Tricia Pappalardo RHS Athletic Hall Of Fame 2012 Inductee

RHS Athletic Hall of Fame

Members of the Ridgewood High School Athletic Hall of Fame are those that have made a lasting impact on the school’s sports program as either student players, coaches, or supporters. Often the student players have continued to influence their chosen sports after high school by ongoing participation in athletics.

Tricia Pappalardo, 2012 Inductee

Tricia Pappalardo is regarded by her Ridgewood High School Coach Jeff Yearing as one of the best all around soccer players ever to come through the Maroons program. In his 26 year tenure as head coach of the program he noted it was rare to see a high school player with the technical ability and tactical knowledge to play with such expertise at any position needed during competition. He also noted her desire to succeed as a player and as a team was contagious. She truly was a leader by example!

Succeed she did along with her RHS teammates for four varsity seasons contributing to varsity teams 1991 through 1994 that accumulated a total record of 80 wins 8 losses and 1 tie. Her career included 4 NNJIL League Championships while remaining undefeated in league play for all 4 of her varsity seasons.

While playing for the Maroon and White, Tricia was a part of 2 Bergen County Tournament titles. In 1993 RHS defeated arch rival Ramapo High School 3-2 on the same field and on the same day that the Ridgewood boys won their County Championship match, giving the two soccer programs their only county double title in school history. Tricia’s 1994 squad tied Ramapo 0-0 in the county final giving Ridgewood its second consecutive Bergen County title which was shared with Ramapo’s Green Raiders as Co-champions and allowed Ridgewood to claim its only triple crown (league, county and state titles) in program history. Tricia’s 1991 squad also made it to the Bergen County finals losing a heart breaking 2-1 decision in the final 20 seconds of regulation to Northern Highlands.

Tricia’s 1992 and 1994 squads won NJSIAA North 1 Group 4 State Sectional Championships while the 1993 team made it to the Sec 1 Group 4 final losing a heart breaking match to Vernon in a major upset that gave the Maroons their only loss for the season and a finishing mark of 20-1. In the 1994 State Sectional final which was decided on penalty kicks, Pappalardo took the winning strike as the 5th and final shooter before sudden death.

From 1991 to 1994, the Ridgewood Teams that Tricia was a part of never finished out of the top 10 rankings for the state of New Jersey and made it up to the NSCAA national ranking of #7 in 1993 while also achieving NSCAA national rankings of #17 in 92 and #13 in 94. In 1993 the team finished as the #1 team in Bergen county.

Coach Yearing commented, “that depending on the competition for the day he would decide to use Tricia as a striker, central or outside midfielder or defensively as a central back or an outside marking back. At times she may have played 2 or 3 different positions in a match if it was required. On many occasions we would discuss the situation and decide together what was required of her play that day. In the 1994 County Semi Final against a stubborn Midland Park squad, Tricia and her team mates asked to move her forward releasing her from her defensive duties of holding a great Midland Park striker in check. Yearing recounts, “At halftime I asked the team if that is what they wanted. They agreed, and Tricia responded by scoring two goals. The team backed her up by holding the Panthers scoreless in the second half and Ridgewood was on its way to another title. I believe she also would have gone in the goal if she thought it was needed to win a match that day!”

Having been an important part of the Maroons varsity basketball program lettering her last three seasons as part of Coach Rebecca Knucks-Gattoni’s championship hoop squads, there is no doubt that Tricia would have carried out that assignment with all star ability.

In her four varsity seasons at RHS Tricia scored 35 goals and added 15 assists for a total of 85 points that places her 19th on Ridgewood’s all time list for points. Her 35 goals is 17th all time, an amazing mark for a player that spent half of her career in defensive roles.

In 1992, her sophomore season, Tricia was selected Second Team All NNJIL which was significant since selection was made from a 12 team field at that time in the leagues alignment.

In 1993 Tricia achieved recognition as a First Team All NNJIL Back, Second Team All Bergen County Back, Second Team All Suburban Back, and All State for the North 1 Region by the New Jersey Girls Soccer Coaches Association (NJGSCA).

In 1994 Tricia played out of the shadow of some of her former and now “RHS Hall of Fame” team mates Wendy Hartwig and Aimee McGuire, and really amazed the New Jersey soccer world with her ambition and desire to play, lead, and achieve. She was named a team Co-Captain with University of Delaware bound Erika Bauer.

That season it all came together for Tricia scoring 10 goals and adding 3 assists, she was named: First Team All NNJIL Back, First Team All Bergen County Back, First Team All Suburban Back, First Team All Area Back by the Paterson Herald News, First Team All State All Regions by the New Jersey Girls Soccer Coaches Association(NJGSCA) making her one of the top 20 players in the state, First Team All Groups as a back by the Newark Star Ledger, All East and a member of the NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America) All American team as a back. Further she was recognized by the NJGSCA and the NSCAA as the New Jersey Player of the Year. She was selected for and participated in the NJGSCA Senior Showcase match that year for the North 1 team.

Tricia was recruited by the University of Alabama and played for the Crimson Tide for four varsity seasons primarily as a marking back. She notes that she played in all 20 of Alabama’s matches as a freshman while lettering in all four of her varsity campaigns. While playing in the SEC for four seasons Tricia had the responsibility of marking (defending) some of the best women’s soccer talent to walk on the collegiate pitch during that era of the American women’s game. In her final season at Alabama the Tide made it to the NCAA tournament representing the University as the first Alabama soccer team to do so.

In 2000 the Bergen Record named Tricia to its All Century Team for the 1900’s.

Download 2012 Banquet Book!


Patti Auger, Eric Benedict, Eunae Jo, Peter McGinley, Karla Mixon, Clair Nowakowski, 1983 Softball Team, Joe Pedone, Julia Rappa


Carlos Peay, Louis Edward “Eddie” Peay, Kelly Conheeney, Samantha Cermack, Chris Rae, Chelsea Steinberg, Mark Strittmatter, Andrew Clarke, Jim Dee, Phil Ross Sr.


Jeff Yearing


Maureen Greico, Larry Coyle, Jacob Brown, Richard Bennett, Toshiko D’Elia


John Marshall, Jim Bruni, Mark Romeo, Jean Hughes, Chris Van Note, Nancy Hogan, RHS Football Team 1913, Don Taylor, Rachel Grygiel, John Cerf, Paul Tornatore, Michele Marangi, RHS Boys’ Lacrosse 1990-92


Craig Halyard, Tom Flatt, Tricia Pappalardo, Mike Henderson, Kandie Latham, Leigh Jester, Tom Dusel, Roger Sweeney, Linda Zabielski, Patty Capasso, Dennis Sullivan, Nick & Dottie Capasso, Track and Field (Bain-Daley-Oliver Era)


Primo “Duke” DeRochi, Debbie Paul, George Monro, Bill Dunne, Amy Lyons, James Sullivan, Michael Culver, Keith O’Connor, Josh Kauke, Patti Mileski, Mary Ellen Mileski


Kitty Batterson, Henry Blauvelt, Frank L. Bradley, Jr., Lucia Cancelmo, Chris DuFlocq, Renee DuFlon, RHS Girls’ Basketball 1922-1923, Harry Grundy, Jim Jones, Joe LeMay, Jen McDermott, Shannon McGarrigle, Tony Napier, Margaret Niemann, Vince Robertiello (Jamie Roberts), Damian Ross, Mike Springer


Mario Ferraro, Paul Ferraro, Don Haldane, Wendy Hartwig, Tom Hopper, Bob Keino, Frank Mozeleski, Tim Mullen, Jenna Rogers, Donna O’Connell, Carin Cone, Charles Yennie


Paul Arrigoni, Pete Campbell, Doug Cook, Becky Deetz, Otis Grendler, Jodi Hartwig, Gene Links, Debbie O’Connell, Aimee McGuire, Walt Perdue, Tom Simos, Kazbek Tambi, Jack Van Yperen, Bob Whitaker, Margaret Scutro