RBC girls soccer denied by Pingry in sectional championship game
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP – The quest for a state championship came to an end for Red Bank Catholic’s girls soccer team on Thursday as the Caseys fell to Pingry, 3-1, in the NJSIAA South Jersey Non-Public A sectional final at Washington Township High School.
Scoreless at halftime and tied 1-1 with 10 minutes to play in regulation, sixth-seeded Pingry pulled ahead with a goal in the 71st minute and added another in the 77th minute to win its first sectional title since 2012 and reverse a 5-1 regular season loss to the top-seeded Caseys.
Pingry (14-6-1) had the better of the play over the first half but could not convert on any of its seven shots. Red Bank Catholic (17-4) actually had the best chance on a point-blank shot but was Pingry goalie Alyson Feeley came up with the big save.
Pingry’s consistent pressure finally yielded a goal when Alexandra Weber scored in the 56th minute, but RBC responded in the following minute when freshman standout Morgan Cupo netted the equalizer. The game-winning goal also came from Weber when she headed in a corner kick with just over nine minutes left in regulation. The Big Blue continued to push forward with the lead and earned another corner kick. This time, Leah Mangold parked herself at the far post and was in perfect position to knock in the loose ball.
“You think so much about the last game and what happened and of course that’s what you’re going to think about at the moment, but I told them as early as they can to think about the season in its totality,” said Red Bank Catholic head coach Frank Lawrence.
“We got to the championship game in our conference, which is very hard to do, and we got to the championship game in a very hard section. We were the No. 1 seed, we won our division, and eventually they’ll come to appreciate that, but in the moment it’s hard, especially for the seniors. They had such high expectations which they should have because they’ve been a great group. You have to give credit to Pingry, they came out and played with super aggressiveness and physicality and they managed to find the goals on set pieces, and that’s part of the game.”