WALL TWP. - Wall junior Amy Paternoster had multiple chances during regulation to score the deciding goal in the Crimson Knights' Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinal game Monday against Toms River South.

In almost every case, Toms River South goalkeeper Taylor Dean did not cooperate, turning away shot after Wall shot.

The problem with that formula for the Indians is that the keeper only has to miss once and when Paternoster keeps getting chances, not many goalies stand a chance.

Nearly 85 full minutes of frustration ended when Paternoster ran onto a pass from fellow junior Meghan Corbran and slipped it past Dean, ending the struggle with a golden goal and giving the Crimson Knights a 1-0 win that propels them into Wednesday's SCT semifinal.

Amy Paternoster scored the golden goal Monday against Alex Holichork (right) and Toms River South. (Photo by Matt Manley)

"It was awesome to see it finally go in," Paternoster said. "I know we had a lot of opportunities before that. Meg Corbran played the ball over the top, I was running in and I did see the keeper come out. She had come out before and I sort of just read her movement. I saw her start to dive a little to my right, so I decided to hit it to the left and it went in."

During the course of regulation and the opening minutes of overtime, Dean saved three breakaway opportunities by Wall, one of which denied Paternoster in overtime. The junior striker also drilled the crossbar twice - once on an 18-yard shot from the left side of the box that hit the bar square and another on a shot from the top of the 18 that Dean deflected off the bar.

Wall's defense made the struggle for the first goal less anxious, as it has over the course of its dominant season. The Crimson Knights enjoyed a 19-4 advantage over the course of the game and senior goalkeeper Alex Panasuk saved the two shots that did reach the target.

"I know myself, my teammates and our coaches are all very confident in our defense," Paternoster said. "I know how strong they are and I know that they don't give up goals, so I think when it was golden goal, we weren't really concerned about the defense giving it up, because our back line hasn't given up much all year. We were pretty confident going into that overtime."

"I have a lot of faith in our defense and our offense had opportunities; their goalie just made a lot of good saves," Wall coach Mike Juska said. "Between regulation and overtime, I kind of called some players out and said, 'You're big-time players. Your need to score a big-time goal.' It was very fortunate that Amy was the one to step up and score a big goal for us."

After 85 more shutout minutes, Panasuk and the defense have not allowed a goal in more than 565 minutes - or seven full games. The shutout was the 16th of the year for Panasuk, who - along with her defense - has allowed just four goals all season.

Wall created one good chance in the first half, which Dean saved at the near left post. The Crimson Knights had trouble connecting in the final third against Toms River South's offsides trap.

"We had to start getting the ball up faster to take advantage of some of the space they were giving us," Juska said. "Really, we were looking to get the ball to one of our midfielders making a run, like when our defensive center midfielder Sarah Gordon made that one run and got a breakaway. That's sort of how we had to adjust and it worked pretty well."

"I think our midfielders just got used to playing the ball earlier and our forwards got used to stepping up with their back line," Paternoster said. "When you're playing against a team for 40 minutes, you have to get used to it eventually."

Monday's win sets up a semifinal showdown Wednesday at Central Regional High School between the top-seeded Crimson Knights and defending champion Colts Neck. The two teams - which played together in the Class B North division up until this season - have met in each of the last two conference tournaments, with Wall defeating Colts Neck in the 2014 championship and Colts Neck exacting revenge in last year's semifinal en route to its first ever championship

The Cougars drew the No. 5 seed in the tournament after playing most of the season without senior standout Frankie Tagliaferri, who played for the U.S. National team in the U-17 World Cup in Jordan earlier this month. After the U.S. was eliminated in pool play, Tagliaferri returned to her high school team and has since made a massive impact. In five games since her return, she has scored 14 goals - which leads the team - to go with four assists.

Paternoster has had a huge year in her own right, leading the undefeated Crimson Knights with 18 goals and 16 assists after scoring another goal on Monday.

"We are so excited to play them, especially since Frankie is back," Paternoster said. "We want to play them straight up when they have their full team, with Frankie. That's the way it should be. We're all really pumped."

Box Score

Wall 1, Toms River South 0 (OT)

1 2 OT F
Toms River South (11-4-2) 0 0 0 0
Wall (19-0) 0 0 1 1

Goal (Assist): Amy Paternoster (Meghan Corbran) 85'
Shots: Wall, 19-4
Saves: (TRS) Taylor Dean 11; (W) Alex Panasuk 2

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