WEST LONG BRANCH – It all came down to the draws in overtime.
The No. 2 Shore Regional girls lacrosse team won all three of them and subsequently produced two goals in overtime and held off No. 5 Manasquan, 10-8, in a Class A Central showdown on Tuesday afternoon at Shore Regional High School.
Shore’s Talia Binns (one goal) scored the go-ahead goal with 1:29 left in the first three-minute segment of overtime and then Shore’s Lauren Britton (four goals) tallied an insurance goal with 40 seconds left in the first three-minute segment of overtime for the Blue Devils (8-2, 6-1).
“Our overtime strategy was that we were going to try to score right away. Get the next draw and score again,” Shore Regional coach David Dudzinski said. “We were just going to keep on going. We were not going to hold the ball until we got a two-goal lead.”
That two-goal lead came with 40 seconds left in the first segment of overtime and the Blue Devils defense, after giving up six second-half goals, kept Manasquan (7-3, 5-3) scoreless in the entire six minutes of overtime. Once the first three minutes of overtime expired, the teams switched sides on the field but neither team scored in the final three minutes of overtime.
“We had them by four goals. And they just kept coming back. Our goaltender (Sarah Giordano) can only save so many 8-meter shots. They were on the 8-meter line a lot,” Dudzinski said. “She (Giordano) did a good job but some of those 8-meter shots are going to go in. That’s where we let them back in the game on the 8-meter line, which I’m not happy about.”
Lauren Britton led the Shore Regional offense with a team-high four goals while Allie Reiser and Mary Kate George each had two goals and Rebecca Witschel and Talia Binns each had one goal. Shore’s Sarah Giordano made six saves.
Manasquan rallied from a 4-0 deficit with 15:07 left in the first half to tie the game at 7-7 with 4:41 left in the second half when Kirsten Barnes scored. The Warriors briefly took the lead, 8-7, with 3:07 left in regulation when Shannon Brown scored but Shore’s Mary Kate George got the equalizing goal with 1:15 left on a gorgeous spin move just outside the crease.
George’s goal sparked a game-ending three-goal run for the Blue Devils as they completed the regular season sweep of Manasquan. On April 2 at Manasquan, Shore defeated the Warriors, 4-3.
“We lost all the draws in the overtime period,” Manasquan coach Maria Eldridge said. “And we had a couple turnovers too and all of that really hurt us in the overtime period.”
Manasquan was led by Kirsten Barnes (three goals) and Maggie Fabean (two goals). Also, Emily Petillo, Logan Harms and Shannon Brown each scored a goal and Megan Gianforte made 13 saves.
“This was our first overtime game of the year and we needed to get the first draw and the first goal in overtime,” Eldridge said. “Once you have a one-goal lead in overtime, you basically win the game because you can just run the clock out.”
If Shore Regional and Manasquan meet again this season, it will be in the postseason.
Freehold Township 14, Middletown South 2: Victoria Camassa and Kaela Chadziutko each had two goals and two assists as the Patriots defeated the Eagles in a Class A North game. Middletown South’s Brielle Bezick and Vanessa Romano each had one goal.
Southern 14, Lacey 5: Dylan Jinks had six goals and two assists, Kyle Mulrane had five goals and Nick Simonelli had one goal and four assists as the Rams (11-0) defeated the Lions (6-4) in a Class A South game. Lacey’s Connor Wilson had two goals and Ryan Mahon had one goal and two assists.
Red Bank 19, Middletown North 3: Red Bank’s Cole Smolokoff had five goals and four assists and Ryan Gilmartin had three goals and four assists. Middletown North’s Bryan Flannigan had two goals and Ryan Aker had one goal and one assist.
Sherlon Christie: firstname.lastname@example.org