Keyport girls team comes through in the clutch

first_img BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Staff Writer With its goal of an NJSIAA Central Jersey Group I playoff berth slipping away, the Keyport High School field hockey team went 4-1-1 over its last six matches to raise its record to 9-8-2 and qualify for the postseason. The Red Raiders clinched the playoff berth Thursday with a 5-0 win over Long Branch with link Jamie Boyce leading the way with two goals and a pair of assists. On one play, Boyce blasted a shot and the ball split in two. “It was incredible,” Keyport coach Sal Principe said. “About a quarter of the ball split off, but the other three-fourths went into the net and the officials ruled it a goal.” The victory was the high point of the run, which began after a disappointing 4-0 to Henry Hudson left the Red Raiders at 5-7-1. Keyport’s recovery included a 2-2 tie against a strong Monmouth Regional squad and shutouts against Neptune and Long Branch. It was fitting that Boyce should come up big down the stretch. The senior combines with Kaitlin McCann to control the middle for a team that is better than its record might indicate. In addition, Boyce leads the team with 12 goals and 11 assists. “We’ve been inconsistent at times,” Principe said. “But you have to remember this is a young team — we only have five seniors, and they have stepped up. The other girls are all talented and they’re learning; it just takes time to adjust to playing at the varsity level.” It seems the adjustment has come at the right time. Sophomores Lauren Lewis and Amanda Stumpf, as well as freshman Jenna Stumpf, have all scored important goals; and the other link, sophomore Roxana Varay, is playing well. In addition, Principe noted that sophs Jillian Crane and Brittany Quinn, both forwards a year ago, moved to defense this fall where they have excelled. And the goaltending tandem of sophomore Megan Flynn and freshman Kelly Biechler has been up to the task. The coach noted that McCann and fellow senior Amanda Ries, the sweeper, have also been defensive stalwarts, and senior forward Stephanie Arroyo provides speed up front. Principe said that the playoffs would not start prior to Nov. 6. In the meantime, the Red Raiders were set to close out the season on Monday against Howell, and will play an alumni game, against former Keyport players, probably on Saturday. Notes… Nobody around the Shore Conference was surprised to see Middletown North, Shore Regional, RBC and Manasquan advance to the SCT semifinals. Those four teams were set to resume SCT play on Monday, with the winners to advance to today’s final at Long Branch High School. The real surprise came on Saturday, when the Blue Devils dropped their first game of the season to St. John Vianney, 3-1.Shore scored first on a Meredith Corradino goal at the 27:12 mark, but Vianney responded just 37 seconds later when Kacie Gailbreath scored on a penalty stroke. Lauren Galladay then gave the Lancers (7-6-1) the lead in the 37th minute, and Alex Mevs added the third goal just 30 seconds later to give the Lancers the winning margin. The win is a big one for the Lancers, who were looking to make a statement entering the state playoffs by simply playing well against the Shore’s top program. However, with a win over the 14-1 Blue Devils, they did much more than that. They established themselves as a threat. BY WARREN RAPPLEYEAStaff Writer last_img