A fast start and gutsy all-around team effort sent No. 5 Ocean to a Shore Conference Tournament semifinal with a 9-8 quarterfinal win over No. 4 Shore on Friday afternoon. In just her second season at the helm for the Spartans, head coach Andrea Schweitzer was able to navigate her team to the SCT semifinals, thanks in large part to her team being ready to play from the opening draw.
The Spartans opened with two goals each from sophmore attacker Angelina Palermo and junior midfielder McKayla Conti, giving them a 4-2 lead early in the first half. Senior midfielder Gabrielle Hagerman also netted a goal shortly after increasing the lead to 5-2.
“They were ready to go from the start, completely focused out there today,” Schweitzer said.
The Blue Devils cut the lead to one goal several times in the second half, but the Spartans always answered with a goal of their own, keeping their lead for the entire game.
“I think they knew what they had to do today; we knew we were playing a good team, so I think we just needed to answer back everytime they were able to get a goal,” Schweitzer said.
Senior goalie Bailey Herr was huge for the Spartans late in the game, saving several shots that would have tied the game. She finished with 14 saves.
“She had so many key saves for us,” Schweitzer said. “They came at really important times in the game. I’m really proud of the way she stepped up for us today.”
Conti finished with a team-high four goals and Palermo finished with three goals. Lauren Britton scored a team-high four goals for the Blue Devils. Ocean will play top-seeded Rumson-Fair Haven in a semifinal at Ocean on Monday.
In other SCT quarterfinals
RUMSON-FH 14, RED BANK 2: Bridget Curran had three goals and four assists, leading the top-seeded Bulldogs over the eighth-seeded Bucs. Curran recorded her 100th career assist, assisting Nicolette Dunphy for the third goal of the game.
Dunphy had three goals and Maggie Jennings had four assists.
RED BANK CATHOLIC 16, ST. JOHN VIANNEY 4: Amanda Casten, Maeve Cowley and Grace Fallon each netted four goals, leading the second-seeded Caseys over the 10th-seeded Lancers. Fallon added four assists, and Cowley had three.
The Caseys will play No. 6 Freehold Township in the semifinal on Monday.
MATAWAN 4, DELRAN 1: The eighth-seeded Huskies advanced to the quarterfinals with a first-round win over the No. 9 Bears in Central Jersey II.
Andrew Polyak, competing at first singles, keyed the victory with a three-set conquest of Paulo Claure that featured a 7-5 tiebreaker in the final set.
Matawan’s Mario Liu and Tyler Chin prevailed at second and third singles, respectively. The Huskies’ Arsh Raince and Eric Ni were first-doubles winners.
Matawan will meet defending Group II champion Holmdel on Tuesday at 3:45 p.m.
CENTRAL 5, HIGHLAND 0: The sixth-seeded Golden Eagles (11-3) blanked the 11th-ranked Tartans (5-10) in the South Jersey III first round.
Pacing the win was James Bojko, who prevailed in straight sets at first singles. Romel Academia and Keith Rader added wins at second and third singles, respectively. Brandon DiLonardo and Stephen contributed a first-doubles victory.
EGG HARBOR 3, SOUTHERN 2: The sixth-seeded Rams (14-5) fell to the No. 11 Eagles (7-7) in first-round SJ IV play.
Southern swept the doubles matches. Jason LaVoie and Richie Zennaro won at first doubles. Mark Sullivan and Andrew Davis came out on top at second doubles.
Shore Regional athletic director Harry Chebookjian announced Friday evening that varsity coach Dave Emery has resigned.