Rough weekend for county soccer play

County tournament play heated up for many of The Observer area teams this weekend, and unfortunately like the weather, the end-result was a washout.

Four area teams saw their county championship hopes come to an end this weekend.

The most heart-breaking of the group was the Lyndhurst boys, who rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit against Pascack Valley, only to fall short in penalty kicks by a 4-3 margin in the first round of the Bergen County Tournament. Ali Celek scored two goals and Observer Athlete of the Week Tyler Wise added to his incredible junior season with a goal.

Lyndhurst was set to host Becton on Monday, Oct. 3 and travels to Elmwood Park on Friday.

The Lyndhurst girls’ Bergen County Tournament run came to an end without late-game drama. Dealt the unenviable task of facing a Ramapo squad ranked No. 6 in the state by, the Green Raiders delivered a convincing 7-0 victory over the Golden Bears in the second round. Lyndhurst, which had won three of its last four games prior and looks to bounce back on Friday at Nutley as star senior Lexi Augustyniak continues her chase for 50 varsity goals.

Also in the Bergen County Tournament, North Arlington’s eight-game winning streak came to an end with a 4-0 loss to Northern Highlands. Earlier in the week, junior Lia Cruz scored her 50th career goal when she had a hat trick against Harrison on Wednesday, Sept. 28. While Sunday’s BCT loss was disappointing for the Vikings, if the regular season has been any indication, they won’t be down for long. At 5-0, North Arlington currently holds a game-and-a-half lead in the NJIC National Division.

Rain postponed Harrison’s first round game at McNair in the Hudson County Girls’ Soccer Tournament to Monday, Oct. 3. With a win, the Blue Tide, seeded 10th, would play Bayonne in the quarterfinals on Saturday, Oct. 8. Kearny, which has won the Hudson County Tournament 12 consecutive times, is the top seed and will begin its title defense on Saturday, Oct. 8, against ninth-seeded Dickinson.

On the boys’ side, undefeated and defending HCT champion Kearny earned the top-seed. The Kardinals, now undefeated in its last 27 games, will host the winner of Bayonne and Hoboken in the quarterfinal on Saturday, Oct. 8.

Harrison has bounced back from a surprising season-opening loss to Wallington and posted six consecutive wins, outscoring the opposition by an overwhelming 25-3 margin. The Blue Tide, seeded fourth, will face an up-start Memorial squad in the quarterfinals.

Wins by Harrison and Kearny would set up another showdown between the longtime rivals in the semifinals on Oct. 13.

North Arlington’s boys soccer team did not earn a berth in the Bergen County Tournament, but is the third seed for the Bergen County Cup. The Vikings, who earned a first round bye, will host Palisades Park in the second round on Thursday, Oct. 6.

Essex County will seed its boys’ and girls’ soccer tournaments Oct. 6.

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Jason Bernstein | Observer Sports Writer

Jason Bernstein joined The Observer as its sports writer in March 2022, following the retirement of Jim Hague. He has a wealth of sports-writing experience, including for NJ Advance Media (, The Jersey Journal, The Star-Ledger.)