By Ryan Fennell
Red Bank – The Red Bank Catholic Caseys will move on to the NJSIAA South, Non-public A girls soccer final this Thursday after making easy work of third-seeded Bishop Ahr with a 7-2 win on Monday afternoon at Count Basie Field.
The Caseys got on the board in the third minute of the game when junior Mackenzie Cowley sent one to the lower right hand corner of the net past Bishop Ahr keeper Brianna Foster. Cowley would add another goal to open the second half after the Caseys were firmly in control of the game.
RBC pulled ahead, 2-0, at 16:37 on a goal by Christine Balacco and stretched it to 3-0 in the 23rd minute when Jackie Cajigal found the back of the net for the score. Nine minutes later, Cajigal put another one in on a header to open the game up at 4-0.
“We scored in the first minute and that kind of set the tone,” said RBC head coach Ken Santos. “I think it took the wind out of them a little bit. Then, once we go in the rhythm of passing and moving, I think we were pretty well in control.”
Bishop Ahr picked up a goal from Kerriann Cahillane on a penalty kick on a hand-ball in the box in the 38th minute of the first and the Caseys took a 4-1 lead into the half.
Cowley opened the second half up with her second goal, but Bishop Ahr’s Tonilynn Taranto answered in the 11th minute when she scored on a free kick from the right corner to trim RBC’s lead to 5-2.
But the Caseys continued to apply the pressure and added two more goals from Liz Thoresen and Grace Fallon to put the game out of reach.
“They do have two very good forwards we were concerned about,” Santos said. “They can score, but with the way our back four played, they didn’t give them any looks. I’m very pleased with our defensive effort.”
The Caseys will face fifth-seeded Paul VI in the South, Non-Public A final this Thursday. The winner of that game goes on to play against the winner of the North, Non-public A bracket next Tuesday in the State Final at the College of New Jersey.