Bock powers Colonials

Bock powers Colonials

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Bock powers Colonials

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FREEHOLD

Lauren Bock was emotional in victory Wednesday.

“I’m literally going to cry,” the Freehold High School field hockey team’s midfielder-forward said after the top-seeded Colonials’ 3-0 win over Freehold Township in the NJSIAA Central Group IV championship game.

Bock’s one goal and one assist powered the Colonials (18-3-1) into the Group IV state semifinals 6 p.m. today against host Eastern.

“It’s amazing,” she said. “Freehold Township (which lost 4-1 to the Patriots earlier this season) is a big rival to begin with. It’s my senior year. A big goal of ours was to reach the sectional finals and win. It’s bittersweet as it’s toward the end of the year, but it’s a great win.

“It’s a big title. We’re heading to the end. Nearing the end is sad. Right now, I am in the moment. It’s my last game on this field. I have played on it since I was a freshman. I have had a lot of good memories and good times with everyone on this field.”

Bock staked the Colonials, who won sectional championships in 2007, 2010 and 2011, to a 1-0 lead. She connected into the lower right corner of the cage from five yards off a pass from sophomore forward Jessica Pianko 5:57 into the game.

“It was a simple pass and the ball went right through their goalie’s legs,” Bock said after battling the Patriots in 37-degree temperatures under sunny skies. “We knew they would come out hard as we beat them earlier this year. They came out hard. We had to score early and set the tempo for the game.”

Bock helped the Colonials to a 3-0 lead 48:54 into the game, passing the ball to senior midfielder Katherine Luchino, who scored into the upper left corner from 10 yards.

“Scoring and assisting are exciting,” the 5-foot-6 Bock said. “You make a difference in the game. The first goal set the tempo of the game.”

First-year Freehold coach Kelly Craig, who played on its 2007 sectional championship team as a junior, said Bock is a key reason for the Colonials’ success.

“She is a major player,” Craig said. “She is our most vocal player. She always talks to the girls off the field. She has composure. She plays with a lot of intensity. She has a lot of agility and instinct. She trusts her instinct in her gut and goes for it.”

The Colonials went ahead 2-0 with 32:52 expired on a goal by freshman forward Tori Tiefenthaler, assisted by sophomore midfielder-forward Clare Luttrell.

“We knew we had to score early and often,” Craig said. “Freehold Township is an emotional team. We knew if we scored early we’d take control of the game. We did not let our emotions get the best of us when they brought truckloads of fans yelling at us. We played a full 60 minutes.”

Bock said a speech by Freehold assistant coach Stan Parker during a practice helped pump up the Colonials for their game against the second-seeded Patriots (13-7).

“During a practice in our gym, he said, ‘You can claim a banner,’ ” she said. “It’s dedicated to the seniors. We can call it our own now.”

“It all comes down to them,” Craig said of her players. “They are the ones who work hard. I am not surprised we won. We talked about it. We aimed for it.”

The Colonials will face one of the nation’s top teams in the Vikings, 11-0 winners over Washington Township in the South Group IV championship game.

“We definitely saw what they did to Washington Township,” Craig said. “It will definitely be a huge challenge. No matter what, we have had a successful season. Anything that happens after this game will not detract from this year. I am proud of my girls.”

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