The Shore Conference Girls Soccer Tournament field consists of 25 squads who are all beginning with the same dream: winning the championship.
For some, success is winning a game and getting into the second round, while for others the expectation is championship or bust. Regardless of the measurement of a successful tournament run, seeds 8 through 25 will take to the field October 12 or 13 in preliminary round action. The top seven seeds have automatically advanced to the round-of-16.
The second round will be played Tuesday Oct. 16. The quarterfinals will be Thursday Oct. 18. The semi-finals and championship games will be played at Point Boro HS on Saturday Oct. 20 and Wednesday Oct. 24 respectfully.
*STATS ARE FOR GAMES THROUGH OCTOBER 9*
1) Middletown North – The Lions enter the 2018 SCT as the favorites on paper. They are not only the top seed in the bracket, but the only remaining undefeated squad in the Shore Conference. North has prolific scorers in Darien Rinn (10), Lindsay O’ Keefe (9) and Ashley Dietrich (6) to compliment Haley Martin and her eight clean sheets.
2) Red Bank Catholic – The Caseys have enjoyed their new A-Central division, going undefeated with an 11-2 overall mark. One of those losses was a 1-0 setback to top seeded Middletown North. The scoring tandem of Juliana Rafaniello and Morgan Cupo, as well as goalie Anthi Panayides would like nothing more than the chance to avenge that loss in a possible finals rematch.
3) Freehold Township – The Patriots are coming off a heartbreaking 4-2 defeat at the hands of Wall in the 2017 SCT final. This time around, they are not the top seed, but that does not make them any easier of an out. They have a dynamic offense when they are on top of their game. They also spread the ball around. This year, 11 different girls have found the back of the net, including nine multi goal scorers, led by Ryann Leohner and her six.
4) Shore Regional – The Blue Devils are a storied club in Group I play and have won countless NJSIAA Championships over the past couple of seasons. This time around, they will look to capture an SCT crown to add to the trophy case. The likes of Julia Eichenbaum (13), Frankie McDonough (11) and Hannah Birdsall (8) have combined for 32 goals this year. The bracket has the potential to set up a semi-final rematch with RBC, who defeated the Devils 4-1 this year.
5) Toms River North – The Mariners are riding into the postseason coming off winning their third straight A-South title in the final divisional game of the season. North spreads the ball around, as four girls have at least five goals in Emily Royson (10), Alexa Peto (6), Jazmin Brown (5) and Julia Fiorito (5). The Mariners fell to Freehold in the semis last year.
6) Brick Township – The Dragons will enter the SCT on the heels of a five game undefeated streak. After starting 1-2, Brick has gone 10-1-1 and are led on offense by Reese Beggs, who has found the back of the net 14 times. Danielle Christ has also knocked in seven tallies while Molly Tully has triple digit saves this year at 102.
7) Pinelands – The Wildcats earned a bye after going on an 11 game unbeaten streak following a 1-0 loss to Jackson Memorial on Opening Day. Since then, Pinelands has run the table in B-South and drawn with A-South opponents Toms River East and Brick Township. The Cats have gotten most of the scoring from Aileen Cahill (16), but Sunni DiElmo, Bridget Dudas and Alexandra Hanna each have seven.
8) Toms River South vs 25) Trinity Hall
The Indians opened the season 5-0-1 before suffering their first setback of the year. Aliya Canfield leads the way with 13 goals on the season. Toms River South sits at 7-2-2, and have only given up more than one goal twice with Julia Mendez leading the way in net with 125 saves.
The Monarchs have a few ugly losses outside of B-Central, but have found their scoring touch recently at the best time in the season. Trinity Hall struggled to score in their first seven games, finding the back of the next four times. In their past three games, they are 2-0-1 and have scored 12 goals. Colleen Kelly leads the team with four.
16) Jackson Memorial vs 17) Freehold Boro
The Jaguars have a goalie tandem in Brooke McKown and Kristina Donza who lead a defensive minded Jackson Memorial team. The Jaguars have only scored multiple goals in five of their 13 contests. Jessica Wanzor leads that side of the ball with six goals.
The Colonials started the season 1-6, but a five game win streak in which they shut out four opponents has vaulted them into the SCT. Maria Amalfitano leads the way with five goals, while the goalie tandem of Katie Rogers and Abigail Cowles have combined on 72 saves and four clean sheets.
9) St. Rose vs 24) Marlboro
The Roses are an offensive powerhouse who have now scored 57 goals in just nine games. Julianne Leskausakas led the way with 22 goals with a supporting cast of Emily Lankau, Gabrielle Hueth and Caroline Caputo combining for 18 more. The firepower is an advantage to have, but it has not been necessary with the play of goalie Katherine McLaughlin, who has settled down after allowing five goals in the opening two games to allow only five in the previous seven.
The Mustangs, who once sat at 1-4, have rallied into the SCT on the heels of back to back wins, including a 1-0 win over Middletown South on cutoff day. Victoria Tzitzis has scored 13 of the 23 Marlboro goals this year while Sofia James has stopped 91 shots in net.
13) Wall Township vs 20) Brick Memorial
The Knights are the defending champions, but it appears that this year, the road to a repeat is difficult. Wall has struggled to put the ball in the net, scoring only 16 goals in their 13 games, led by Marrisa Sciorilli with four. They do find themselves entering postseason play on a four game skid but might only need to score one goal in order to steal a win and take momentum into the tournament run. Goalies Jordan Cheche and Hannah Wisniewski have combined to only allow 13 goals – 1.0 per game.
The Mustangs are 8-5 overall, but sit at just 2-5 inside of their division. They have had big goal totals but have had stretches where they needed to lean on the defensive side. Brick Memorial has a duo in Olivia Carney and Angel Hernandez who have each scored 11 goals.
12) St. John Vianney vs 21) Jackson Liberty
The Lancers squeaked into the postseason. In fact, the seeding commitee was misinformed that SJV had lost Wednesday afternoon and missed the tournament. The reports were false, and the Lancers find themselves hosting an SCT preliminary game. They finished 5-2 in the difficult B-North division and have found their strides since a 2-5 opening to the season. Jada Trotta has found the net six times while goalie Erica Blackburn has 73 saves and four shutouts to her name.
The Lions are in the SCT thanks to a win over Barnegat earlier in the week. Two goals has been the deal breaker for Liberty. All six of their wins have come allowing one goal or fewer while five of their six losses came when allowing two or more. Haliey McGee (10) and Samantha Yorke (9) have combined on 19 of the club’s 29 goals.
15) Southern vs 18) Red Bank Regional
The Rams started the season with an explosive offense, picking up 7-0 and 8-1 wins to open 2018. Megan Lockwood has been the biggest threat, finding the back of the net 10 times and dishing out 11 assists. Besides a 9-1 win over Long Branch in their fifth game, Southern has been struggled to find the net recently. They only scored two goals in a five game stretch before getting back on track in a 3-0 win over Central.
The Bucs move into the B-North division was successful in allowing RBR a chance to return to the SCT after missing last year while in A-Central. They have gotten balanced attack from Marley McBride (7), Caitlyn Decker (6), and four each from Ceci Conti and Maggie Cahill, as well as solid goaltending from Addy McCarthy.
10) Rumson Fair Haven vs 23) Lacey
The Bulldogs have increased their scoring gradually as the season has progressed. After only three goals total the first two games, RFH has scored at least three goals in six of the eight since. Ellen Daly (8), Chase Boyle (6) and Morgan Hobson (5) have led the balanced attack while Courtney Parton has fared well in goal and had a stretch of three straight shutouts earlier in the year.
The Lions find themselves in the postseason thanks to a four game win streak in the middle of September. Julianna Retinno has been the spark plug on offense, scoring 12 of the teams 29 goals. Nicole Coraggio has made 77 saves in net.
14) Point Beach vs 19) Point Boro
The Gulls can certainly score the ball, producing 49 goals in their 11 games. Their only set back was a loss to St. Rose earlier in the year. Beach has scored seven goals on three separate occasions this season with Emma Acanfora scoring 12 times, and Abby Angelucci, Sarah Shwahla and McKayla Hughes all threatening double digits as well.
The Panthers have been a streaky team this year, but are riding into the SCT on a high note. They have struggled to find offense in their losses, but during their hot stretches can really move the ball. Heather Van Deventer leads the way with eight goals for Boro, while the trio of Kelly Favato, Erin Guilfoyle and Paige Yocum have four a piece.
11) Colts Neck vs 22) Matawan
The Cougars are limping into the SCT after winning only one of their past six contests. They are struggling to score during the stretch after being shut out in four of the six games, but they have time to right the ship. Kristi Mikula has found the twine nine times while Kaitlyn Torres and made 106 saves to keep Colts Neck in games while they search for offense.
The Huskies have been consistently around .500 for much of the season. Their attack is spread out among the entire front line. Seven players have scored multiple goals, with Dana Morgan and Anna Margarites leading the way combining for 13. Kelly Lambertson has reached triple digit saves this year with 109.