Disputed call goes against Colts Neck in 1-0 loss

Disputed call goes against Colts Neck in 1-0 loss

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Disputed call goes against Colts Neck in 1-0 loss

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PRINCETON

Colts Neck girls soccer coach Doug Phillips slammed his hat to the ground Tuesday.

Phillips displayed his emotions seconds after his Cougars fell to Princeton, 1-0, in the NJSIAA Central Group III championship match.

The second-seeded Tigers (16-2-1) scored 24:49 into the match on a goal by sophomore forward Shannon Pawlak. Senior midfielder Kate Kerr was taken down at the top of the box while shooting, resulting in a direct kick by Pawlak, who drove the ball into the lower left corner of the net past junior goalkeeper Lauren Zborovancik for her team-high 12th goal of the season.

Phillips, who received a yellow card late in the match, argued the call to no avail.

“It’s hard for me to comment on the call, not being out there,” said Phillips, carded with 7:13 left for disputing an out of bounds call against his Cougars. “The contact was shoulder-to-shoulder. In a game of this caliber, there has to be leniency. The call was questionable. It was what it was. We were only down, 1-0.”

The eighth-seeded Cougars (14-7-1) stayed down, held in check by a defense that posted its 13th shutout of the season, including three in the tournament. The Tigers have buried their opponents under an 11-1 avalanche in the tournament.

Princeton senior goalkeeper Lauren Ullmann, whose team owns a 15-match unbeaten streak, turned back eight shots.

“They had a good goalkeeper,” Phillips said, “and they played disciplined on defense. They minimized our chances. They were solid on defense. We knew that coming in.”

“They are a quality team,” Colts Neck senior forward Danielle Krachie said of the Tigers. “I give them respect for that. They won the 50-50 balls. They stayed with our forwards. They took the balls out of the air.”

Princeton outshot Colts Neck, 8-3, in the opening 40 minutes. Zborovancik made seven saves. Ullmann rejected three attempts.

The Cougars took their first shot on goal with 13:04 remaining in the initial half. Krachie ripped a shot from 25 yards and Ullmann made the save.

With 13 minutes to go in the first half, Zborovancik stuffed a breakaway. With 9:59 to play in the first half, Colts Neck sophomore Halley Cartas blasted a 10-yarder to the right post where Ullmann caught the ball.

Ullmann made a diving save of a Cartas 18-yard blast ticketed for the left corner.

“We did not get a lot of possessions in our third of the field,” Phillips said. “They played an old school brand of defense, placing their sweeper in the back. Defense has been their cry all year. Once they scored, they took a defensive posture.”

The Cougars fielded one of the youngest teams in the Shore Conference.

“It took a lot of heart for us to push through,” Krachie said. “We had the heart and the talent to get here. We all played together like one big family for the sake of being able to play one more game.”

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