Freehold Township girls' soccer and Howell played for the 2022 Shore Conference Championship on Saturday. The game was held in Neptune, New Jersey at Summerfield, where the semifinals were held. Both teams had great defenses to start the game attacking the ball with each goalkeeper making tough saves.
The defense for Freehold Township was in control against Howell as they forced the Rebels to take difficult shots. They had opportunities, but Howell couldn't convert. Freehold was able to trap most of the time, which led to some big clears. Goalkeeper Ashley Moore had a fantastic match as she made four saves and moved around the goal with great footwork.
Freehold Township's offense was trying to find its way early in the first half against Howell with some great passes and crosses to set up teammates with a good ball. The Patriots had an opportunity to score early but were called offsides which took away the goal. Halfway through the first half, Freehold started playing an up-tempo offense that eventually got a corner kick from Ainsley Moy as she put it in the box and found Hailey Santiago's foot to score a goal in the 29th minute. Santiago's goal ended up being the game-winner.
After they scored that goal, the defense continued to perform at a high level as they backed up the offense big time. The Patriots were able to win most of the possession and stopped Howell from advancing the ball in key situations. Santiago's goal changed everything for them as the intensity started to pick up in the second half with Howell getting most of the foul calls which they didn't like.
Howell started to tighten up the defense in the second half knowing that their offense was struggling to find good shots for the goal. Madison Smith made a total of seven saves as she made some big-time plays for the Rebels. They had a lot of opportunities to score but couldn't capitalize and the fouls killed them at the end which made a difference.
Freehold Township girls' soccer repeated as Shore Conference champions as they have been one of the top teams in the state all season and proved why in the championship game. Clemson commit Cassidy Corcione was cheering the team on from the sidelines, which gave them a ton of confidence.