In her 15th season as head coach, Lisa Caprioni guided the Red Bank Catholic girls lacrosse team to its most successful season.
Coming into the season, nobody would have predicted Red Bank Catholic would be one of the strongest teams in the Shore Conference. However, the team proved everybody wrong.
Red Bank Catholic won the Shore Conference Class B North title, a Shore Conference Tournament championship, the NJSIAA South Jersey Group II title and tied the school record with 20 wins. The sectional championship was the school’s first in girls lacrosse.
“There were so many top moments for us,” Caprioni said. “The whole season was a magical moment from the beginning to the end. These kids worked so hard all season long. They kept surprising me at every turn. I never would have thought we would be as good as we were.”
The Caseys started the season 12-1 to earn the No. 2 seed in the Shore Conference Tournament. They defeated Lacey 20-3 in the first round and advanced to quarterfinals with a 13-8 win over Jackson Memorial. In the semifinals, they knocked off defending champions Shore 10-8, and defeated Manasquan 10-9 in the final to win the SCT for the first time since 1999.
After its come-from-behind SCT win, Red Bank Catholic earned the No. 1 seed in the NJSIAA South Group II bracket. It started the tournament with a 19-0 victory over Long Branch. Three days later, they had another blowout victory — 19-6 over Sterling in the quarterfinals.
In the semifinals, the Caseys defeated Red Bank, 16-8, and advanced to the sectional final for the first time in many years. Il. They then defeated second-seeded Allentown 17-3.
The Caseys’ powerful offense scored at least 16 goals in each game throughout the NJSIAA Tournament until it faced a tough Chatham defense in the Group II championship match. Chatham won the match, 19-6.
The Caseys were led by seniors Kaitlyn Cunningham, Kathy Pignataro, and Cat Luick. They also had strong contributions from their underclassmen, Maeve Cowley, Grace Fallon, and Amanda Casten.
“There’s no way we could do what we did without good senior leadership,” Caprioni said. “I could not be prouder of my four seniors. In a lot of the games, we were up and down, and my seniors kept everyone’s composure and never gave up.”
Caprioni has been the only coach since the school started girls lacrosse in 1998. During her 15 seasons, RBC has accumulated more than 200 victories, three SCT championships and three NJSIAA Tournament appearances.
“It was awesome to coach a team like this,” Caprioni said. “This season was the most fun I ever had. I have been coaching a long time, and I loved showing up for practice everyday and coaching with my assistant Joe Nappo.
“Joe is the greatest. He has been my assistant coach for the past six years, and there’s no way we would get as far as we did without him.”