OK, so what do Billy Joel, David Bowie and the Ramapo girls soccer team have in common? On Thursday at 4 PM, it will be pressure. Joel and Bowie have sung about it. The Ramapo girls will have to deal with it.
The Green Raiders are in a situation where they have to defeat Indian Hills to earn a spot in the Bergen County tournament. If Ramapo loses or even ties, the team won't have the necessary .500 winning percentage to qualify for the tournament. The seeding meeting will take place at Ramapo High School not long after the game against Indian Hills is done, a mere few hundred feet away from the field where Ramapo's fate will be decided.
Ramapo has never missed the tournament in the 28 seasons its been played. The Green Raiders have won the title 12 times, the last of those titles coming in 2003. They advanced to the final in 2004, 2006 and 2008. Ramapo and Northern Highlands are the only programs that have appeared in every Bergen County tournament. That information is courtesy of Bergen County girls soccer statistics guru Al Snider.
Ramapo heads into Thursday's game with a 2-3 record. The Green Raiders dropped their first two games, in large part because several players were suspended for a violation of team rules. But Ramapo had its full team back for a stunning 1-0 loss to Demarest. The team rebounded with victories over Old Tappan and Holy Angels and now face a must-win game.
It's very simple. A win and a tradition that has existed almost as long as the program will continue. A loss or a tie and the Green Raiders make the kind of history no one connected with Ramapo soccer wants to see. Yes, that's pressure.