TOMS RIVER – The multi-faceted offense of the Freehold Township girls soccer team was on display Thursday evening for the entire Shore Conference to behold.
The No. 2 seed Patriots had an incredible power surge in the second half when they scored four goals in about a 12-minute span that turned a relatively close Shore Conference Tournament semifinal game into a blowout.
Eventually, the Patriots defeated No. 6 seed Rumson-Fair Haven, 5-0, at Toms River High School North and subsequently advanced to Saturday’s 7 p.m. SCT Final at the Summerfield School in Neptune. The Patriots are in the SCT final for the first time since 2011, which was also the last time Freehold Township won the SCT.
“Today was probably one of the first close to a full 80 minutes of soccer that we’ve put together out there. It is a testament to the girls; it is a testament to how hard they’ve been working,” Freehold Township girls soccer coach Dave Patterson said. “There have been times we didn’t come out and play with the energy that we needed to play with, but today it was good to see the girls step up.”
Jasmine Colbert was the first to step up, coincidentally, via a header in the 28th minute as Caleigh Farrell provided the pass on the play. The Patriots (15-3-1) carried that 1-0 lead into halftime before exploding for four second-half goals that secured a spot in Saturday’s SCT final.
“(We had) great senior leadership (from players) like Nicole Whitley, Lacey Powell, Caleigh Farrell, and Kaela Chadzuitko,” Patterson said. “They’ve really been able to step up and control things and get the rest of the girls on the same page.”
And that resulted in Nicole Whitley (49th minute), Kiersten Reszkowski (51st minute), Victoria Coppa (59th minute) and Alyssa Reszkowski (61st minute) all scoring second-half goals for the Patriots while goalie Kaela Chadzuitko (three saves) kept the Rumson-Fair Haven offense off the scoreboard.
Rumson-Fair Haven’s Samantha Beaudreault made three saves.
Colts Neck 2, Wall 0: In the third minute, Amanda Visco sent a long pass out of the backfield, and Frankie Tagliaferri tracked it down and scored. In the 43rd minute, Tagliaferri assisted on a play from the left wing with a pass to Bridgette King for the goal. Colts Neck’s Lauren Feaster made four saves, and Wall’s Alex Panasuk made five saves. It was the third meeting between the Class B North rivals this season as Colts Neck won the regular-season games 4-3, in overtime and 1-0.
Colts Neck advanced to the SCT final for the second consecutive year, and the Cougars are seeking the first girls soccer SCT title in school history. Last year, Colts Neck lost 1-0 to Wall in the SCT Final.
“We just tell each other that as soon as we step on that field, it is game time,” Tagliaferri said. “We all have to do our individual jobs, and once that happens, we usually get a goal from it.”
Sherlon Christie: firstname.lastname@example.org