Cougars outlast Panthers to advance in SCT girls soccer tournament

Cougars outlast Panthers to advance in SCT girls soccer tournament

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Cougars outlast Panthers to advance in SCT girls soccer tournament

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MANALAPAN

The 12th-seeded Colts Neck girls soccer team had an overwhelming advantage on shots but needed extra time to fend off 21st-seeded Point Boro in a preliminary round Shore Conference Tournament game Wednesday afternoon.

It took until 7:48 into overtime for the Cougars to outlast the Panthers, 1-0, when Colts Neck’s Ali Russo finished off a pass from Bridgette King for the game-winning goal on the turf field at the Manalapan Recreation Center.

“I’m glad we got the win but give credit to Point Boro, I think they played pretty good, better than you think. They are decent defensively. They have a decent goalkeeper,” Colts Neck coach Doug Phillips said.

In the first half, Colts Neck outshot Point Boro, 4-1. In the second half, Colts Neck outshot Point Boro, 5-1. It took until Colts Neck’s third shot in overtime for the Cougars (8-5-1) to eliminate the Panthers (9-5-1) from the SCT tournament.

“Their girls (Point Boro) can move the ball and they play hard. We weren’t 100 percent focused and they (Point Boro) were ready to play and I think they deserve the credit. I think that is why it went to overtime,” Phillips said.

Overall, Colts Neck outshot Point Boro, 12-3. However, each team finished with four corner kicks and each team had some very close calls on potential goals before the game-winning play.

“In general, we like to swarm the ball and make sure they (the opponent) don’t have time to play the ball,” Point Boro coach Michael Edolo said. “And I think if you do that consistently you are going to get tired but you are also not going to give them a lot of options to make good passes. I think we did it well.”

Point Boro frustrated Colts Neck the entire game.

It seemed every time Colts Neck built up some momentum moving the ball down the field, Point Boro’s defenders made a play to clear the ball out or Point Boro goalie Cameron Havens (11 saves) made the stop. To add to the frustration, a Colts Neck player even hit the right upright of the football goalpost on one corner kick attempt. Meanwhile, the Colts Neck defense didn’t have too many slip ups and when the ball did get through, Colts Neck’s Alyssa Caulfield (two saves) made the stop.

“Towards desperation time in the second half and in overtime, we found another gear. The two girls that combined on the goal are both sophomores,” Phillips said. “Even as sophomores, they are kind of emerging as young leaders. Ali scored that goal coming all the way up from an outside back position. So, she obviously showed she wanted to get in the box and make something happen.”

With the victory Wednesday afternoon, Colts Neck advanced to Friday’s first round. The Cougars will be on the road and play at No. 5 seed Holmdel in a 3 p.m. game. Meanwhile, Point Boro’s next scheduled game is Tuesday, Oct. 29 at Central Regional at 3:45 p.m. in a Class B South game.

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