Girls Soccer – VOTE: Surf Taco Girls Soccer Postseason Player of the Week
To wrap up the Surf Taco Player of the Week series for the 2022 Shore Conference soccer season, we are going to recognize some of the best performers in girls soccer during the tail-end of the NJSIAA Tournament. This week's contest features six standouts -- no more than one per team -- who shined once the calendar shifted to November and everything was on the line.
Read up on the six standouts who are in the running for the last Player of the Week honor of this fall and vote once per hour until the poll closes on Tuesday at 10 p.m. The winner will be announced on Wednesday and awarded a $25 gift card to Surf Taco.
Baileigh Johnson, Point Beach
Point Beach stormed to its first sectional championship in 12 years behind a relentless attack that manufactured 17 goals in three matches during the Central Jersey Group I championship run. Johnson was at the heart of that attack, with the freshman scoring two goals in a 4-1, sectional-quarterfinal win over Palmyra and following that up with a hat trick in a 10-0 rout of Highland Park in the Central Group I championship game.
Kaitlyn Pettit, Wall
Wall’s defense deserves a significant amount of credit for holding opponents to four goals during the entirety of its six-game run in the state tournament, but without Pettit’s timely scoring, the Crimson Knights might not have lasted that long. Pettit’s two postseason goals both came in 1-0 wins, with the senior heading in a goal in a sectional semifinal win at Manasquan and later knocking in the deciding goal in a 1-0 win over Seneca in the Group II semifinals.
Gianna Romeo, Red Bank Catholic
Red Bank Catholic came up one win shy of returning to the Non-Public A championship game for the second straight year, but Romeo was locked in for the length of RBC’s stay. The senior posted a goal and two assists in the 3-0 sectional semifinal win over Trinity Hall, then scored in the third minute of her team’s sectional final against Paul VI. After Romeo’s early strike, Paul VI answered within the next two minutes and went on to knock off the Caseys, 2-1.
Vanessa Sarf, Manalapan
Manalapan was six-plus scoreless minutes away from shocking Freehold Township in the Central Jersey Group IV championship game and had the Braves somehow pulled it off, Sarf’s scoring would have proved to be the difference for the Braves. The senior scored in the sixth minute of the second half out of a scrum in front of the goal to give Manalapan a 1-0 lead, which the Braves held until the 74th-minute equalizer by Freehold Township, followed by a Patriots golden goal in overtime. Sarf also sent Manalapan to the championship game by scoring both goals in a 2-0 win over East Brunswick in the sectional semifinals.
Bea Tinoco, Middletown South
Narrowing down Middletown South’s standout performer is no easy task, especially with two senior standouts like Makayla Jaffe and Abby Doherty combining on the championship-winning goal in the Central Jersey Group III final against Brick Memorial. Tinoco, however, has to get the nod for her spectacular, four-goal performance in Middletown South’s 4-2 win at Allentown in the sectional semifinals, including the tiebreaking and clinching goals in the final five minutes. The freshman phenom also scored a goal in the championship game vs. Brick Memorial.
Kayla Wong, Freehold Twp.
Like Middletown South, Freehold Township had plenty of heroes this postseason and that collection of Patriots players led the program to its first outright Group IV championship. Wong earns the honors for Freehold Township for her breathtaking performance against Eastern in the Group IV championship game, in which she scored two eye-pleasing goals and assisted the other goal in the Patriots’ 3-0 win. Wong continued her strong midfield play, helping spark the comeback against Manalapan in the Central Group IV final and fending off a physical, athletic Ridgewood side in the Group IV championship game.
Honorable Mention: Makayla Jaffe, Middletown South; Hailey Santiago, Freehold Twp.; Saige Santa Cruz, Wall; Mya King, Red Bank Catholic; Aubrey Scoble, Trinity Hall; Ashlee Schlagenhaft, Brick Memorial; Janey Sypeck, Rumson-Fair Haven; Molly Liggett, Point Boro; Marly Besser, Lacey; Eliza Charles, Trinity Hall; Sophia Racioppi, Red Bank Catholic; Iva Carton, Red Bank Catholic; Elizabeth Mitchell, St. Rose; Samantha Brett, St. Rose; Leila Shaw, Manalapan; Madison Miller, Wall; Kiersten Brown, Wall; Naima Shortridge, Point Beach; Mia Caruso, Brick Memorial; Izzy Kurzon, Point Beach; Gaby Parker, Freehold Twp.; Shelby Brunotte, Point Beach