Shannon Johnson has been a big reason why Shore Regional field hockey has been so dominant in the Shore Conference for the past four years.
For her career, Johnson has 294 saves, 53 shutouts and 59 goals against in her four seasons with the Blue Devils.
Johnson started playing field hockey at a young age, but after a dislike of being a position player her aunt suggested she give goalie a try.
“I started playing in the field in fourth grade, but I really didn’t enjoy it and my aunt owns Jersey Intensity and said I should give goalie a try, and I loved it.”
Johnson has played in one of the best field hockey programs in New Jersey, and says one of her biggest games was a come-from-behind victory in 2011.
“One of the most exciting games I have ever been a part of was during the sectional finals against Oak Knoll,” said Johnson. “We were down 1-0 at half, and we thought we were going to lose but we all stepped up together and ended up winning the game 2-1. It was one of those games that you will always remember.”
She showed one of her best defensive efforts in that game where she made 12 out of her 17 saves in the opening half to give her team the extra push they needed to come back in the second half.
She won the NJSIAA Group I state title in 2011, which was Shore’s 12th state championship in school’s history. They defeated Arthur P. Schalick High Shool, 8-0, where Johnson received her 13th shutout of the season.
The senior helped lead Shore Regional to an 18-2 record, and their 42nd consecutive Class B Central division title. She made four saves in the SCT finals against Rumson-Fair Haven to claim the school’s 18th Shore Conference Tournament title.
She finished the year with 14 shutouts, 69 saves and an 86 percent save percentage. This is her third consecutive year as a first-team selection, and first time as the Asbury Park Press Player of the Year. She was selected as a third-team selection as a freshman.
Since she started her career at Shore she has been coached by one of the top field hockey coaches in the country under Nancy Williams, who Johnson says is one of a kind.
“I have learned so much from my coach these past four years,” said Johnson. “She taught me how to play when your under pressure, and how to react when the game is on the line. She taught me lessons about the game that nobody could ever teach me.”
Johnson was part of William’s historic 800th win earlier in the season where she recorded seven saves and a shutout against Lawrenceville.
She will be looking forward to the next chapter in her field hockey career as she will be attending the University of North Carolina on an athletic scholarship next fall.
“It will be nice to start playing with and against new people,” said Johnson. “I have been playing with the same people for years, so it will be a nice change to start competing at the college level, and against people I never played with before. My sister plays for Duke, so it is going to be fun to play against her for the first time.”