BACK-TO-BACK GROUP I TITLES FOR SHORE FIELD HOCKEY

Nov 26, 2019 | Field Hockey

BACK-TO-BACK GROUP I TITLES FOR SHORE FIELD HOCKEY

By Eric Braun
 
WEST LONG BRANCH – Another season, another Shore Regional High School team hoisting a championship trophy. For the second year in a row, it is the Blue Devils field hockey team that gets to add to the trophy case at Shore Regional with their NJSIAA Group I championship.
 
Every year it seems to be the Blue Devils facing off against the Bulldogs/Dawgs.  Whether it is the Rumson-Fair Haven Bulldogs or the Haddonfield Bulldawgs, Shore always seems to have to go through a Bulldog/Dawg to capture a title.
 
The Blue Devils’ seven seniors – Taylor Cannon, Rachel Dwyer, Lily Santi, Isabella Saponaro, Shannon Scesa, Samantha Lagrotteria and Quinn Harmon – will go down as one of the top graduating classes at the school, amassing a remarkable record of 85-13-1 overall and 41-2 conference record and two state championships.
 
Lost among the success this group had was a Shore Conference Tournament title, mostly due to facing the Rumson Bulldogs three of the last four years. This season it looked like the Blue Devils had figured out the Bulldogs, beating them twice in the regular season, 2-0 and 1-0, but when the stakes were higher at Monmouth University for the Shore Conference Tournament title, Rumson got the better of Shore and the senior group looking to add one SCT trophy to their legacy.
 
Not to be discouraged after the Shore Conference Tournament loss, the Blue Devils went back to work and with the top seed in the North Jersey Section 2 Group 1 tournament, hosting the first two rounds against South Hunterdon and Point Pleasant Boro. In the South Hunterdon game, Shore dominated from start to finish and walked away with a 7-2 win with goals from Santi (4), Alex Muscillo, Libby Doehner and Saponaro, with Dwyer pitching in with two saves in goal. In the sectional final against Point Pleasant Boro, the Blue Devils had to come from behind after trailing, 2-1, at half to defeat the Panthers, 4-2, and earn their second straight trip to the North 2 Group 1 final with goals from Santi (3) and Ryan Malfi.
 
In the Group 1 final against the Haddonfield Bulldawgs, Shore was itching for revenge for their early season 2-0 loss to the Dawgs. That game gave the Blue Devils the confidence and motivation it needed in the finals to look to repeat as Group champions. Shore jumped out early and never looked back as the Blue Devils scored twice in the first half and once in the second half and defeated Haddonfield, 3-1, once again. Santi scored all three goals for Shore all on corners and Dwyer recorded five saves for the win.
 
Shore Regional’s season would come to an end in the Tournament of Champions against fifth-seeded Clearview, who defended the strengths of Shore Regional’s corners almost to perfection the entire game and moved on with a 2-1 victory over the Blue Devils. The loss was not a reflection on the Blue Devils’ season, as Shore Regional ended with a record of 24-3, with two of those losses coming in tournament play. 
 
This group of seniors ends their playing careers at Shore Regional with their heads held high and a community that has enjoyed their run together to bringing the program back to state-championship level that now holds 16 NJSIAA titles.