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***The Caldwell-Verona football game was canceled when officials determined that Centennial Field would remain unplayable Friday!

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***A.J. Schmitz and the rest of the Madison seniors made Turkey Day finale special vs. Millburn. See more in "Feature Articles"

***As the NCAA's early signing period came and went there were certainly those who picked high academic schools. See "The Buzz"

Montclair freshman Rebecca Van Siclen (21) was one of the young stars for the Mounties this past fall season as the girls soccer side won its first-ever overall Group 4 state title. She is also the SC/360 Fitness Athlete of the Week. (Photo by James Lattanzio/Sportzdrop)

Montclair Girls Soccer Won Group 4 Title
As Freshman Helped Spark 2-1 Victory
…Young Midfielder Is Latest SC/360 Fitness Athlete of the Week
By Steve Tober

The seminal moment for Rebecca Van Siclen may have actually come nearly two months before she had a goal and an assist to lead Montclair past Hunterdon Central, 2-1, for the NJSIAA Group 4 girls soccer state championship.

More than six weeks before she would turn 15, the precocious freshman had scored a game-winning goal with just over a minute left in regulation for a dramatic 2-1 win over Bridgewater-Raritan on Sept. 27, as the Mounties set the tone for a season where veterans and youngsters would combine so effectively over the long haul, leading eventually to what occurred on a cold and sunny Saturday. Nov. 22, when the Essex County school earned its first-ever overall group soccer state title by edging the Red Devils at Kean University’s Alumni Field.

As she had done vs. Bridgewater-Raritan eight weeks prior, Van Siclen had a huge goal to jet-start the Mounties (22-1) in the Group 4 state final, and then sent a cross that fellow frosh Fiona Tubiana netted in the 57th minute to snap a 1-1 deadlock and send Montclair home with its state championship.

For her overall strong play in the Group 4 final in addition to scoring a goal and adding an important assist, Van Siclen is the Sideline Chatter/360 Fitness Athlete of the Week.

Along with Tubiana and a third freshman, Nora Giordano, who was sidelined with an injury, Van Siclen was part of an important triple-headed infusion of fresh energy and production on a veteran soccer side with solid seniors, contributing juniors and splendid sophomores.

“I remember when I was in middle school and a teacher talked to me about how good the Montclair High girls soccer players were, and how great it would be to one day be a part of that team,” said Van Siclen, who just turned 15 on Nov. 10. “To step onto this team, with so many great seniors and experienced leaders all over the field, it was an absolute honor to be able to contribute as a freshman, and I hope to be able to help our team defend its Group 4 state title in the next three seasons as well.”

Van Siclen, who finished with 9 goals and 7 assists for a solid first varsity campaign, may not have scored as many goals as she had foreshadowed might be coming after the gigantic strike to beat Bridgewater - which had been the defending Group 4 champ at the time – back in late September, but she was always on the field contributing in any way she could for a Mountie soccer side that lost just one in 23 matches and won a Super Essex Conference-American Division title, a fourth straight Essex County Tournament crown, a North 1, Group 4 state sectional championship and then the overall Group 4 top prize.

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