Monahan, Manalapan down Marlboro
Constant rain fell throughout the first half of Tuesday’s girls soccer showdown, but it was Mary Grace Monahan who poured down on the opposing defense in the second.
Monahan scored just 10 seconds into the second half and later added another, while Arianna Ferraro registered an insurance tally as Manalapan rallied for a 3-1 victory over Marlboro during a wet MSGVarsity.com Livecast event.
Hampered by a drenched field, these Shore Conference rivals displayed hard-nosed defense and each stymied key opportunities in the first 40 minutes, but eventually the Braves pulled away.
Monahan took the opening play of the second and weaved through multiple Mustangs, recovered the ball after crashing into one of those defenders and mustered up enough steam to blast the ball for her seventh tally of the campaign.
With 21: 18 left in the contest, Monahan doubled the advantage with a beautiful kick into the upper right corner of the net. Marlboro didn’t go away easily, however, as senior Erica Goldman struck with 14 minutes left and cut her team’s deficit in half.
Ferraro, a freshman midfielder, sealed the triumph with her first varsity goal three minutes later upon taking a feed from Monahan.
Manalapan junior goalkeeper Brianne Nealon – who notched seven shutouts last season – lost her bid for a sixth blanking in 2012 when Goldman capitalized, but she was still spectacular between the pipes.
Thanks to Monahan’s efforts, the Braves won their fifth straight after notching victories over Middletown North, Middletown South, Colts Neck and Jackson. During this torrid span, Manalapan has outscored the opposition 15-1.
Now carrying a strong, 5-1-2 record, the Braves have not lost since absorbing a 1-0 defeat on September 14 at the hands of Freehold Township, a mainstay in the MSG Varsity girls soccer power rankings this season. Prior to that, they ran to a scoreless draw against Marlboro.
Contact Brian Fitzsimmons at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @FitzWriter