After splitting the Shore Conference Class A North title with Colts Neck last season, Freehold Township and its core group of seniors will be after the outright divisional title this season.
Led by senior midfielder Dominique Anselmin, the Patriots are off to the start first year head coach Brian Snedden hoped for this year.
The Patriots (6-1, 4-0) have already picked up two big Class A North victories, after a 11-5 win over Colts Neck on April 8, and their most recent divisional win over Howell 10-4 on Thursday. Anselmin is joined by senior Breinne O’Donoghue in the midfield, along with senior attacker Ashley Hobbs. Anselmin has displayed her speed, pin-point passing, and deadly accurate shooting, which has lead to a potent offense from the Patriots early this season.
“She is one of our captains this season, and is a huge part to this team,” Snedden said.
“Every ground ball she is there for us, she takes our draws for us, overall she is just a huge contributor to this team.”
In their most recent divisional victory over Howell, Anselmin finished with a game-high five goals. She already has posted 27 goals, six assists, 27 ground balls, and 33 draw controls for the Patriots. Their win against Howell Thursday was another step in the right direction for their quest of Class A North.
“It was a big win for us, especially because they (Howell) were able to beat us twice in the regular season last year,” Anselmin said.
“Hopefully we will keep playing like this as we continue for the A North title, but yeah this was a big win for us.”
Having several experienced seniors on this team will be key for the Patriots moving forward, as they are scheduled to meet Wall on Wednesday, who will arguably be their biggest divisional challenge that they have seen this season.
“We are all about pride here at Freehold Township,” Anselmin said.
“We want to continue to honor tradition here, and make the alumni who played for us proud.”
Defense has also been key for Freehold Township, who held Colts Neck to just five goals and Howell to four. Seniors Gianna Santaniello and Cara O’Brien are at the helm defensively for the Patriots, and are also joined by senior Shaye Zyskowski in net. Zyskowski has 40 saves on the season, and has posted a save percentage of 52 percent.
“Our defense is really coming together this season,” Anselmin said.
“Everyone is really working together and playing hard defense, we are all bodying up and just getting things done out there.”
Anselmin is excited to be playing her college lacrosse at Sacred Heart University next year, but first has some high expectations in her final season with the Patriots.
“Our goal is to advance as far as we can in both the Shore Conference Tournament and states this season,” Anselmin said.