Eagles have a division crown in their sights

first_img BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer Middletown High School South field hockey headed into this week needing to win one of its two games to capture the Shore Conference Class B North crown. Coach Bill LaFalce’s Eagles, 8-3-1 on the campaign, were slated to visit Neptune yesterday and visit Holmdel this afternoon. Middletown South downed Neptune 1-0 in the teams’ first meeting and lost a one-goal game to Holmdel. The Lions don’t exactly roar offensively with just 15 goals in 12 matches, but they find ways to win thanks to a defense that has yielded only nine goals. Junior goalie Kelly Harris has been outstanding, compiling seven shutouts to go with a 0.75 goals against average. “It seems like every game has been a one-goal game,” LaFalce said. “Our offense has been inconsistent at times, but they’re starting to put things together. If we can score a few more goals, particularly when the tournaments start, that will take some of the pressure off our defense and make us a very tough team to beat.” Middletown South’s strength on the field is in the middle where senior Maura Jane McCall teams with juniors Amy Knudsen and Brittany Murray for a formidable threesome. McCall leads the team with six goals, while Knudsen and Murray have helped control the tempo. Junior fullbacks Samantha Levinson and Samantha Rohlander have played well in front of Harris, and Beth McLaughlin, a freshman, has stepped in as sweeper and played well. The Lions have already qualified for the Shore Conference Tournament and are all but in for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III tourney. With six games remaining before the Oct. 24 cut-off, Middletown South needs just a win or a tie to qualify. Teams must be at .500 or better to qualify. “We have our sights set high,” LaFalce said. “We have three of the best midfielders in the Shore, and our defense gets the job done. This team is capable of playing with the best, and they’ll get their chance in the tourneys. First things first though. We’re not looking beyond this week. We want the conference.” Notes… While the Eagles’ postseason bids are all but locked up, a trio of local teams have their work cut out for them if they hope to be at the .500 mark at the Oct. 24 cut-off. The St. John Vianney Lancers entered Monday’s game with Red Bank regional in desperate need of a win at 4-5-1, and have just two scheduled games left before the Oct. 24 cut-off (Neptune and Ocean). SJV needs to win two of three to qualify for the tournament. The Holmdel Hornets entered yesterday’s game with Monmouth Regional at 7-5, and will take on Middletown South today. From there, they have two scheduled games remaining before the cut-off (Manasquan and Rumson), needing just one win in four games to assure themselves of a state tournament bid. Keyport, at 5-5-1 entering yesterday’s game with Henry Hudson, has three games left before the cut-off and needs a pair of wins to secure a spot. BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer last_img read more