Winning Ways Continue for Coach Williams Blue Devils
West Long Branch: The Shore Regional Varsity Field Hockey Team returned to familiar ground today as they played host to the Long Branch Green Wave in the second round of the Shore Conference Field Hockey Tournament. With little hesitation, the Blue Devils established an offensive presence from the start of the game and remained on the attack for most of the contest.
With 27:57 left in the first half, Grace Santi scored the first goal of the game with a blistering shot from just inside the arc. For a majority of the first half, the Blue Devils’ were on the attack; however, they struggled to find the back of the net for the remainder of the first half. Although backed up and down by one goal, the Green Wave played aggressively, matching the Blue Devils’ intensity. There was an overwhelming feeling that the next goal of the game would dictate the outcome of the contest. The momentum could have easily swung either way and each team felt the pressure. For each offensive Blue Devils’ advance, the Green Wave answered with a defensive stand which thwarted the Blue Devils’ hopes of adding to the 1 – 0 lead. As time began to trickle away, the Green Wave was clearly happy to be only down 1 - 0 at the half.
Much like the first half, the Blue Devils’ continued to mount their charge. However, this time, the Green Wave had little answer for three quick goals, all scored by Carol Middough, which gave the Blue Devils’ a 4 - 0 lead with 25 minutes left to play in the contest. Although the Blue Devils’ spent much of their time in the Green Wave’s offensive zone, it can be argued that two of the three goals scored by Carol Middough were the direct result of missed marks or on-field confusion. Prior to her second goal, Ms. Middough was wide-open, un-obstructed, with only the goalie to beat.
Long Branch continued to play most of the second half in their defensive zone and were able to find a way to stop the Shore Regional’s offensive attack. At times the Green Wave moved the ball well against Shore, but there were very few scoring chances or opportunities generated by the Long Branch offense.
With ten minutes left in the contest, Long Branch pressed a bit more than they had earlier in the contest. They were trying to make longer passes while utilizing their defensive players to move the ball farther into the offensive zone. Although this aggressive strategy made sense, it did not provide them with the offensive spark needed to score a single goal or get back into the game.
Long Branch was unable to answer the four goals scored by the Blue Devils with a final score 4 - 0.