Get our free mobile app

A whopping eight girls soccer teams from the Shore Conference opened the season ranked among the top 20 teams in New Jersey, according to NJ Advance Media, and two of them opened their individual seasons Thursday against one another in a key early divisional match-up.

Freehold Township - ranked No. 8 in the state - handled No. 20 Manalapan, 5-0, to surge out of the gate and strike the first blow in the Shore Conference Class A North division race.

PHOTO GALLERY: Manalapan at Freehold Twp. by Tom Smith

Freehold Township sophomore Cassidy Corcione. (Photo by Tom Smith |

The Patriots' young talent was on display in the opener, with underclassmen accounting for all five goals. Freshman Gaby Parker turned in a memorable high-school debut with two goals, while sophomores Cassidy Corcione, Hailey Santiago and Ainsley Moy each added one.

Corcione assisted the first two goals of the game, which were scored by her two classmates. Moy struck in the 10th minute, followed by Santiago in the 29th. Santiago then returned the favor by assisting Corcione for a goal in the 33rd to make it 3-0.

Parker then joined the party with a goal just seconds before halftime to give the Patriots a 4-0 lead going into the break, with fellow freshman Danielle Howard setting up the goal. The freshman then scored again just three minutes into the second half off a feed from sophomore Shea Jackson.

Freehold Township freshman Gaby Parker. (Photo by Tom Smith |

Freehold Township opened the season with only two seniors in the starting XI, with both Lexi Konstantinidis and Kelsey Gilroy playing on the back line. On the flip side, there are three freshmen in the starting lineup: Parker, Howard and goalkeeper Ashley Moore, who saved four shots Thursday to pick up a shutout in her first high school game.

Freehold Township sophomore Hailey Santiago, flanked by teammate Sophie Tonino and guarded by Manalapan's Sydney Spilsbury (9) and Carlyn Deaver (1). (Photo by Tom Smith |
Township sophomore Ainsley Moy shadowed by Manalapan's Lillian Piper (26) and Arianna Kelly. (Photo by Tom Smith |