The division champions have been crowned, the Shore Conference Tournament was decided and the Shore Conference has three teams left (Wall, Shore and Freehold Township) in the NJSIAA Tournament.
It has been an amazing year for Shore Conference field hockey teams, as we had four teams enter the SCT undefeated and we’ve had some epic postseason games in both the SCT and the NJSIAA Tournament.
There are tons of great story lines from the 2015 season. So, let’s take a deeper look at what teams and what players have stood out. Remember these are just quick thoughts of the yet-to-be concluded 2015 field hockey season and a lot can change between now and when the last Shore Conference team has concluded its play in the NJSIAA Tournament.
Emily Surgent (Wall)
Surgent, a junior forward, was a third-team All-Shore selection in 2014 but is having as good a year as any player in the Shore Conference this season. She’s No. 3 in the state in goals scored (48), No. 2 in the state in assists (28) and No. 2 in the state in total points (124). Surgent has more than doubled her previous career-high for goals in a season, which was 21, and she’s already surpassed her career-high for assists in a season, which was 20. She now has 90 career goals and 60 career assists.
Field Hockey: Surgent sparks Wall field hockey past Freehold Township
Other players considered: Samantha Scire (Wall), Hanna Zarrilli (Wall), Lily Croddick (Rumson-Fair Haven), Bridy Molyneaux (Rumson-Fair Haven), Makenna Maguire (Rumson-Fair Haven), Kelsey O’Neill (Shore), Maggie Lamb (Shore), Jessica Welch (Shore), Annie Deusch (Shore), Madison Skeie (Southern), Keeley Winn (Southern), Zoe Sparks (Southern), Hailee Hallard (Middletown North).
Middletown North (12-7-1, 5-4-1)
The Lions clinched their first winning season since 2012 with a surprising 12 wins this year. They started the season winning six of their first eight games. Although the Lions had seven losses, only two of those losses were by more than three goals as they lost 4-0 to both Wall and Freehold, teams ranked in the Asbury Park Press top 10 all season long. Middletown North was awarded the No. 10 seed in the SCT and lost 3-0 to Freehold Township in a first round game. Middletown North was the No. 2 seed in the NJSIAA North 2 Group III bracket and the Lions defeated No. 7 seed Red Bank, 4-0, in the quarterfinals before losing to No. 3 seed Summit, 2-0, in the semifinals.
Other programs considered: Henry Hudson (14-4-1), Middletown North (12-7-1), St. John Vianney (9-6-3), Matawan (11-6-1), Lacey (10-8-1), Colts Neck (9-8-1), Pinelands (16-5).
Field Hockey: Wall upsets Rumson-Fair Haven in CJ2 Final
Tie: Wall (21-1, 12-0 Class B North Champions) and Rumson-Fair Haven (21-1, 12-0 Class A Central Champion).
The Wall and Rumson-Fair Haven field hockey teams had similar overall records, a similar head-to-head record and almost similar accomplishments. Both teams won a division title. Rumson-Fair Haven beat Wall on the way to winning the Shore Conference Tournament title. Wall beat Rumson-Fair Haven on the way to winning the NJSIAA Central Group II title. You can debate which title is more important, the SCT or an NJSIAA sectional title (could potentially be a state title), but what you can’t debate is that the Crimson Knights and the Bulldogs are two of the most talented teams in the Shore Conference this season.
Other teams considered: Shore (20-4), Freehold (13-2-2), Freehold Township (14-5-1), Southern (17-3).
Field Hockey: Shore Conference Standings as of Nov. 8
Program on the rise
Henry Hudson (14-4-1 overall, 8-2). Finished in second place in the Class B Central division
Over the last three years, it would be hard to find a program that has improved more than the Henry Hudson Admirals. Just two years ago, the Admirals were winless. Last year, they won eight games. This year, the Admirals won nine of their first 10 games to start the season and have only lost to solid field hockey programs like Shore (two times), Freehold (one time) and South Hunterdon (one time). Oh, Henry Hudson has nine shutouts this season and was the No. 12 seed in the Shore Conference Tournament. Head coach Vinnie Whitehead and assistant coach Joe Nappo have done a great job in turning around this program.
Other teams considered: Middletown North (12-7-1), St. John Vianney (9-6-3), Matawan (11-6-1), Lacey (10-8-1), Colts Neck (9-8-1), Pinelands (16-5).
Best Individual Performance
Makenna Maguire (Rumson-Fair Haven) scoring game-winning goal as time expires.
You have to go all the way back to Sep. 5 to find arguably the best individual performance in the Shore Conference this season. It was No. 1 Rumson-Fair Haven hosting No. 2 Shore Regional. Rumson-Fair Haven jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Shore rallied to tie it. And Rumson-Fair Haven sophomore midfielder Makenna Maguire was in the right place at the right time to score the game-winning goal as time expired. It was Maguire’s first game-winning goal of her career and it put the Bulldogs in motion to win 21 straight games, the Class A Central title and the Shore Conference Tournament title. Maguire had 18 goals and 15 assists this season.
Other players considered: Hanna Zarrilli (Wall), Madison Maguire (Rumson-Fair Haven), Jessica Welch (Shore), Annie Deusch (Shore), Emily Surgent (Wall), Lily Croddick (Rumson-Fair Haven), Samantha Scire (Wall), Madison Skeie (Southern).
Sherlon Christie: firstname.lastname@example.org
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