Clearview Regional High School’s field hockey team won the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Group III state championship on Nov. 11, beating North Hunterdon Regional High School in Clinton Township 3-2 in double overtime.
The game – played at Bordentown High School in Bordentown – was a thriller from start to finish. Clearview’s Ella Gandy scored the winning goal, sending fans of the Pioneers into a ruckus.
“The atmosphere was unbelievable,” said head coach Britney Ewan. “Our fan club was cheering so loudly, firing our girls up, and they definitely feed off of that. It was hard to communicate with the girls on the field at times, but we love that excitement and it’s something we look forward to when playing at that level.
“Our family, friends and fans are the absolute best.”
The win marks the second championship in program history; the first came in 2019. Clearview Athletic Director Michael Vicente was also in attendance for the game.
Victory was all the more sweet for the Pioneers having lost six starters over the season, with many, according to Ewan, doubting the team would even make it as far as it did.
“Once the ball hit the back of the cage, the crowd’s decibels increased significantly,” she recalled. “The girls were screaming and piling on top of each other. My coaching staff and I were doing the same, and Mr. Vicente … was cheering even louder.
“It was an incredible feeling we have been fortunate enough to experience more than once.”
The win was recognized by both Mantua and Harrison townships, the communities that Clearview encompasses. Their fire departments took team members on celebration rides around town.
“Congratulations on this amazing accomplishment,” read a post on the Harrison Township Facebook page. “Our community recognizes your hard work and dedication. Way to bring home the WIN for the Pioneers.”
When it came to the game, Ewan explained that many “components” helped secure the win.
” … Those components change each game, sometimes each quarter,” she noted. “We evenly dispersed responsibilities and there was no one person that the team relied on. They worked together as one cohesive unit and made smart decisions.”
Ewan said her team evoked quotes from two of America’s most famous athletes, Michael Jordan and Babe Ruth, and followed them to a T.
“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships,” Jordan once said.
“It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up,” Ruth claimed.
With the season over, the Clearview team plans to begin off-season training for next year and pick up right where they left off in their championship run.
“We plan to make our way back to the state finals for several years to come,” Ewan said.