By Ryan Fennell
Rumson – Defeating the same team three times in one season is never an easy task.
And Rumson-Fair Haven head coach Mary Beth Tukis reminded her team of that before the Lady Bulldogs’ quarterfinal match against Monmouth Regional on Tuesday in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group II soccer tournament.
Rumson came away with a 2-1 victory to advance to face top-seeded Bordentown in the semifinal on Friday
“This was a tough game for us and we knew they were going to be a tough opponent because, not only are they in our conference, but they’re in our division and we’ve already played them twice,” Tukis said. “You can’t worry about what happened the first two games, even though we won them. You have to concentrate on this game.”
The Bulldogs struck first, just before the half, when Schuyler DeBree found herself on a breakaway down the left side with no one to beat. DeBree juked the keeper and fired the ball in to the lower left of the net for the score.
Monmouth Regional answered back in the 52nd minute when Charly Cushing lofted the ball from the 18 over Rumson keeper Emily Volker’s reach to tie the game at 1-1.
The game remained tied with neither team getting any good chances until, with approximately five minutes left to play, the Bulldogs picked up the intensity and turned up the pressure on the Falcons.
On a throw in near the Falcons’ goal in the 78th minute that took a funky bounce in front of net, Rumson’s Margaret Stypa got her foot on the ball to help it elude the Monmouth Regional keeper and find the back of the net for the 2-1 lead and, ultimately, the win.
“We knew we were going to get Monmouth’s best shot,” Tukis said. “I have a lot of seniors on this team that have been through the program for the last four years and they didn’t want this to be their last game.”
Rumson heads to Bordentown this Friday for its semifinal match against the Scotties who amassed a 15-5 record this season and defeated ninth-seeded Delran, 4-1, in their quarterfinal round.
“That’s going to be a very tough game,” Tukis said. “Every win is a big win because if it’s not, then you’re going home.”