Rumson – The Rumson-Fair Haven Bulldogs controlled the game from the start and ultimately came away with a 3-0 win over the Holmdel Hornets to clinch the A Central Division title on Tuesday.
The Bulldogs kept the ball in Holmdel territory for the first 15 minutes of the first half and any opportunity Holmdel players had to advance the ball into RFH’s side of the field was short-lived.
The Bulldogs amassed 18 corners with 10 in the first half while Holmdel managed only five total in the game.
However, the game remained scoreless at halftime, as Rumson was unable to capitalize on its numerous opportunities to score in the first.
“In the first half we gave ourselves several opportunities, we just couldn’t finish,” said head coach Julie Vaccarelli. “In the second half we were able to do that. We were more hungry realizing this was a huge divisional game for the division championship.”
Both teams had one divisional loss heading into the game with RFH dropping an early season game to Saint John Vianney. Holmdel’s only other divisional loss had come at the hands of RFH, a 1-0 loss on September 23.
The Bulldogs kept the pressure on Holmdel in the second half except they were able to finish on their scoring opportunities and scored three goals in a six-minute span.
The first came from Mary Kate Dengler with 21:59 remaining and was quickly followed up by a Caroline Bitterly to Emma Fitzgerald score off a penalty corner at 18:02.
Liz Ginalis capped the scoring flurry off with a goal from in front of the net at 15:16.
According to Vaccarelli, the Bulldogs found themselves in the same situation in a non-divisional game against Wall last Friday. RFH managed to create scoring opportunities but couldn’t finish the job and ultimately lost the game.
“We had the same problem. We started out slow, we were giving ourselves opportunities all game but we couldn’t finish and we ended up losing the game,” Vaccarelli said. “The girls really used that as a learning experience today and made sure they finished the job.”
The win over Holmdel gave the Bulldogs their second straight A Central division title having won it for the first time last year. Next up is the Shore Conference Tournament where the Bulldogs fell to perennial powerhouse Shore Regional last year in the quarterfinals.
“We’re hoping to get a good seed and see how far we can go,” Vaccarelli said.
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