After Seven Straight Wins, Southern Regional Field Hockey Team Edged By Shore Regional

Sep 27, 2017

While scoring six shutouts during its first seven games, the Southern Regional field hockey team outscored its opponents, 36-1. On Sept. 20, the Rams not only allowed twice as many goals as they had for the season to that point, they also tasted defeat for the first time this season, dropping a tight, 2-1 contest to perennial conference power Shore Regional.

Goaltender Maddie Leyh made 13 saves against the Blue Devils, but second-half goals by Lily Santi and Maggie Lamb were enough. Brooke Little scored the Rams’ only goal off an assist from Maitland Demand, also during the second half. Despite the loss, coach Jenna Lombardo’s squad has been incredible during its first nine games of the season – the Rams bounced right back on Sept. 21 to oust Brick Memorial, 5-1. Leyh has had to make just 12 saves during the other eight games thus far.

Now 8-1 overall and outscoring their opponents 42-4 heading into this week’s action, the Rams were scheduled to take on Shore Conference Class A South rival Toms River North on Tuesday, Sept. 26, to see which team would take the division lead as October approached.

Against Brick Memorial, Demand scored four of her team-leading 13 goals, while Ruby Ramales added the other goal and Emily Raylman gave out a pair of assists as the Rams jumped out to a 3-0, first-half lead and never looked back. In a 2-0 victory over Brick on Sept. 18, Erika Barbera, who has seven goals on the season, and Kait Conroy each buried goals while Demand and Ramales delivered assists. Sam Minafo, who scored once in a 5-0 rout of Freehold Township on Sept. 16, is second on the team in goals scored with eight.

Meanwhile, at Pinelands Regional, the Wildcats bounced back with a 3-0 victory over Barnegat on Sept. 20 after getting thumped by Shore, 9-2, on Sept. 16. Pinelands scored twice in the first half and once in the second en route to the shutout of the Bengals. With the win, the Wildcats improved to 4-2 overall and 4-0 in the Class B South division.

Brianna Suralik scored one of her team-leading seven goals, while Rachel Papernik, who is tied with Suralik for the team lead in goals, and Sarah Keady added the others, and goaltender Julia Kline needed just two saves to maintain the shutout. Patricia Tanola had 12 saves for Barnegat.

The Bengals won a 2-1 decision over division foe Manchester on Sept. 21, then fell to Brick, 2-0, on Sept. 25.

Against the Hawks, Brooke West scored the game-winner in overtime on an assist from Shannon Schiverea, who carried the ball down the right side of the field and crossed the ball over to West, who buried it into the cage. Schiverea gave the Bengals (4-5) the lead just over 11 minutes into the first half with an unassisted goal. Manchester forced overtime when Joy Sodon scored with 1:14 to go.

Against the Green Dragons on Monday, the Bengals forced goaltender Casey Paxton to make four saves but couldn’t put the ball in the cage, while Tanola helped keep Barnegat close by making nine saves. Brick scored both of its goals in the first half.

David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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