Girls Soccer Shore Conference Tournament and Coaches Cup Saturday Scoreboard, Oct. 14
Shore Conference Tournament
No. 7 Middletown South 2, No. 2 Freehold Township 1
Junior Natalie Percello scored two goals to give Middletown South a 2-0 lead and their defense was able to shut down the Freehold Township offensive to hang on to a 2-1 victory and advance into the Shore Conference semifinals for first time since 2019.
Percello’s first goal came in the first half from 25 yards out, hitting the bottom of the crossbar and dropping in. Her second goal came in the second half, when she put the rebound in off an initial shot from sophomore Bea Tinoco.
“We are so proud of Natalie, the effort she put in today and the composure she had on the ball and in the box for both goals,” Middletown South coach Megan Barry said. “She is growing in confidence every game she plays this season. She takes this sport and her goals very seriously and it is paying off.”
Freehold Township scored in the second half to make it 2-1 with 28 minutes left to play. Junior Gaby Parker poked in a goal off senior Shea Jackson’s corner kick. The Patriots continued to apply pressure, but Middletown South’s defense would not concede the equalizer.
“I told them to follow the plan and stick to it for 80 straight minutes,” Barry said. “I told them to believe in themselves and play for each other and most importantly have fun with the opportunity we have earned for ourselves.”
Senior Allie Greco, who missed the last two weeks due to injury, returned in goal for Middletown South showed no rust in net while making several tough saves throughout the game.
"Emma (Verticchio) has been great for us over the last few games, but Allie is someone who has been in net for us almost every single game over the last few seasons," Barry said. "Having respect and trust in her gives our team the confidence we need all throughout the field."
Middletown South will play No. 3 Central Regional on Thursday at Summerfield Elementary School in Neptune.
No. 3 Central Regional 2, No. 6 Wall 1 (OT)
After coming close to scoring the winning goal during the second half, senior Arianna Chidiac scored the golden goal in the 87th minute to put Central Regional into the Shore Conference semifinals for the first time since 2013 with a 2-1 victory.
Chidiac had a chance in the 54th minute to put Central Regional on top, but her blast just missed hitting the crossbar. In overtime, Chidiac took possession of a ball that Wall could not clear just inside the 18 yard-line and blasted it in the top of the net.
“That is who she is, she is a fighter,” Central coach Marykate Sullivan said of Chidiac. “She got upset in the first half and I told her we need her and to keep her head. She works so hard I am so happy for her.”
Central Regional struck first when Emma Harmon was giving some space and sent a blast from 35 yards out into the top corner. Central Regional struggled to produce good chances after that goal for the rest of the first half.
Wall scored the equalizer in the 27th minute off a free kick from junior Erynn Richey, who returned from injury. She served the ball into the box and junior Sam Brett knocked it into the net.
Richey showed why she is one of the most dangerous players in the Shore Conference on set pieces, giving Wall several chances in the second half to score, but Central’s defense stepped up and cleared the ball every time.
Once overtime started, Central took control from the opening whistle, keeping the ball down in the offensive end until Chidiac scored the game-winner.
“In our last game, we also went into overtime so she (Sullivan) wanted us to come out twenty times stronger,” Chidiac said. “It feels great making it to the semifinals but our job is not over yet.”
Central will play No. 7 Middletown South on Thursday at Summerfield Elementary School in Neptune.
No. 17 Manasquan 2, No. 8 Point Boro 1
For the first time in school history, the Manasquan girls soccer team advanced to the Shore Conference semifinals and did so with a goal for the ages.
Rylie Rampone, the daughter of former U.S. National Team star and Point Boro alum Christie Rampone, scored the game-winning goal on a header in the 74th minute to send her Warriors to the Shore final four for the first time ever, with her mother looking on from the Manasquan sideline.
Christie Rampone starred for Point Boro as Christie Pearce before going on to play at Monmouth University and, eventually, the national team. She is widely considered to be the best women's player to ever come out of the Shore Conference.
Rylie made her mark at her mom's old stomping grounds on Saturday when she headed in a free kick from senior Renee Herbert to break the 1-1 tie. Herbert sent the ball into the box and Rampone got her head on the ball to change its direction toward empty part of the goal.
“I will never score as many goals as my mom, but I am going to claim that she never scored a game-winning header,” Rampone said. “I am lucky to be part of a team that never gives up and creates for each other.”
Herbert tied the game in the 68th minute on a penalty kick that was awarded for a hand ball call. Herbert buried the shot past Panthers goalkeeper Ava Bjorndahl, who made several great saves throughout the game.
Point Boro scored first on a free kick from just outside the box. Senior Kyleigh Cilento took a shot that goalie Gia Restivo could not hold onto and it crossed just over the goal line. Just like the win over Toms River East, Manasquan was able to take control after the goal and applied pressure on the Point Boro defense.
Saturday's game was the second time in this year's tournament Manasquan has come back from trailing, 1-0. The first was in the opening round against No. 16 Toms River East.
“Just like I said to them against Toms River East,” Manasquan coach Bailey Price said. “I told them to work hard, work smart and work together. There were moments in the first half where I thought we were starting to turn on each other. I told them, do not be that team and that you guys need each other and can not do this alone.”
Manasquan will play Thursday against the winner of the final quarterfinal game between No. 5 Rumson-Fair Haven and No. 13 Howell, scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m.
Shore Conference Coaches Cup
No. 9 Manchester 4, No. 1 Point Beach 2
Manchester upset No. 1 seed Point Beach in the quarterfinals, 4-2, to advance into the Shore Coaches Cup semifinals. Freshman Madeline Nolan scored two goals and assisted on another to lead the Hawks. Sophomore Madison Cubbison scored her eighth goal of the season for Manchester.
No. 2 Ocean Township 4, No. 10 Southern 2
Junior Isabella Santucci scored two goals to lead Ocean into the semifinals of the Shore Coaches Cup. Santucci has five goals in the tournament, raising her season total to 15. Freshman Mia Fiorentino scored a goal and assisted on another for the Spartans.