Shore Conference Tournament Round of 16 Preview and Predictions

No. 17 Manasquan at No. 1 Manalapan, 3:30 p.m.

Road to SCT

Manasquan (Group 7 Runner-up) 

Group Play: Defeated St. John Vianney, 2-1; defeated Ranney, 5-0; lost to Central, 4-1 

First Round: Defeated No. 16 Toms River East, 2-1

Manalapan (Group 6 Winner)

Group Play: Defeated Toms River East, 3-1; Defeated Ocean, 2--0; defeated Raritan, 6-0.

First Round: Bye

It took Manasquan 35 minutes to get going in the opening round, but the Warriors were finally able to play their style of soccer and defeated Toms River East on a penalty kick, 2-1. Manalapan has one of the best offenses in the Shore Conference, so Manasquan can not have the slow start it had against Toms River East. 

Manalapan is strong all over the pitch, senior Vanessa Sarf leads the team with nine goals from the forward position and senior Sydney Spilsbury has seven goals from the midfield. Those two have been one of the best duos over the last few seasons. Sophomore Leila Shaw has raised her play even higher from last season in goal and even though she is only a sophomore, she is experienced in the big-game matchups. 

Prediction: Manalapan 2, Manasquan 1


No. 9 Jackson Memorial at No. 8 Point Pleasant Boro, 3:15 p.m.

Road to SCT

Jackson Memorial (Group 3 Winner)

Group Play: Defeated Colts Neck, 2-1; defeated Donovan Catholic, 7-0; defeated Monmouth Regional, 1-0

First Round: Bye

Point Boro (Group 10 Winner)

Group Play: Defeated Holmdel, 3-0; defeated Matawan, 5-0; defeated Keyport, 6-0

First Round: Bye

Jackson Memorial was one of the hottest teams in the Shore Conference just a couple of weeks ago, winning 8 out of first first 9 games. Since then, they have dropped four out of five games, three of them by one goal. The Jaguars were shutout in all four of those losses and if they want to make a run in the SCT and states, they will need to find a way to put the ball in the goal. 

Point Boro went the regular season undefeated and only had one draw, which was opening day. The Panthers gave up four goals on opening day, which is the same amount they gave up the next 11 games. This will be the best defense the Panthers have faced all season and they will look to get senior Kyleigh Cilento involved early on the offensive end. 

Prediction: Point Boro 1, Jackson Memorial 0 (OT)


No. 12 Brick Memorial at No. 5 Rumson-Fair Haven, 3:45 p.m.

Road to SCT

Brick Memorial (Group 5 Runner-up)

Group Play: Lost Red Bank Catholic, 2-1; defeated Manchester, 6-0; defeated Middletown North, 3-0

First Round: Defeated No. 21 Colts Neck, 2-1

Rumson-Fair Haven (Group 9 Winner)

Group Play: Defeated Southern, 2-0; defeated Lakewood, 9-0; defeated Trinity Hall, 1-0

First Round: Bye

Brick Memorial narrowly escaped the first round, defeating No. 21 Colts Neck, 2-1. The Mustangs defense looked disorganized and forwards looked sluggish. One of the most experienced teams in the SCT, look for the Mustangs to get back to their style of soccer and use the first round as a wake-up call.

Rumson is one of the hottest teams entering the SCT, winning seven games in a row, including three against ranked opponents. Junior transfer Aubrey Scoble has found her spot for Rumson, scoring four goals in the last three division games. The Bulldog defense will be tested by the Brick Memorial speed on the front line and Katie Hennen will look to anchor the backline and limit the shots on goalie Katie Walls. 

Prediction: Brick Memorial 2, Rumson 1


No. 13 Howell at No. 4 Red Bank Catholic, 3:45 p.m.

Road to SCT

Howell (Group 8 Runner-up)

Group Play: Lost Wall, 3-2 (OT); Defeated Long Branch, 6-0; defeated Jackson Liberty, 8-0

First Round: Defeated No. 20 Shore Regional 3-0

Red Bank Catholic (Winner Group 5)

Group Play: Defeated Brick Memorial, 2-1; defeated Middletown North, 3-2 (OT); defeated Manchester, 8-0

First Round: Bye 

Howell played one of the hardest schedules in the regular season and will hope that prepared the team to return to the SCT Finals for the second straight year. Senior Jade Vieira will look to get the ball to Ashley Smith on the outside or freshman Mackenzie Memmolo, who has team high eight goals, up top to put pressure on the tough RBC defense.

RBC has one of the strongest backlines in the Shore Conference and first-year starter Cailin Naughton has stepped up every time the Caseys needed her to in goal. RBC will look for senior Mya King and sophomore Paige Foye to put pressure early on the Rebel defense and force Howell to play from behind. 

Prediction: Howell 2, RBC 2; Howell advances on penalty kicks


No. 14 Marlboro at No. 3 Central Regional, 6 p.m.

Road to SCT

Marlboro (Group 2 Runner-up) 

Group Play: Defeated Pinelands, 8-0; Draw Toms River North, 1-1; defeated St. Rose, 6-0

First Round: Defeated No. 19 Red Bank Regional, 3-0

Central Regional (Group 7 Winner)

Group Play: Defeated St. John Vianney, 3-2 (OT); defeated Ranney, 9-0; defeated Manasquan, 4-1

First Round: Bye

Marlboro will look to come out like it did in the opening-round victory against No. 19 Red Bank Regional. The Mustangs will work the ball to junior Carly Guzzardo, who scored a hat trick in the opening round, to put pressure on Central Regional’s defense. Marlboro will want to limit the shots freshman goalie Jordyn Bauer, who has been one of the best in the Shore Conference, has to save.

Central Regional has one of the best offenses in the Shore Conference and has multiple players who can put the ball in the net. Seniors Emma Harmon (15 goals, 8 assists), Arianna Chidiac (8 goals, 9 assists), and Samantha Versnal (6 goals, 6 assists), can all put it in the net. 

Prediction: Central 3, Marlboro 2 (OT)


No. 11 Toms River North at No. 6 Wall, 3 p.m.

Road to SCT

Toms River North (Group 2 Winner)

Group Play: Defeated St. Rose, 6-0; Draw Marlboro, 1-1 (Double OT); defeated Pinelands 6-0

First Round: Defeated No. 22 Holmdel, 1-0

Wall (Group 8 Winner)

Group Play: Defeated Howell, 3-2 (OT); defeated Jackson Liberty, 6-1; defeated Long Branch, 7-1

First Round: Bye

Toms River North got a remarkable performance in goal from senior Brielle Bell, who had to make saves from point-blank range down the stretch in the second half of a first-round win over Holmdel. The Mariners will need to slow Wall’s attackers down on the outside, which they struggled to do at times against Holmdel in the opening round. Senior Alexis Garcia is one of the most dangerous players in the state with her ability to score from outside or use her speed and foot skills to get inside the box.

Wall is one of the more complete teams in the Shore Conference, with strong players on all levels of the field. Senior Aileen Carr has been anchoring the defense since she was a freshman and the Knights have two veteran goalies in Saige Santa Cruz and Nelly Bianchi. Wall will look to use Madison Miller and Megan Farrell’s speed up front to put pressure on the TRN defense. The wild card will be if junior Erynn Richey is cleared to play. Her free kicks, either from the corner or just inside midfield, have been the consistent all season. 

Prediction: Wall 2, Toms River North 0


No. 15 Trinity Hall at No. 2 Freehold Township, 3:30 p.m.

Road to SCT

Trinity Hall (Group 9 Runner-up) 

Group Play: Defeated Lakewood, 7-0; lost Rumson-Fair Haven, 1-0; defeated Southern, 2-0

First Round: Defeated No. 18 Toms River South, 1-0

Freehold Township (Group 1 Winner)

Group Play: Defeated Shore Regional, 4-0; defeated Brick Township, 4-0; defeated Barnegat, 8-1

First Round: Bye

Trinity Hall has one of the best defenses in the conference, only conceding three goals all season, but they have not faced an offensive like Freehold Township. The Monarchs will need someone to fill the role of senior Kaylin McCarthy, who is out the rest of the season due to injury. McCarthy has been an important piece on the offensive end with eight goals. 

Freehold Township will start its march for a three-peat in the Shore Conference Tournament and look to regain its No. 1 ranking in the Shore. Junior Danielle Howard has stepped up as another weapon for the Patriots, scoring eight goals and adding 10 assists. Ashley Moore has proven she can handle the pressure in goal in every big game she has been in. 

Prediction: Freehold Township 3, Trinity Hall 0


SCT Round-of-16 Final from Wednesday

No. 7 Middletown South 3, No. 10 Lacey 0 


Amanda McGregor struck for two goals in the first half and Bea Tinoco added an exclamation mark with a goal in the second to lead the Eagles to a shutout win over the Lions. Middletown South will play the winner of Thursday's game between No. 2 Freehold Township and No. 15 Trinity Hall.


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