Holmdel: The Shore Regional Blue Devils Field Hockey Team continued to play their way deeper into to the 2102 Shore Conference Playoffs matching up against the Freehold Boro Colonials in the semi-finals on neutral ground playing on the Holmdel High football field.
The game started off slowly with players from both teams quickly and skillfully advancing the ball from end to end. After settling in, the Blue Devils started to take control of the ball in the offensive zone. However, unlike past matchups, they were faced with a defense ready to counter the offensive attack. Like a well-calculated chess match, both teams marked up and matched up well for first fifteen minutes of the period. Each team waited for one to make a mistake to take control of the game. Little did either team know that a simple missed assignment would change the dynamics of the game.
Around the halfway mark of the first half, the Blue Devils’ broke the seal by scoring with a wicked shot from just inside the arc. This opening salvo would open the floodgates for Shore Regional as they would go on to score two more goals within two minutes of each other later in the period, making the score 3 – 0. Shore Regional continued to push the Colonials back into their defensive zone for most of the first half and in doing so scored one more time making the half-time score 4 – 0.
Arguably, Shore Regional played one of their better first-halves in the playoffs; however, the Colonials seemed to regroup and refocus their efforts for the second half of the contest. The Colonials were on the offensive most of the second half, pushing the Blue Devils’ back into their defensive zone. The Colonials sped up the pace and tried to keep the Blue Devils’ off guard. Down by four goals, the Colonials had nothing to loose. Their desperation was evident. Every chance the Colonials’ got they put the ball on net; however they were repeatedly denied the goal they so desperately wanted, and needed.
It is safe to say that Shore dominated the first half while Freehold controlled the offensive tempo of the second half. In spite of their offensive attack, goalie Shannon Johnson, kept her composure by blocking shots, directing traffic and controlling the defense. Her composure, athleticism, and ability to read the offensive play was paramount in keeping the ball out of the net, and Freehold off the board.
With a little more than three minutes to go in the game, Shore Regional added one more goal making the score 5-0. This final goal deflated any hopes that the Colonial’s may have had to come back to win this contest. Although Freehold tried to muster at least one score, they were unable to weave their way through Shore’s defense to put one on, or past, Shannon Johnson.
Shore Regional will play Rumson in the Shore Conference Finals on Saturday, October 27, 2012 at the Holmdel High School Varsity Football field. The game starts at 11:00am.