Lucas Monserrat '17, Obi Nnaeto '18, and Shea Smith '18 are just three of more than two dozen college athletes using the Greig Center over their winter break to stay in shape.
On Sunday, September 23, Pingry will host the first annual "The Mountains vs. The Seas" girls' soccer challenge. Filling three fields on the Basking Ridge Campus—the Bugliari World Cup, Babbitt, and Parsons Fields—will be players from the top two conferences in the state, the Skyland and Shore Conferences. Fourteen teams, including Big Blue, will compete in seven games throughout the day.
In addition to serving as an exhibition of New Jersey's leading female soccer talent, the event—for which the 14 participating teams were asked to raise at least $2,000 each—will serve as a fundraiser to benefit Go4TheGoal, a New Jersey non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of children with cancer.
The brainchild of Brian Figueiredo, Head Coach of the Watching Hills' girls' varsity soccer team, the idea for the challenge arose, he explains, following years of debate over which conference was stronger, Skyland or Shore. College basketball holds conference challenges—he thought, why can't we do the same for girls' soccer in New Jersey? "All of the coaches were so excited about the idea," he recalls. "I received seven commitments within the first two hours of my invitation, and we were off and running." When it came time to identify a venue, Pingry gladly offered its fields.
Wanting to distinguish the event from similar challenges in other sports, Mr. Figueiredo gave it a philanthropic twist. "I wanted to showcase what great programs, schools, and players we all have by playing the event for a charity. Middletown South introduced the Go4theGoal idea, and we all agreed that was the organization we'd fundraise for," he explains. "I believe that our combination of talent, and the amount of money we've raised, has made this event one of the premier high school sports events to ever be held."
To date, more than $33,000 has been raised for Go4theGoal, exceeding initial expectations by $3,000; Big Blue's Girls' Varsity Soccer Team has raised nearly $7,000.
"We're so fortunate to have facilities that can accommodate an event of this size, with three competition-quality surfaces," says Pingry's Director of Athletics Carter Abbott. "We are thrilled to host an event that both showcases New Jersey girls' soccer talent and raises money to fight pediatric cancer."
Over 1,000 people are expected to attend the event, where food trucks (Ma and Pa's Tex Mex, Pizza Vita, and Friendlies Ice Cream) will be on site to fill hungry stomachs over the course of the day.
Read a MyJerseyCentral.com article, which was posted last winter, announcing the event.
Teams and game-time are below—come out and support Big Blue soccer!
Mount St. Mary
Red Bank Catholic
St. John Vianney
Toms River North
Game 1: 10:00 a.m. on Babbitt field—Shore Regional vs Mount St. Mary's
Game 2: 10:00 a.m. on Parsons field—St. John Vianney vs Somerville
Game 3: 12:00 a.m. on Babbitt field—Middletown South vs Watchung Hills
Game 4: 12:00 p.m. on Parsons field—Freehold Township vs Hunterdon Central
Game 5: 12:00 p.m. on the Bugliari World Cup Field—Red Bank Catholic vs Pingry
Game 6: 2:00 p.m. on Babbitt field—Toms River North vs Ridge
Game 7: 2:00 p.m. on Parsons field—Jackson Memorial vs Bridgewater-Raritan
Contact: Andrea Dawson, Senior Writer, email@example.com