By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr.
The Blue Devils of Shore Regional hosted the Pirates of Cinnaminson in a non-conference girls lacrosse game. It was most likely the last regular season game for the Devils as they prepare for the Shore Conference Tournament (next week) and the NJSIAA state playoffs. If this game is any indication of how the Devils will do in the tournaments, their opponents must be worried.
Cinnaminson showed up nearly 30-minutes late for the game on Thursday, but they started with an early offensive attack. They scored two quick goals, which smacked the Devils in the face. But from that point on it was all Shore Regional who took the 12-4 win and improved to 11-5 overall. “We are a very young team with only three seniors,” said Troy Madison, who is in his first year as head coach. “Of our five losses, three were by one point, and we lost to one of the best teams in the state, undefeated Allentown by two points.” Their biggest lost of the season was a 13-5 defeat by Rumson-Fair Haven.
Shore had taken a 4-3 advantage over Cinnaminson at the end of the first half. “We made a few adjustments at halftime that worked very well for us in the second half,” said Madison. He added that the Pirates play a zone defense and the Devils were able to move the ball around with posting players down low and high and having them cut through creating shots. “In the Shore Conference the teams are very physical, and I don’t think Cinnaminson was used to the way we play which wears a team down.”
Shore outscored Cinnaminson 8-1 in the second half taking the victory. Leading the Blue Devils in scoring was Conley Smolokoff, junior who plays midfield and defense. She had five goals and controlled two draws.
Maddie Malfa, senior who plays attach and mid, had three goals, and also had two draw controls. But she also reached a career milestone in the victory. She recorded her 200th career point. Malfa has 137 goals and 63 assists in her three years on varsity, and when combined that gives her 200 career points. She also has 64 ground balls and 42 draw controls for her career.
Outstanding sophomore Gabby O’Brien who plays mid, scored two goals and had five assists in the win over the Pirates. In her two short years on varsity, she has 56 goals, 62 assists, 118 points, 69 ground balls and 55 draw controls.
Also getting goals in the win over Cinnaminson was Amelia Mazur, freshman attacker, who also assisted on a goal. Briella Elias, freshman attacker and mid, also had goal.
“I’m very proud of these girls. For the first time in 15 years we won our Shore Conference Divisional title,” Madison said. The Devils play in the A-Central division and finished undefeated at 6-0. The rest of the division by record was Trinity Hall 5-1, Red Bank Catholic 4-2, Ocean Township 3-3, Point Beach 3-4, St. Rose 1-5 and Ranney 0-7. “The girls worked very hard in the off season and many of them are on travel teams. They are highly skilled and talented and their hard work is starting to payoff.”
In the goal for the Blue Devils was Sofia Meten, sophomore, who had eight saves in the victory. So far this season she has a total of 21 saves.
Shore Regional will enter the Shore Conference as the number three seeded squad. Two teams that beat them this season are ranked higher. The top seed goes to Rumson-Fair Haven and the second seed is Red Bank Regional.
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