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By Liz Matakevich
Shore Sports Network Contributor

NEPTUNE - There may be a new coach at the helm, but the Red Bank Catholic girls soccer team showed it has the same resiliency and ability to capitalize in close scoring games as it did during its recent championship years.

Behind another one-goal win, the sixth-seeded Caseys defeated tournament Cinderella and No. 13 Central Regional 1-0 to win the Shore Conference Tournament championship at Memorial Field Saturday night.

Red Bank Catholic players surround senior Grace Correll as she hoists the Shore Conference Tournament championship trophy. (Photo by Cliff Lavelle)

The victory gave the Caseys their sixth overall SCT title and first since 2010, the last of three consecutive championships.

“It’s really gratifying to come here in my first year as head coach with my girls getting a championship in this tournament,” first-year Red Bank Catholic head coach Frank Lawrence said. “They have a tradition of winning here and they have built themselves into a great team.”

Red Bank Catholic waited patiently for almost two full halves with chance after chance to end the scoreless drought. In the 76th minute their patience was finally rewarded when Grace Correll took a touch off a defender and blasted a left-footed shot as she fell down in front of the net off the cross from Kelly Jacoby, knocking it in the back of the net to give them the 1-0 lead.

[onescreen item="5158113"]“It felt amazing to get that goal for my team,” Correll said. “Kelly (Jacoby) made a great cross to me and I was able to get the shot off before falling down and I just watched from the ground until I saw the ball cross that line.”

The victory was the Caseys’ 10th 1-0 victory on the season and 15th straight since a 2-2-2 start. It was also the 14th shutout for goalkeeper Jackie Robinson and the RBC defense.

“It just seems like that’s the way we win games,” Lawrence said. “Even though we dominated and hit posts and shots wide it was just one of those things where we couldn’t get that goal in but you figure eventually someone was going to get that goal for us and Grace is a great goal scorer.”

Red Bank Catholic celebrates the game's lone goal by Grace Correll (3) in the 76th minute. (Photo by Cliff Lavelle)

Defense was a key factor in keeping the game scoreless during the first half. The Caseys outshot the Golden Eagles in the first half 9-2, with seemingly every shot taking an unlucky bounce off the post or cross bar.

Correll beat a defender in the backfield in the 17th minute to catch Mahnkin off guard in the net, striking an open shot that Mahnkin punched away. Jacoby was waiting for the rebound shot that she bounced off the post and out of bounds. Correll would get another chance right away to finish in the 21st minute, but the ball bounced off the post and out of harm’s way.

“I hit the cross bar and the post in two of my shots during the game but I just didn’t let myself get down about it, I knew our chance was going to come eventually if we just kept at it.” Correll said.

Central’s only two chances in the first half were off a shot in the seventh minute by Erin Trapp and off a corner by Elizabeth Kroon that swayed toward the left crossbar and out of bounds in the 10th minute. The Golden Eagles wouldn’t get another scoring opportunity until the 68th when multiple Central players bunched in front of the net to try to get a shot past Robinson, who ended the threat as she covered the ball in the box.

Red Bank Catholic outshot Central 11-5, with Robinson making four saves for the Caseys while Mahnkin made seven for the Golden Eagles.

Central junior Amanda Carolan, who had been huge for her team the entire tournament with seven goals in the first four games, was covered tightly the entire game by Amanda Kasten, who prevented the junior striker from scoring her 29th goal of the season.

“This is two games in a row where we had to shut down a big time scorer,” Lawrence said. “I said to Kasten this is just like deja vu. Just come out and do what you did the last game and that is a kid who is just physically and mentally tough and she was able to shut Carolan down the entire game, which was huge.”

After Correll’s goal in the 76th minute, the Golden Eagles tried to create quick opportunities to score but couldn’t get a shot on the goal. Erin Trapp got her foot on a corner kick on the ground in the final seconds, but her shot sailed over the crossbar. Seconds later, the Caseys celebrated the championship they have been waiting for since 2010.

[onescreen item="5158114"]“It’s such an accomplishment to finally get this championship as a senior with my team after winning in my freshman year,” forward Liz Thoresen said. “We were just thinking all day about how much we wanted it so it is a relief to finally come away being champions after being here so many times.”


Box Score

Red Bank Catholic 1, Central 0




Central (15-2)




Red Bank Catholic (17-2-2)




Goals (Assists): Correll (Jacoby) 76’
Shots: Red Bank Catholic, 11-5
Saves: (C) Mahnken 7; (RBC) Robinson 4