COLTS NECK — With a breakaway, a header and a well-timed cross in the box, the No. 1 seed Colts Neck girls soccer team produced three second-half goals and defeated No. 3 seed Toms River East, 3-0, in the NJSIAA Central Group III final on Thursday afternoon at Colts Neck High School.
Senior Bridgette King finished off the breakaway after a nice give-and-go down the field with junior Frankie Tagliaferri for a 1-0 lead at 43:29. Senior Amanda Visco then tallied the all-important second goal on a header near the center of the net after Tagliaferri place a corner kick to the right spot for a 2-0 lead at 48:11.
“I think Wall girls soccer coach Mike Juska said it best in a quote in a newspaper article that you can put two or three girls on Amanda Visco and she still will have an opportunity to win a header,” Colts Neck girls soccer coach Doug Phillips said. “She elevates and she times it so perfectly, it is difficult to defend. So, we just targeted her on that play and we were hoping something was going to happen.”
And the Cougars (22-0-1) got the result they wanted to hold onto the momentum in the game. Junior Nicole Loehle completed the scoring with a goal to the lower right corner after junior Kara Camarco crossed the ball from right to left at 59:40 for a 3-0 lead.
“You are always hoping for that second goal and I don’t know if they (Toms River East) really adjusted much strategy wise but they were defintely pressing more and you saw them get more exposed in the back,” Phillips said. “When teams do that to us, we look to quick counter on them and that’s when we are more dangerous.”
King recorded her 24th goal of the season, while Visco and Loehle each got their first goals of the season. Tagliaferri now has a team-leading 18 assists this season while Camarco recorded her second assist this season. Sophomore goalie Lauren Feaster made three saves while Toms River East (16-6-1) goalie Jordyn Ferrone made five saves.
Colts Neck will Toms River South, the South Group Group III winner, in a 5 p.m. NJSIAA Group III state semifinal at Toms River North on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
Is Amanda Visco the best defender in the Shore Conference?
The Rutgers-bound defender has drawn kudos from opposing coaches, as noted above, and is an important part of Colts Neck’s elite defense that has allowed 10 goals this season while recording a Shore Conference-leading 17th shutouts. She’s tall, fast and can leap higher than most players for those important 50-50 balls and she’s also a secret option on corner kicks as displayed on Thursday.
It was an impressive run for Toms River East this season
The Indians finished with 16 wins, which was an improvement of seven wins from last year and jump of 15 wins from the 2013 season. Head coach Michael Nichol and his staff should be praised for the turnaround performance of the Raiders over the last three years. Toms River East was the No. 11 seed in the SCT and made it to the round of 16. Toms River East was the No. 3 seed in the NJSIAA Central Group III bracket and outscored their opponents 15-1 in the state tournament to get to the sectional final on Thursday. The Raiders leading scorers this season were Jillian Conklin (22 goals, 11 assists), Kylie Meola (14 goals, seven assists) and Shea Holland (eight goals, 10 assists while goalie Jordyn Ferrone made 114 saves.
Will Toms River South vs Colts Neck Part II live up to the hype?
It should. The Indians (17-5) pushed eventual SCT champion Colts Neck to the limit in their SCT quarterfinal game on Oct. 26. Colts Neck’s Bridgette King scored first, Toms River South’s Alyia Canfield responded and then King won it in overtime as the Cougars survived, 2-1, in a thriller in Colts Neck. In that thriller Toms River South goalie Taylor Dean made an impressive 17 saves against 21 Colts Neck shots on goal while Colts Neck’s Lauren Feaster made five saves against six Toms River South shots on goal.
Central Group I
(1) Shore 4, (2) Metuchen 0
Central Group II
(3) Holmdel 2, (1) Rumson-Fair Haven 2 (Holmdel wins 4-3 on PKs)
Central Group III
(1) Colts Neck 3, (3) Toms River East 0
Central Group IV
(1) Freehold Township 3, (2) Hunterdon Central 2
South Group II
(2) Point Boro 4, (8) West Deptford 3 (OT)
South Group III
(4) Toms River South 3, (10) Seneca 2 (2OT)
Non-Public South A
(1 ) CBA 2, (3) St. Augustine 1
(2) St. John Vianney 2, (3) Union Catholic 1
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