Red Bank Catholic earned another trip to the Shore Conference Tournament final, after its 15-8 semifinal win over Freehold Township on Monday night under the lights at Ocean Township high school. The second-seeded Caseys will play top-seeded Rumson-Fair Haven in a rematch of last years SCT final on Thursday at Monmouth University.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Red Bank Catholic head coach Lisa Caprioni and her Caseys, falling behind 2-0 early to the sixth-seeded Patriots after goals from Brienne O’Donoghue and Nicole Sasso.
“We’ve been a bit sluggish getting out of the gates,” Caprioni said.
“We kind of just told them to relax and that we would eventually get going.”
The Caseys were able to do just that, scoring four straight goals and taking back the lead that they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the game. Three goals from senior midfielder Grace Fallon and two more from senior midfielder Amanda Casten gave Red Bank Cathiolic a 7-3 lead at the end of the first half.
Along with the impressive offense display in the first half, it was the defensive stand in the final three minutes of the half that really impressed Caprioni, holding the Patriots to just three first half goals.
“We were doubling and rotating really well in that first half,” Caprioni said.
For Fallon and her teammates it was all about trying to make the Patriots uncomfortable when they had the ball, something the Caseys were able to do effectively in the first half.
“When we doubled at the right times we were able to cause that,” Fallon said.
“Our slides were on point and we were able to make them panic with the ball, we were able to make them play to our speed.”
The game was far from over at the end of the first half, but it was the Caseys who came out ready to play at the start of the second half. After winning the draw, the Caseys were able to find sophomore attacker Cameron Lynch for a goal just 10 seconds into the second half.
“It was huge, it kind of set the tone for the second half,” Caprioni said.
“We wanted to put this thing away, we didn’t want to have to make a game out of it.”
The Caseys would go on to score five straight goals in the second half, increasing their lead to 11-3. Although the second half run from the Caseys hurt the Patriots, they showed no quit, cutting the lead to 12-6 and forcing Caprioni to burn a timeout.
“To their credit they hung in there and played hard,” Caprioni said.
“It was good they really pushed us in the second half, and I think we needed to be pushed before Thursday.”
Fallon finished with four goals and two assists, Casten netted a team-high five goals and senior Maeve Cowley also added four goals for the Caseys. Fallon also recorded her 200th career goal late in the second half.
“It’s an honor, but I wouldn’t have been able to get there without my teammates,” Fallon said
“Really it’s just a number, I’m just out there trying to win some games.”
Red Bank Catholic and Rumson-FH met earlier this season in a regular season game, with the Bulldogs edging the Caseys 11-5 on their home turf. The Caseys will hope to exact some revenge on a bit of a bigger stage on Thursday.