NJSIAA South Jersey Group Tournaments

Pinelands Regional Falls in First Round to Manasquan in Girls Soccer State Tourney

Nov 01, 2017
Photo by: David Biggy Sunni DiElmo of Pinelands delivers a penalty kick toward the goal during the Wildcats' 3-1 loss to Manasquan on Oct. 30.

Throughout the season, the Pinelands Regional girls soccer team had shown flashes of brilliance. In the first round of the NJSIAA South Jersey Group II tournament on Oct. 30, the Wildcats’ brilliance was tempered by Manasquan, as the 10th-seeded Warriors managed a 3-1 victory and ended Pinelands’ season.

“We knew before the game that Manasquan would play an offside trap, and we didn’t do a good job of recognizing when they set it up,” said coach Dawn Paget, whose seventh-seeded Wildcats finished with an 11-8 record. “When they put on that trap, we had five or six players offside, all the time, instead of having the outside midfielders run through. So that’s one of the lessons we learn from today.”

While the Warriors did a phenomenal job of limiting the Wildcats’ scoring chances – mainly because of the aforementioned offside trap – they countered very well with their own offensive spurts. Early on, Manasquan’s goalkeeper, Megan Kendall, made several decent saves. And once the Warriors got into a groove in their midfield, they pushed forward with relative ease, particularly to the outside.

With 32:52 left in the first half, Manasquan’s Sam Wanamaker ran onto a crossing pass from Molly Wierman and one-touched the ball into the lower right corner from 8 yards away to make it 1-0. The Wildcats had to climb a mountain from there. About 10 minutes later, Pinelands’ Sunni DiElmo dribbled through the defense and fired a shot from 14 yards out, but Kendall ran out to challenge DiElmo and kicked it away. Some 14 minutes later, DiElmo again worked her way into the penalty area and sent a shot on goal from 17 yards out, but it bounced off the crossbar and was cleared.

With 4:29 to go in the half, the Warriors made it a two-goal game. A hand ball in the penalty area provided Wierman with a penalty-kick opportunity, which she easily buried into the lower left corner.

Just over eight minutes into the second half, Wierman struck again, this time bending a shot from 30 yards away into the upper right corner, beyond Brenna DeVoe’s reach.

After DiElmo converted on a penalty kick with 30:31 to go, the Wildcats stepped up pressure on the Manasquan defense and consistently developed opportunities to score. However, either Kendall made saves or the ball was sent wide of the goal, and time ultimately ran out on Pinelands.

“We’re young and we have most of the girls coming back (next year),” Paget said. “At times this season, we’ve lacked the consistency from one game to the next, as well as confidence. And I think that will turn around for next year. The girls will get a year older and more experienced, and hopefully they’ll take care of business during the off season and work on getting stronger and becoming more technical in their skills.”

Southern, Barnegat Girls’
Seasons Come to End

While the Pinelands girls had their season end on Oct. 30, both the Southern Regional and Barnegat teams saw their seasons come to a conclusion, too.

The 15th-seeded squad in South Jersey Group IV, the Rams (7-11) took on second-seeded Kingsway and fell, 6-2. Megan Lockwood and Samantha Pawlik each delivered second-half goals, but the Dragons (14-2-2) had a 4-0 lead by halftime and cruised from there. The Rams managed 11 shots on Kingsway keeper Mauri Jackson.

Meanwhile, 16th-seeded Barnegat (6-12-1) had the unfortunate task of trying to beat the top seed in South Jersey Group II, Haddonfield, and was ousted, 5-0. Five different players scored for the Bulldogs (17-2-1), while the Bengals managed just two shots on goal.

All Boys Soccer Teams
Advance in State Tourney

In the first round of play for the boys soccer state tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 31, all three local squads were in action and managed to advance to the quarterfinals in their respective sections.

After taking a 3-2 lead in the first half, 11th-seeded Barnegat (9-10) made the one-goal margin stick during the second half, as the Bengals ousted sixth-seeded Cinnaminson. Kenny Frank headed in a corner from Corey Branz during the 16th minute to give the Bengals a 1-0 lead, before Chad Fraser made it a two-goal contest with a shot from about 40 yards away during the 18th minute. Cinnaminson tied the contest at 2-2, but Branz delivered the eventual game winner from just outside the 18-yard box with about four minutes left in the half.

The Bengals will face third-seeded West Deptford in the quarterfinals on Nov. 3.

In another exciting contest, 11th-seeded Southern (12-7-1) continued its season as well, when Ethan Leming scored off an assist from Joe Kiernan with about six minutes left in the second overtime, as the Rams bounced sixth-seeded Williamstown, 3-2, in South Jersey Group IV. Kiernan assisted Nico Leonard during the 23rd minute to give the Rams a 1-0 lead at the intermission.

After the Braves tied the game early in the second half, Leonard scored unassisted to give Southern a 2-1 lead with 18:46 to go. However, the Braves knotted the contest on a penalty kick with just over nine minutes left, eventually forcing a double overtime.

The Rams will play third-seeded Shawnee in the quarters on Nov. 3.

In the South Jersey Group III quarterfinals, third-seeded Pinelands (16-3-1) knocked off 14th-seeded Gloucester Tech, 3-1. John Hart, Aniello Lubrano and Anthony Diaz each scored goals, and Kieran Sundermann assisted on all three to lead the Wildcats.

Pinelands is matched with 11th-seeded Winslow in the quarterfinals on Nov. 3.

Wildcats Field Hockey

Falls Short

As the third-seeded team in the South Jersey Group II section, the Pinelands field hockey team had hoped to get a shot at high-powered and second-seeded Delsea this week. Unfortunately, sixth-seeded Sterling came to play on Oct. 26, knocking off the Wildcats with a 3-2 victory.

Skylar Callahan and Brianna Triebel popped in goals for the Wildcats (12-5). but it wasn’t enough, as the Knights received excellent play from goaltender Chy Jess, who made eight saves, and Jazmin Torres, who scored a pair of goals. Olivia Williams scored the other Sterling goal.

— David Biggy

biggy@thesandpaper.net

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