The regular season rematch of two of the Shore Conference’s better girls lacrosse programs turned into a blowout early in favor of Red Bank Catholic before Shore Regional made a second-half comeback.
However, No. 2 seed Red Bank Catholic did enough in the first half to withstand the comeback from No. 3 Shore Regional as the Caseys defeated the Blue Devils, 10-5, in a Shore Conference Tournament semifinal on Wednesday night.
The victory puts Red Bank Catholic into Friday’s 4 p.m. SCT final against No. 1 seed Rumson-Fair Haven at Monmouth University.
“We jumped out to a lead and I got to be honest with you, I was kind of surprised they let us hold onto the ball and never came out to play us. So, we were kind of content to just stay back,” Red Bank Catholic coach Lisa Caprioni said. “It actually kind of worked out nice. They took a lot of time on offense which actually gave us a little time to rest on defense.”
The Caseys (17-1) scored seven first half goals, all unassisted. Grace Fallon had all three of her goals in the first half with one coming via an 8-meter shot. Amanda Casten had two of her three goals in the first half and Margaret Rooney and Emily Schlissler each scored one first-half goal.
“They are a really good, skilled team. We decided that we were going to stay on the 8-meter line and cut down their drives,” Shore Regional assistant coach Dave Dudzinski said. “Grace Fallon is awesome. We came into this game saying we can’t stop her, the best thing we can do is contain her We were going to try to do our best on her and try to take away as many other people as we could.”
“We are missing two of our leading scorers from last year and two really good defensive players but what has happened is the veterans have done an excellent job of helping the newbies step in,” Caprioni said. “I thought the first half was probably one of the better first halves we’ve played as far as being a team with everyone on the same page.”
The Caseys were winning the draws, getting the ball quickly down the field and setting up their offense. They were patient and carefully picked their spots as they scored seven goals on nine shots in the first half.
“I’m just really happy about our kids. We came out and executed our game plan. I just thought we played really well. I’m so proud of them,” Caprioni said. “You know how hard it is to get to this point and get back to the final again. We couldn’t be happier.”
Shore Regional (11-5) didn’t give up in the second half. After letting Red Bank Catholic get its largest lead at 8-0 via Maeve Cowley’s goal with 22:31 left, the Blue Devils scored five of the next seven goals to close out the game strong.