Blue Devils go OT for win

Blue Devils go OT for win

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Blue Devils go OT for win

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WEST LONG BRANCH

Junior Emily Reiser scored the game-winning goal with 26 seconds left in the first segment of overtime as Shore Regional defeated Manasquan, 10-9, in a Class A Central game on Monday afternoon.

This was a huge division win for the No. 4 Blue Devils (2-1, 2-0) over No. 3 Manasquan (1-1, 1-1) in the Asbury Park Press top 10.

“Anytime you can come out and beat a team that is ranked higher than you is always a good feeling,” Shore assistant coach Dave Dudzinski said. “Manasquan is a really good team, and for these girls to not quit after they scored late in the game shows how much heart these girls have.”

The game went back-and-forth throughout the first half with neither team having more than a two-goal advantage.

Shore senior midfielder Claudia LaMarca gave the Warriors problems in the opening half, erupting for four of her game-high six goals to give the Blue Devils a 5-4 lead at halftime.

“It feels good knowing that I helped my team win,” LaMarca said. “Manasquan is a great team and they were missing one of their key players, JoJo Reilly, so it was going to be a great battle either way. We are both evenly matched teams, and it was definitely a hard-fought victory for our entire team.”

With under a minute left to go in the first half, Manasquan senior Kathleen Gerard sprinted past the Blue Devils defenders and passed to Madison Brown in front of the net. Brown then scored with five seconds left on the clock to close the gap to 5-4.

In the second half, LaMarca continued her strong offensive outburst scoring her fifth goal of the game on a low shot to the left hand corner of the net to give Shore a 6-4 lead.

The Warriors offense began to pick up midway through the second half by scoring three straight goals to take a 7-6 lead.

Reiser did not let the visiting Warriors hold on to the lead for very long as she stroked a bullet shot past Warriors goalie Megan Gianforte to tie the game at 7-7.

After the Blue Devils took an 8-7 lead, Manasquan’s Shae Cowley scored with 46 seconds left in regulation to send the game into overtime.

LaMarca scored her sixth goal of the game with 1:34 left in the first overtime segment, and Reiser scored her second goal with 26 seconds left in that first overtime segment to give Shore a two-goal advantage heading into the second overtime segment.

Manasquan senior Amanda Hagaman scored with 2:18 left in the second overtime segment, but Shore goalie Taylor Caldwell’s block with five seconds left in the second overtime segment sealed the victory for the Blue Devils.

“Claudia played a great game, and Emily Reiser scored a big goal in overtime, and it was a team effort,” Dudzinski said. “They were tired, but it didn’t matter. At the end of the game we had the ball in the right people’s sticks to seal the victory. I know our players feel good about it, and I know as a coaching staff we couldn’t be prouder of the way they played.”

Cowley led the Warriors with three goals and Hagaman scored two goals. Kathleen Wallace had two assists and one goal, and Gerard had two assists and chipped in one goal.

Shore will go for its third straight win with an away game against division rival Rumson on Thursday. Manasquan will be back in action on Thursday night against Holmdel.

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