Shore Conference Girls Soccer Thursday Scoreboard, Oct. 19
Shore Conference Tournament
Memorial Field Summerfield Elementary School, Neptune
No. 13 Howell 4, No. 17 Manasquan 1
Sophomore Veronica Nieves buried the winning goal in the 53rd minute and the Rebels strung together four consecutive goals to race past the Warriors and into the SCT championship for the second straight season.
Senior Rylie Rampone got Manasquan out to an early lead with a head-ball goal in the fourth minute of the match. Senior Renee Herbert served a free kick to the near left post and Rampone flicked a header to the far right corner of the goal.
Howell equalized eight minutes later, with freshman Makenzie Memmolo hammering home a cross from junior Ashley Smith. That was the last shot on goal by Howell in the first half, but in the second half, the Rebels asserted themselves.
In the 53rd minute, Nieves pounced on an errant pass after two Manasquan players collided near the ball and quickly unleashed a shot to the upper left corner of the goal for the tiebreaker.
Senior Jade Vieira added to Howell's lead in the 71st minute with a 40-yard free kick that she dropped over the reach of leaping Manasquan goalkeeper Gia Restivo and into the far right corner of the goal. Before scoring her goal, Vieira took over the game in the center midfield as Howell controlled possession while limiting Manasquan to one shot in the second half.
Junior Allison Nase capped the scoring with a 25-yard shot in the 74th minute.
Howell will play in the Shore Conference Tournament final for the second straight season and will be shooting for its first ever championship after falling short vs. Freehold Township, 1-0, in the 2022 championship game.
(7) Middletown South 1, (3) Central 0
Junior Natalie Percello broke through for the game's lone goal in the ninth minute and the Eagles held on to top the Golden Eagles -- the current No. 1 team in the Shore Sports Network Shore 16 rankings -- and reach the SCT championship game for the first time since 1998.
During an early wave of pressure from Middletown South, Percello found herself with the ball and ample space to line up a shot. She curled the ball with her right foot and tucked it into the far left side netting for the first and only score of the game.
Central held Middletown South out of the net for the remainder of the half despite a barrage of chances manufactured by the Eagles. Central goalkeeper Erin Kangas made four acrobatic saves, both diving to save shots on either side of her and leaping to parry a ball away from danger.
The Golden Eagles were more dangerous in the second half than they were in the first and in the 73rd minute, it was Middletown South goalkeeper Allie Greco who came through with a key save. Grecco stuffed a quality shot and the follow up sailed just over the crossbar.
Middletown South and Howell will square off in a Shore Conference Tournament championship game Saturday in Neptune that will produce a first-time champion, regardless of which team prevails.
Shore Conference Coaches Cup
(5) St. John Vianney 2, (9) Manchester 1
Senior Hayley Jaeger scored the game-winning goal in the second half and the Lancers pulled out a win over the surging Hawks to reach the Coaches Cup championship game Saturday against No. 3 Middletown North.
Junior Milani Thompson opened the scoring for St. John Vianney with a goal in the first half before Jaeger won it off a pass from junior Isabelle Stonesifer.
(3) Middletown North 4, (2) Ocean 0
Junior Jayme Malanda scored a goal and assisted another, leading the Lions to a runaway win over the Spartans to reach the Coaches Cup championship game Saturday against St. John Vianney at Memorial Field in Neptune.
Piper Brink, Kyle Croce and Kaitlyn McNamara each added a goal and Ally Beekman dished out two assists for Middletown North, which broke out with three goals in the second half to seal the victory.