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***Linden, Cranford, Roselle and Summit are all hosting semifinals as Union County's football teams are looking to earn way into the sectional championship contests!

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***Delbarton sophomore Steven Hadley has already won multiple titles in soccer. Check out more about SC/360 Fitness Athlete of the Week in "Feature Articles"

***Pequannock has made stirring comebacks a common entity this 2014 season and now the Golden Panthers focus on Waldwick in a N1G2 semi. Find out much more from the Morris County football weekend upcoming in "The Buzz"

Scotch Plains goalkeeper Andrea Leitner extends herself as shot by Montclair's Amanda Romano (13) goes wide during the second half of Wednesday night's Group 4 girls soccer state tournament semifinals in Somerville. Montclair earned its first-ever tip to overall state final with a 2-1 overtime victory. (Photo by James Lattanzio- sportzdrop)

Montclair Coach Relishes The Opportunity
For Soccer-Rich School To Make History
By Steve Tober
For sidelinechatter.com

MONTCLAIR- If there is one individual who fully understands just how far the Montclair High girls and boys soccer programs have come since the mid-1980s, it has to be current Mountie girls head coach Rob McOmish who guides his team into its first-ever Group 4 state final on Saturday morning (10 a.m. at Kean University’s Alumni Field) vs. Hunterdon Central.

McOmish, a former standout player at Montclair, spent 11 years on veteran Mountie boys head man Jack Weber’s coaching staff before moving over to the girls side for four seasons as then head coach Chris Johnson’s right-hand man.

When ‘C.J.’ decided to step aside from the head coaching duties after the 2012 season, the natural choice to succeed him was McOmish, who in his second season has put his third-ranked Mountie girls (21-1) on the verge of capturing the school’s first group soccer state championship, which is almost hard to believe for a town that has had such solid soccer in both genders for more than a quarter century, dating back to countywide success of the late Joe McAllister’s Mountie girls teams in the 1980s, and Dennis Sayer’s up-and-coming boys squads of the same period which were taken to the next level by Weber and his staff.

Now, this Mountie girls side, sparked by a splendid mix of veteran seniors and exciting and talented young players, is primed for its final challenge together in 2014 against a very dangerous Hunterdon Central (20-3) team.

“This is history for the program, and it’s taken a long time for a Montclair soccer team to get to this point, but it’s not due to a lack of hard work by all those great teams that came before us,” said McOmish, whose Mounties edged Scotch Plains, 2-1, in overtime Wednesday night in a Group 4 semifinal at Somerville as midfielder Sammy Masur scored her second goal of the match 4:00 into the extra session off a feed from fellow senior Lindsey Ewertsen. “It’s never easy to win these close games in the states, and we’re extremely proud and excited to be heading to the Group 4 final.

“It was great to get there on a night when our seniors really stepped up big and our underclassmen - who have been playing their tails off all season - helped support them as always.”

Montclair, which defeated Randolph, 2-0, in last Friday’s North 1, Group 4 final, avenging a loss to the Rams in the sectional final in McOmish’s first season at the helm, came out with gusto against previously unbeaten Scotch Plains (21-1-2) in Wednesday night’s Group 4 state semis, and had its share of opportunities, but was unable to find the net in the match’s first 59 minutes.

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