By Jim Hintelmann
MIDDLETOWN – It was a big day for sophomores in Colts Neck’s 2-1 overtime win over Middletown South in the Shore Conference girls soccer tournament quarterfinal game Monday.
The Cougars won the game in an overtime thriller, 2-1, and it was a pair of sophomores who scored the goals.
Ori Laki scored the game winning goal just 37 seconds into the first overtime when she took a pass from Tori Pantaleo, got past a defender and knocked the ball into the back of the net from about 10 yards away.
“It was a long goal from the back, where I read it from the outside and came running in and I knocked it past the goalie before she tripped me,” Laki said.
“This was my fifth goal this year and the first time I ever won an overtime game with a goal,” said Laki. “It was an amazing feeling the game was finally over.”
“There was no play on that goal,” said Colts Neck coach Doug Phillips. “It was a great threw ball and a great finish by a great forward.
“Ori has been playing well for us,” said Phillips. “I use her in a lot of different spots and it depends on how we’re using her.”
Following a scoreless first half in which both teams missed several good scoring opportunities, Middletown South broke the ice at 36:52 when senior Bridget Skinner was awarded a free kick after being tripped, and lined the ball into the right side of the net.
Colts Neck tied the game at 1 when sophomore Meaghan Mulligan took a corner throw in by Michelle Post and headed it in just in front of the net.
“Michelle played a great ball across,” said Mulligan. “Their goalie (Lauren Van Exter)got her finger tips on it. I was in the right position and I just found the net.”
South almost won the game in regulation when Ashley Pankey had a clear shot from 12 yards away, but Colts Neck goalie Alexa Karen jumped up and batted the ball over the top of the cross bar.
“I have to give No. 9 (Laki) great credit for that goal,” said South coach Kristen Haar. “We had some chances to score, but didn’t finish the opportunities.
“We’ve been playing well this year,” she said. “We’re now looking ahead to the states (Central Jersey Group IV) and start October, 31. Maybe we can get a home game and possibly play Colts Neck again.”