Girls Soccer – Central Regional Takes Over No. 1 as Tournament Upsets Shakes up the Shore 16
Girls Soccer Shore Sports Network Week 6 Shore 16
1. Central Regional (14-0) Previous Rank: 4 - The last remaining undefeated team in the Shore Conference, Central Regional won two overtime games in the Shore Conference Tournament to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 2013. Senior Emma Harmon has played like a Player of the Year candidate all season, leading the team with 17 goals and 9 assists. Central will play Middletown South Thursday at Summerfield Elementary School in Neptune.
2. Manalapan (9-2) Previous Rank: 1 - Manalapan went a full week without playing a game since defeating Freehold Township, then was upset by No. 17 seed Manasquan in the SCT round of 16, 2-1. Manalapan will regroup and prepare to return to the Central Jersey Group 4 finals once the state tournament starts.
3. Freehold Township (13-3) Previous Rank: 2 - After being defeated by Manalapan, Freehold Township won three straight, including their SCT opener against Trinity Hall, 3-0. In the quarterfinals, the Patriots were upset by No. 7 seed Middletown South, 2-1. Like Manalapan, Freehold Township will regroup next week and work to return to the Group 4 finals and defend their title.
4. Rumson-Fair Haven (10-3) Previous Rank: 6 - Rumson won seven straight before losing a tune-up game to No. 1 Central Regional, 2-1, before their SCT started. Rumson defeated No. 12 seed Brick Memorial, 4-1, in the second round, scoring four straight goals to advance into the quarterfinals. They will host No. 13 seed Howell on Monday at 6 p.m. If they win, they will play Manasquan on Thursday in the SCT semifinals at Summerfield Elementary School in Neptune.
5. Howell (8-5) Previous Rank: 9 - Howell has slowly moved back up the rankings after starting the season No. 3. The Rebels are one game away from returning to the SCT semifinals after defeating No. 21 seed Shore Regional, 3-0, in the opening round and followed that by defeating No. 4 Red Bank Catholic, 3-1. They scored three unanswered goals against RBC to advance into the quarterfinals. Howell will travel to play fifth-seeded Rumson on Monday at 6 p.m.
6. Middletown South (10-3-1) Previous Rank: 11 - One of the biggest movers this week in the Shore 16 poll, Middletown South moved back into the top 10 after winning their first two SCT games to get back into the SCT semifinals for first time since 2019. In the opening round, the Eagles defeated No. 10 seed Lacey, 3-0. In the second round they avenged their opening day loss and defeated No. 2 Freehold Township, 2-1. Middletown South will play the No. 3 seed and No. 1 team in the Shore Conference, Central Regional, on Thursday at Summerfield Elementary School in Neptune.
7. Wall (10-3-1) Previous Rank: 7 - Wall won its round-of-16 game in the SCT against No. 11 seed Toms River North, 4-0. Wall’s defense was able to shut down Mariners top scorer Alexis Garcia in the shutout win. The Crimson Knights dropped a close game to No. 3 seed Central Regional in overtime, 2-1. Wall outplayed Central for a majority of regulation, but came out flat in overtime and conceded the game-winner. Wall will prepare to defend its Central Jersey Group 2 title and return to the Group 2 finals.
8. Manasquan (11-3-1) Previous Rank: 13 - The biggest surprise of the SCT is Manasquan, which has advanced to the semifinals as the No. 17 seed. In the opening round, the Warriors defeated No. 16 seed Toms River East, 2-1. They trailed that game 1-0 late in the first half and scored two unanswered goals to advance. In the second round, they shocked the Shore Conference by defeating No. 1 Manalapan in overtime, 2-1. Sophomore Jordyn Hollawell scored the game winner for the Warriors on a breakaway. In the quarterfinals, Manasquan once again trailed, but this time it was later in the second half. They scored two unanswered goals against No. 8 seed Point Boro to advance to the SCT semifinals. Senior Rylie Rampone has scored a goal in each game this tournament, including the game winner in the quarterfinals. Manasquan will play the winner of No. 5 Rumson-Fair Haven and No. 13 Howell on Thursday at Summerfield Elementary School in Neptune.
9. Red Bank Catholic (10-2-2) Previous Rank 3 - After winning nine straight games, the Caseys have gone 1-2-2 in their last five. After having a bye in the first round of the SCT, they lost to No. 13 seed Howell, 3-1. RBC had a 1-0 lead and conceded three straight goals to Howell. RBC will now focus on a deep sectional run in Non-Public South Jersey Group A.
10. Point Pleasant Boro (11-1-2) Previous Rank 5 - Point Boro narrowly escaped their SCT round-of-16 game against No. 9 seed Jackson Memorial. After a scoreless 100 minutes, Point Boro advanced, 4-3, on penalty kicks in six rounds. In the quarterfinals, the Panthers fell to No. 17 seed Manasquan, 2-1. Point Boro scored the first goal in the 63rd minute but could not hold on. The Panthers will now prepare for a deep run in Central Jersey Group 2 where they hope to have a rematch with Manasquan.
11. Marlboro (6-4-2) Previous Rank: 10 - Marlboro won their opening round game in the SCT, defeating No. 19 seed Red Bank Regional, 3-0. Junior Carly Guzzardo scored a hat trick for the Mustangs and Jordyn Bauer picked up her fourth shutout of the season. In the second round, they lost in overtime to No. 3 seed Central Regional, 2-1. Marlboro will now prepare for the Central Jersey Group 4 state tournament.
12. Brick Memorial (9-4) Previous Rank: 8 - Brick Memorial's up-and-down season continued in the SCT. In the opening round, the Mustangs defeated No. 21 seed Colts Neck, 2-1. They did not score the game-winner until the 74th minute and held on to advance. In the second round, they gave up four unanswered goals to fall to No. 5 seed Rumson. Brick Memorial will prepare for a deep run in Central Jersey Group 3 after making it to the finals last season.
13. Trinity Hall (10-2-1) Previous Rank: 14 - Trinity Hall defeated No. 18 seed Toms River South, 1-0, in a defensive battle to open up the SCT. Junior Mary Catherine O’Connor scored the game-winner in the first half to help Trinity Hall advance into the second round. In the next round, the Monarchs fell to No. 2 seed Freehold Township, 3-0. Trinity Hall plays Kent Place on Wednesday and Edison on Friday as it prepares for the state tournament.
14. Jackson Memorial (9-5-1) Previous Rank: 15 - Jackson Memorial was eliminated from the SCT in heartbreaking fashion, losing in penalty kicks. The Jaguars battled No. 8 seed Point Boro to a 0-0 draw after 100 minutes and fell, 4-3, in penalty kicks. Jackson Memorial will now prepare for the Central Jersey Group 3 Tournament.
15. Ocean Township (8-4) Previous Rank: Not Ranked - Ocean has won five straight games, including the last two in the Shore Conference Coaches Cup to advance to the semifinals. In the second round, the Spartans defeated Neptune, 9-2. Junior Isabella Santucci scored a hat trick in that game and followed that with two goals in the quarterfinals against Southern in a 4-2 victory. Ocean will host on Thursday the winner of the No. 3 Middletown North and No. 11 St. Rose matchup, which is being played on Monday.
16. Manchester (7-7) Previous Rank: Not Ranked - Manchester enters the Shore 16 for the first time this season after defeating the No. 1 seed Point Beach in the Shore Coaches Cup second round. Trailing 2-0, Manchester scored four straight goals, two by freshman Madeline Nolan. Nolan scored the game-winner in the opening round against Raritan in a 2-1 victory. Manchester will travel on Thursday to play the winner of No. 4 Monmouth Regional and No. 5 St. John Vianney.