game against Millburn and missing a penalty kick, the Mounties fought out a remarkable last-minute 3-2 victory that showed unique tenacity and determination. “It’s easy to fall apart under those kinds of circumstances,” Neighbors said, “but this team showed so much discipline and fortitude with how they continued to fight.”

The Mounties beat out rivals MKA both in the regular season and in the county tournaments, leaving no doubt as to who the better team was. 

Overall, the post-season proved to be less auspicious and despite outplaying all opponents, the Mounties fell to Glen Ridge in the semi-final of the county tournament, and West Orange in the semi-final of the state tournament. 

The abundant talent and passion from seniors and underclassmen alike led to a professional style of play that “was a joy to watch, and the players worked so hard to make sure that we stayed true to the modern philosophies of possession and skill,” according to head coach Ashley Hammond. Senior captains Hazel Aiello, Rece Anton, Teah Glorie, and Sonia Neighbors contributed to this culture with strong leadership that will leave a legacy of success and optimism within the program for many years to come. Aiello will continue her soccer career at Skidmore College, Anton at Bryn Mawr College, and Neighbors at the University of Miami. Alongside the might of the captains was support from the rest of the senior class. “Rei and Sylvie held the middle together game in game out and the supporting cast of seniors coming off the bench, Elsa, Stella, Izzy K, Georgia, Schuyler, Evelyn, Jasmine, Zoe G, Arlin and Maia were simply terrific,” Hammond said. Senior Stella Tapia, a University of Michigan commit, was a crucial part of the 2020 and 2021 team success but was sidelined by an ACL injury this year. 

Though the seniors provided a strong backbone, freshmen Carla Osborne and Ella Overton excelled on the highest level in the starting 11, assuring a strong future for the team. 

The incredible management team, also emphasized by Hammond, of Charlotte Hagberg, Kristina Hagberg, Elena Bachmann, Isabelle Apprendi, Jess Kunkin, and Emily Dia made the success of the varsity team all possible.