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Makayla Jaffe and Abby Doherty started their high-school careers as freshman members of a Middletown South girls soccer team that went 20-2 and won the North Jersey Section 2 Group III championship.

The now-senior duo had a chance to go out with another sectional title, but late in Saturday's Central Jersey Group III title game vs. Brick Memorial, Middletown South let a chance to clinch the championship in regulation slip away.

With time winding down in the second overtime period, Doherty and Jaffe had what might have been their last chance at a second championship before it would be decided on penalty kicks and the two longtime teammates teamed up to author the defining moment of their four-year careers.

With a little more than two minutes left in the final overtime period, Doherty served up a free kick that Jaffe volleyed out of the air, into the net and into the program history books as the Eagles beat Brick Memorial, 3-2, to win the Central Jersey Group III championship. For its run to a third sectional championship in six years, Middletown South is the Week 9 Surf Taco Girls Soccer Team of the Week.

Photo: Steve Meyer
Photo: Steve Meyer

Jaffe was the offensive star of the overtime win against Brick Memorial in the sectional final, with the senior scoring the first Eagles goal of the game before eventually scoring the golden goal as well. The senior forward finished the season with three goals and 10 assists, with two of the goals and four of the assists coming in the four games of the sectional-championship run.

The NJSIAA Tournament -- and the season, in general -- was a personal showcase for standout freshman Bea Tinoco, who scored a team-high 21 goals to go with four assists in her first season. During the four-game win to the Central Group III championship, Tinoco tallied eight goals and three assists, including a four-goal explosion in a 4-2 win over Allentown in the sectional semifinals on Nov. 1.

Doherty, Jaffe and Marisa Seckular have been senior leaders throughout 2022 for Middletown South, with classmates Kate Malvica and Erin Prince also providing important contributions to help lead the group. Although the season ended Tuesday with a 1-0 loss to Cherry Hill West in the Group III semifinals, those five left their mark in the form of a 2022 sectional title, with Jaffe and Doherty contributing to two sectional championships in their careers.

The future remains bright for coach Megan Barry and Middletown South and for now, they can celebrate a championship season, as well as the Team of the Week award.

2022 Girls Soccer Team of the Week Winners

Week 1: Point Pleasant Boro

Week 2: Brick Memorial

Week 3: Central

Week 4: Holmdel

Week 5: Toms River South

Week 6: Howell

Week 7: Freehold Township

Week 8: Point Pleasant Beach

Week 9: Middletown South


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