Girls Soccer – Ocean County Mounts Huge Comeback in All-Star-Game Draw
TINTON FALLS -- For the first 40 minutes of the Shore Conference Girls Soccer Senior All-Star Game Friday at the Capelli Sports Complex, the Monmouth County side showcased it dominance in the form of four unanswered goals.
In the second half, the Ocean County All-Star squad showed why the Shore Conference was so loaded in girls soccer this past fall: there were great players in two counties.
After Monmouth scored the first four goals of the game before halftime, Ocean closed out the match with a furious comeback to salvage a 4-4 draw in an All-Star game that puts a bow on an outstanding season in Shore Conference girls soccer.
Toms River North midfielder Jaime Girtain scored two of the second-half goals by Ocean County to lead the comeback and seize the game Most Valuable Player honors. Girtain scored the first goal of the rally and then added her second to cut the Monmouth County lead to 4-3.
Manchester's Nicole Trimarchi scored the game-tying goal with six minutes to go by bending in a corner kick from the left flag and skipping it into the far right corner of the net. Jackson Memorial's Victoria Pungello scored the third Ocean County goal.
The second-half outburst came out of nowhere following a first half dominated by the Monmouth County side. It took nearly 20 minutes, but Monmouth broke through on a one-time volley in front of the net by Rumson-Fair Haven forward Katie Aglione off a cross from Holmdel's Katie Vassilakos.
The floodgates opened from there, with Mater Dei Prep's Kate Braun extending the lead to 2-0 off a cross from Aglione.
After Aglione scored and assisted the first two goals, her Rumson-Fair Haven teammate Sam Cesario got in on the fun with consecutive goals, the first of which was assisted by Holmdel's Juliana Kolbasovsky.
The combination of Rumson and Holmdel was a mix of rivals during the season. Holmdel swept the two-game series, the first of which was a Class A Central divisional game and the second an NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II quarterfinal.
The Hornets went on to win the overall Group II championship, with Kolbasovsky scoring nine goals in six games to lead the charge.
Girtain, meanwhile, was a central player on Toms River North's 20-win team that reached the Shore Conference Tournament final and won the NJSIAA South Jersey Group IV championship for the first time since 2016. She scored six goals and eight assists on the season, including a goal and an assist in an SCT semifinal win over Red Bank Catholic.
With the first four goals of the game, Monmouth ran upped its streak of 11 unanswered goals, dating back to its 7-0 win over Ocean in the 2019 all-star game. Ocean's second-half reversed the trend of Monmouth's dominance with dominant 40 minutes of its own to even up the rejuvenated all-star series.