Week 5 Surf Taco Team of the Week: Manalapan

Manalapan has been the No. 2 team in the Shore 16 since the start of the season, but that changed after the Braves defeated No. 1 Freehold Township on Oct. 5. With the 1-0 overtime victory, the Braves moved up to No. 1 in the rankings and earned the Week 5 Surf Taco Girls Soccer Team of the Week award.

As the fifth winner of the weekly award during the 2023 season, Manalapan's team received a $250 Gift Card from Surf Taco.

Manalapan and Freehold Township both entered last Thursday’s game undefeated in Class A North, with the winner set to be crowned division champions. From the opening whistle, Manalapan played with a lot of energy, creating several scoring chances throughout regulation.

The Braves broke the deadlock in overtime when junior Savannah DiSabato sent a pass across the field to sophomore Lyla Ottenheimer, who then made a move to the inside and blasted a shot that just went over Freehold Township goalie Ashley Moore’s hands.

Sophomore goalkeeper Leila Shaw made several key saves throughout the game to post her sixth shutout of the season. Manalapan’s defense faced a lot of pressure in the second half, but did not break. Senior Kasey Resker won Class A North Player of the Week for her defensive performance in that game and throughout the week.

Earlier in the week Manalapan, defeated St. John Vianney in a division game, 3-2. Manalapan started the game by scoring three goals in the opening 22 minutes and held on in the second half. Senior Vanessa Sarf scored her ninth goal of the season in that contest and assisted another.

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Manalapan not only jumped Freehold Township in the Shore 16, but they also secured the No. 1 seed in the Shore Conference Tournament. The Braves will open up their SCT run Thursday by hosting No. 17 Manasquan.

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