By Jim Hintelmann
RED BANK – Not all coaches are happy with moral victories, but Red Bank Regional girls lacrosse coach Ashley Schulte was far from displeased after Friday’s 15-9 setback to perennial power Red Bank Catholic.
It was only a few weeks ago that RBC rolled to an 18-3 rout of the Lady Bucs. Red Bank, though, was a different team Friday and stayed in contention until midway in the third quarter when RBC’s superior talent finally made the difference.
“I’m proud of the way my team played,” Schulte said. “The defense has been solid in shutting it down and the offense has seven attackers that work as a team and gets the job done.”
Nevertheless, the game didn’t start out that way with RBC’s Maeve Cowley and Grace Fallon scoring two goals in the first 2 minutes for a quick 2-0 lead.
Red Bank quickly came back, however, on a goal by Devon VanLoon and, after RBC’s Amanda Casten scored the first of her game high five goals, Kelly Bonner put in a pair of goals to tie the game.
“We consider this a moral victory because it shows how much this team has grown this season,” Schulte said. “We didn’t have any special game plan. We just wanted to go out, play good lacrosse and get it done.”
RBC answered the challenge, though, by scoring four straight goals, two by Cowley and the other two by Casten and Ariana Mancini to go in front to stay, 7-3.
“We were kind of flat coming off the Rumson loss (11-5, after leading 3-1 in the first half).” said RBC coach Lisa Caprioni, “but we just wanted to come out of here with a win and we did that.”
VanLoon and Casten traded goals, and then Red Bank’s Sophie Buchanan and Bonner scored to close the gap to 8-6 at halftime.
RBC’s Olivia Farrington opened the second half with a pair of goals and Fallon, who will be heading in the fall to Duke where she will play lacrosse, added another goal to increase RBC’s lead to 11-6. Red Bank Regional still didn’t quit and played RBC on even terms the rest of the way, though it never got closer than four goals thereafter.
“I’m very satisfied with the season,” Schulte said. “We’re 8-4 with four games left going into the Shore Conference seeding meeting. I’m sure our record will get better.”
Murphy Davis scored two goals for the Lady Bucs to bring her career total to 231. She will be playing at Clemson next season.
“It wasn’t our best effort,” admitted Caprioni, “but our younger kids are doing well and we just want to be ready for the conference tournament.”