OFFICIAL 2015 SCT FIELD HOCKEY SEEDS
(The top 6 seeds get byes)
1. Rumson-Fair Haven (bye) (14-0)
2. Southern (bye) (15-0)
3. Shore (bye) (13-3)
4. Wall (bye) (15-0)
5. Freehold (bye) (9-0)
6. Jackson Memorial (bye) (11-1-1)
7. Freehold Township (7-4)
8. Central (9-3-2)
9. Ocean (10-4-1)
10. Middletown North (9-4-1)
11. Jackson Liberty (10-3)
12. Henry Hudson (10-2)
13. St. John Vianney (8-2-2)
14. Pinelands (10-3)
15. Middletown South (5-6-1)
16. Lacey (7-6-1)
17. Toms River South (7-5)
18. Raritan (7-6-3)
19. Manasquan (6-6-1)
20. Point Boro (8-6-1)
21. St. Rose (5-5-2)
22. Long Branch (8-7)
Saturday, Oct. 17
(11) Jackson Liberty 1, (22) Long Branch 0
(17) Toms River South 2, (16) Lacey 0
(14) Pinelands 4, (19) Manasquan 1
(13) St. John Vianney 3, (20) Pt. Boro 0
(12) Henry Hudson 1, St. Rose (21) St. Rose 0
(15) Middletown South 3, (18) Raritan 0
Monday, Oct. 19
(1) Rumson-Fair Haven 8, (17) Toms River South 0
(8) Central 2, (9) Ocean 1
(5) Freehold 2, (12) Henry Hudson 0
(4) Wall 9, (13) St. John Vianney 0
Tuesday, Oct. 20
(7) Freehold Township 3, (10) Midd. North 0
(3) Shore 8, (14) Pinelands 0
(2) Southern 3, (10) Middletown South 1
(11) Jackson Liberty 1, (6) Jackson Memorial 1
Jackson Liberty wins 3-1 on penalty strokes.
Thursday, Oct. 22
(4) Wall 2, (5) Freehold 1 (OT)
(1) Rumson-Fair Haven 11, (8) Central 0
(3) Shore 8, (11) Jackson Liberty 0
(7) Freehold Township 1, (2) Southern 0
Saturday, Oct. 24
(1) Rumson-Fair Haven 3, (4) Wall 0
(3) Shore 1, (7) Freehold Township 0
*DATE AND TIME CHANGE*
Thursday, Oct. 29
at Holmdel High School
(1) Rumson-Fair Haven vs (3) Shore, 6:30 p.m.
The 2015 field hockey Shore Conference Tournament was seeded on Oct. 14, and the field hockey SCT committee had a difficult task this year because four undefeated teams exist this year.
Those teams are Rumson-Fair Haven (14-0), Southern (15-0), Wall (15-0) and Freehold (9-0). and after discussing and voting. here is what the committee decided: Rumson-Fair Haven, the defending SCT champion, was awarded the No. 1 seed, Southern got the No. 2 seed, Wall was picked as the No. 4 seed, and Freehold was selected as the No. 5 seed.
In all, 22 Shore Conference teams made this year’s tournament, which will start on Oct. 17 with preliminary-round games.
The top 6 seeds — Rumson-Fair Haven, Southern, No. 3 seed Shore, Wall, Freehold and No. 6 seed Jackson Memorial — get the automatic bye into Monday or Tuesday’s first-round games, while No. 7 seed Freehold Township will challenge No. 10 seed Middletown North and No. 8 seed Central will face No. 9 seed Ocean in first-round games next week.
So after looking over the seeds, here are three takeaways to think about as the tournament begins.
1. The most intriguing preliminary-round game is … No. 17 Toms River South (7-5) at No. 16 Lacey (7-6-1). The Class A South rivals have split their regular-season series, with Toms River South winning, 2-1, on Sept. 11 and with Lacey winning the rematch, 2-1, on Oct.1. And their division records are close, too, as Lacey went 6-4-1 in the division and Toms River South went 7-5 in the division. Lacey comes into this game winning two of its last three games while Toms River South while Toms River South has won three of its last four games. Lacey’s leading scorer is Emily Dezendorf with eight goals and five assists, while Marissa Ilaria has five goals and five assists, and Carly Chimenti has made 81 saves. Meanwhile, Toms River South’s leading scorer is Jennifer Toal with 12 goals and five assists, while Hannah Claus had two goals and three assists, and Nina Shirey has made 62 saves. This game is almost too close to call, but given that Lacey is the home team for this game and won the most recent meeting between the squads, which was also the Lions’ home game in the series, the Lions have the slight advantage to win this game. THE PICK: Lacey, 2-1.
2. This year’s sleeper team is … Let’s throw out the undefeated teams and the teams seeded in the top six spots, because if you were seeded that high, you can’t be a sleeper. Now let’s look at the teams seeded in the 7-10 range, because that’s usually where your sleeper teams reside. A word of caution: The top part of the SCT bracket is loaded this year, so any potential sleeper team probably isn’t winning more than one game in the tournament because it’ll eventually run into one of the undefeated teams or a proven SCT contender like Shore Regional. With that said, this year Freehold Township looks like the 2015 SCT sleeper team. The Patriots (7-4) were ranked No. 4 in the preseason and then eventually fell out of the top 10 but rebounded to get the No. 7 seed in the SCT. Their four losses this season were to No. 15 seed Middletown South (5-6-1), No. 5 seed Freehold (9-0), No. 4 seed Wall (15-0) and No. 1 seed Rumson-Fair Haven (14-0). They made that incredible run to the 2014 SCT semifinals, so they have the experience and the talent to try to do that again.
3. Will we see the game of the year in the SCT? If the SCT tournament goes chalk, that potential game of the year could be No. 4 seed Wall vs. No. 5 seed Freehold in the quarterfinals, or No. 2 seed Southern vs. No. 3 seed Shore in the semifinals, or No. 1 seed Rumson-Fair Haven vs. either No. 4 seed Wall or No. 5 seed Freehold in the semifinals, or No. 1 seed Rumson-Fair Haven vs. either No. 2 seed Southern or No. 3 seed Shore in the SCT final. All four hypothetical showdowns have the potential to be one-goal regulation victories or even overtime thrillers, or maybe we might see penalty strokes. But if one game had to be circled, the nod probably goes to Wall vs. Freehold, which would be a battle of undefeated teams and two teams hungry to get back to the SCT final. Wall hasn’t been there since 2009 and hasn’t won the SCT since 1991. Freehold hasn’t been there since 2013 and has never won the SCT. There also had to be a great debate at the SCT meeting over which team deserved the No. 4 seed over the other, since they were both undefeated and had similar season resumes.
Sherlon Christie: email@example.com