WEST LONG BRANCH
The Rumson-Fair Haven girls lacrosse team lived up to its No. 1 seed by beating defending champion and No. 2 seed Red Bank Catholic, 14-9, in the Shore Conference Tournament final at Monmouth University on Friday afternoon.
Junior Mary Scarrone scored four goals and had two assists, junior Nicolette Dunphy scored four goals and had one assist and junior Bridget Curran scored two goals and had three assists to lead their team to their second SCT title.
It was a back-and-forth contest in the first half, and it came down to who won possession in the closing minutes to determine the winner and settle the ongoing debate on which is the top team in the Shore Conference.
The Bulldogs have appeared in the SCT finals six times, and now have two titles under head coach Amy O’Keefe.
“It feels long overdue,” said O’Keefe. “We have been here a lot over the years, but the last time we won was in 2010. Our goalie Maddie (Mullen) made key saves for us at the end of the first half and throughout the second half that were big for us. She played her heart out for us today.”
The Bulldogs (15-5) won the only regular-season matchup with the Caseys (18-2) on April 24, 13-7.
“We knew we needed to get the ball and the possession in order to win,” said O’Keefe. “After the first half it felt like a new game. We knew going into the game that our attack had to do their job, and our defense had to do theirs.”
Both teams exchanged goals in the opening minutes of the first half that led to a 4-all tie. Rumson started to pull away after two tallies from Dunphy, and one from Scarrone gave it a 7-4 lead.
Grace Fallon and Amanda Casten scored two unanswered goals, enabling the Caseys to pull within one, before Scarrone scored her third goal of the half to give the Bulldogs an 8-6 lead going into halftime.
Rumson scored three goals to open the second half, and its defense kept the Caseys off the scoreboard for the first 15 minutes of the half until Maeve Cowley scored to make it an 11-7 game.
The Bulldogs outscored the Caseys 3-2 in the closing minutes of the game as the Caseys struggled to score against Rumson’s tough defense and game-changing saves by Mullen.
“This championship feels well-deserved, and my entire team played awesome for us,” said O’Keefe. “They are a great group of kids, and they earned it.”
Casten scored a game-high five goals, and Fallon scored one goal and had three assists. Julie Krasutsky scored one goal and had one assist for the Caseys.
This is the first time in the history of the boys and girls lacrosse Shore Conference Tournaments that the same school has won both genders in the same year. The Rumson boys’ lacrosse team defeated Southern, 14-5, on Tuesday for their third consecutive SCT title.