The incredible season for the Southern Regional field hockey team continued on Monday afternoon with a 3-2 victory over Jackson Memorial in a Class A South game.
The Rams improved to a (14-0, 8-0) overall record which is the longest winning streak in school’s history according to head coach Kathy Snyder.
“It feels good,” said Snyder. “We know everyone is coming after us now and our kids handled the pressure of coming into a game undefeated. They never folded. I have been the coach here for the past 34 years and this is our best record by far.”
Southern came out of the gate playing an up-tempo game, making clean, crisp passes. They held possession for most of the first half, and kept attacking the Jaguar defense until the final whistle blew.
Six minutes into the game there was a scramble in front of the Jaguars net allowing senior midfielder Arielle Galgano to take a shot into the lower right side of the net to give the Rams an early 1-0 lead.
After the Rams constant attack on the Jaguars defense, Jackson finally had possession of the ball with 11 minutes remaining in the first half that allowed their first attempt at scoring. Several shot attempts were blasted from the top of the circle, but a diving save by goalkeeper Anastasia Pona and the aggressiveness of the Southern defense, kept the Jaguars off the scoreboard.
At the 3:40 mark Elyse Broderick set up a perfect play after a penalty corner to teammate Sam Burns to give the Rams a 2-0 lead.
As time started to dwindle down in the first half, junior Rianna Jackson scored with a minute remaining after a lob pass by Theresa Carr to put the Jaguars on the scoreboard.
It seemed as if the Jaguars were able to limit the Rams scoring for the remainder of the first half, until Brianna Angellella tallied another goal right before the closing seconds creating a 3-1 deficit for the home team before halftime.
In the second half, the Jaguars began to pick up momentum offensively generating plenty of scoring opportunities, but the defensive stops by goalie Pona and the aggressiveness from Burns kept the Rams up 3-1.
With seven minutes remaining in the game, the Jaguars received a penalty corner and a nice set up by junior forward Kara Molnar to teammate Jackson allowed her to score her second goal of the game and close the deficit to 3-2.
Senior defender Anna Schmoll had a breakaway attempt in the remaining seconds of the game but the play was instantly broken up by Jackson as the visiting Rams were able to hold on with a 3-2 victory.
“The last goal in the first half was very big for us,” said Snyder. “That goal put us right where we needed to be and to say to ourselves that were going to be ok. At the time I didn’t think it would be the game-changing goal, but that goal gave us the victory.”
Broderick completed her day with two assists, while Galgano, Angellella and Burns each scored one goal each. Goalkeeper Pona collected five saves in the win.
Jackson Memorial got solid efforts from midfielder Kayla Molnar, junior Lindsey Reist, and midfielder Kelsey Leibner. Freshman goalie Morgan Novak made 11 saves on 15 shots attempted by the Ram’s offense.
“I felt my girls played a good game today,” said Jackson Memorial head coach Jenna Blondina. “Our defense held them scoreless in the second half, and they are one of the tougher teams we have played, so it was good to see that the score was as close as it was.”
Southern will travel to Toms River South tomorrow to try and earn their 15th straight victory of the season.
“Our biggest competition will be Toms River South or Lacey, “said Snyder. ” Every game is important, and you can’t go into any game thinking it will be easy.”
The Jaguars (7-6, 6-6) will look to get back into the win column with a divisional matchup against Toms River East at home tomorrow.
Southern (14-0, 8-0) 3 0 — 3
Jackson Memorial (7-6, 6-6) 1 1– 2
Goals/Assists: (S) Galgano 5:35; (S) Burns (Broderick) 26:20; (JM) Jackson (Carr) 28:55; (S) Angellella (Broderick) 29:55; (JM) Jackson (Molnar) 52:52
Saves: (JM) Novak 11; (S) Pona 5
Shots: Southern 15-9