By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr.
On Thursday, October 26, the NJSIAA girls soccer tournament kicked off. The Spartans of Ocean Township were given the seventh seed in the Central Jersey Group 2 bracket. They hosted Monmouth Regional, the tenth seed.
It was a very competitive game, which was mostly played in the midfield. Isabella Santucci, junior at Ocean, scored two of the Spartan three goals in the 3-1 victory. She has tremendous speed and the ability to quickly change between her left and right foot, making her a double threat. On one of her goals she was dribbling down the left side of the pitch, quickly changed ball position to the right and fired a shot into the Monmouth Regional goal.
Santucci had two other shots on the Falcons goal, however goalkeeper Amanda Growney, senior at Monmouth Regional blocked both. Santucci did get another shot past Growney as did teammate freshman Mia Fiorentino. Fiorentino and Olivia DeGirolamo, junior, each had an assist in the victory.
Last season as a sophomore Santucci finished with seven goals. So far this season she leads the Spartans in scoring with 17 goals.
Monmouth Regional, which entered the game with an 11-5 overall record had their goal scored by junior Tina Ensuar. Leading the Falcons in scoring this season is Jenna Chlapowski, junior, with 12 goals. Ensuar, along with junior Melody Martelloni and seniors Julia Biasi and Lauren Spence have four goals this year.
The Falcons use two players in the goal. Senior Amanda Growney has 43 saves this season while junior Amaya Harris has 21.
Monmouth Regional finished second in the Shore Conference B Central division after Point Beach. The Falcons suffered only one divisional loss this season, and were 6-1 in B Central action.
Ocean Township plays in the B North division taking third place at 10-6 overall and 5-2 in division games. Finishing in first was Trinity Hall with Manasquan ending up in second. Ocean lost to Manasquan, 5-1 back on September 20. In that game, Santucci was the lone Spartan to score.
In the four quarterfinal games of the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 2 tournament, Holmdel the 16 seed which upset top seed Spotswood plays eight seed Gov. Livingston. Fifth seed Wall Township plays fourth seed Point Boro. The Spartans of Ocean will travel and face second seed Manasquan on Monday, October 30. Rumson Fair-Haven, third seed will play sixth seed Metuchen to close out the quarterfinals.
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