Girls Soccer – Middletown North Tops St. John Vianney to Win Shore Coaches Cup Championship
NEPTUNE -- In what was a back-and-forth game for the first 55 minutes, third-seeded Middletown North took control and scored two goals within two minutes of one another to defeat No. 5 St. John Vianney, 2-0, to win the 2023 Shore Conference Coaches Cup Championship.
The Malanda sisters, senior Kelly and junior Jayme scored the goals for the Lions.
The best scoring chance in the first half came when SJV was awarded a penalty kick after Middletown North goalkeeper Lorlai Davis was called for taking down an SJV forward in the box. Davis made a diving save on Madison Pieloch's shot to force a corner kick for SJV and the Lions defense was able to clear the ball out of danger.
“I was trying to position a little far to my left so she would take it to the right,” Davis said. “When I saw her line up almost directly with the ball I knew she was going to go right so I went that way as hard as I could.”
In the 56th minute, Jayme Malanda took a pass from senior Maddy Curcio and put the shot past SJV goalkeeper Katie Buffalino. Two minutes later, Kelly Malanda took control of a ball that bounced around inside the box and put it in the lower corner.
“Jayme wants to win, Jayme is tough,” Middletown North coach Fred Napoli said. “She works very hard at both practice and on the field. Her sister Kelly has been doing such a great job and working so hard, but hasn’t been scoring. Today she got her goal that was great.”
Middletown North’s defense helped Davis earn her second straight shutout, clearing the ball out on several occasions when Davis left the line.
“The five girls that have been playing in the back have been doing a really good job and getting better and better,” Napoli said. “It is nice that at this time of the season they are getting better and showing what they can do. Jayden (Yerves) has been a really good safety net for us in that sweeper/center back position.”