Girls Soccer – Shore Sports Network’s Top 5 Games of 2023
Shore Sports Network Top 5 Games
Below is a list of the top five games I saw live during the regular season and postseason.
1. Central Jersey Group 1 Final: No. 3 Point Beach defeats No. 5 Shore Regional in overtime, 4-3.
In what might have been the most exciting game of the season, Point Beach came back from a 3-1 deficit to defeat Shore Regional in overtime, 4-3. Junior Sydney Zylinski scored the equalizer with 2:17 left in regulation off a corner kick by freshman Katie Kirchner. Kirchner would also have the assist on Baileigh Johnson’s golden goal with 2:17 left in the first overtime to give Point Beach their second straight Central Jersey Group 1 title.
2. Shore Conference Tournament Semifinal: No. 7 Middletown South defeated No. 3 Central Regional, 1-0.
Middletown South scored the game's lone goal early in the first half and was able to hand Central Regional their only shutout loss of the season. Both goalies, Allie Greco (Middletown South) and Erika Kangas (Central Regional), took their games to another level and made remarkable saves throughout the game. Kangas kept Central Regional in the game with her difficult saves in the first half, while Greco secured the win for the Eagles after being tested the whole second half.
3. Class A North Regular Season: No. 2 Manalapan defeated No. 1 Freehold Township in overtime, 1-0.
Manalapan, which entered the game as the No. 2 team in the Shore Sports Network Shore 16, ended No. 1 Freehold Township’s 46-game unbeaten streak against Shore Conference teams with an 1-0 victory in overtime. Sophomore Lyla Ottenheimer scored the golden goal five minutes into overtime off a pass from Savannah DiSabato. Freehold Township goalie Ashley Moore was able to tip a shot over the crossbar in the closing minutes of regulation to send the game into overtime.
4. Group 2 Semifinal: Wall defeats Seneca in penalty kicks, 2-1, after a 3-3 draw.
In one of the most impressive individual performances all season, senior Nelly Bianchi-Nagle made three consecutive saves during the penalty shootout to give Wall the edge and advance the Crimson Knights to their second straight Group 2 final. Both teams exchanged leads during regulation, with Seneca striking in the first five minutes of the game. Wall came out of halftime aggressive and tied the game in the second minute of the second half on a penalty kick. Wall took its first lead in the 63rd minute, when Erynn Richey’s corner kick bounced off a Seneca defender and went into the goal. Seneca regained a 3-2 lead when Gabby Smith scored two goals in a span of five minutes (70th and 75th). Junior Erin Farrell scored the equalizer with two minutes left in regulation on a rebound to send the game into overtime.
5. Shore Conference Tournament Quarterfinal: No. 17 Manasquan defeated No. 8 Point Pleasant Boro, 2-1.
Manasquan scored two straight goals in the second half to defeat Point Boro, 2-1, and advance into the Shore Conference Tournament semifinals for the first time in school history. Senior Rylie Rampone scored what may have been the goal of the year in the 74th minute to put Manasquan up, 2-1. Senior Renee Herbert sent a free kick from just outside the box and Rampone had a clear run on the ball and headed the ball into the goal. What made Rampone's goal special is it came on the same field on which her mother, Christie Rampone, had so many memories as a Point Boro standout prior to her career playing for the U.S. National Team.