Long Branch Girls Lacrosse Struggling, But Signs Indicate a Turnaround is on the Horizon By Lou Monaco

Entering last weekend, the Long Branch girls lacrosse team still was searching for its second win of the season.

Senior center midfielder and Drew-bound Meliha Emini scored a team-high four goals and sophomore Lila Nathanson added two scores to pace Long Branch in a 13-10 loss to Jackson Liberty last Thursday in Jackson.

Long Branch (1-6) has lost six straight games since a season-opening 12-1 win at Neptune on Mar. 28.

The 10 goals for Long Branch were the most for the team since that win, a sign that things maybe turning around.

“We continue to make positive strides even if the final results do not reflect it. Our season this year has been defined by hard work and effort. I believe that our girls continue to improve and our team is competitive in every game we play,” said Long Branch head coach Alexa Freguletti, who is in her second season at the helm.

Statistically, the Green Wave is led by Emini, who has a team-high 22 goals on the season, while senior playmaker and Ursinus College-bound Alice Nathanson is second with seven.

Other players making contributions are Abby Perez (five goals), seniors Gloria Santos (three goals, six assists), goalie Rachel Schubert (45 saves), Emily Tomas and Chanel Calt (one goal), Alexa Berrocal (one goal), sophomore Eniyah Garner (one goal) and Jen Oyuela (one assist).

“We are looking to start putting together complete games. We come out strong in the first half and we were able to compete with teams like Ocean (down 2-3 at halftime) or Red Bank Regional (down 2-4 at halftime), but we struggle to maintain that intensity throughout the entire game,” said Freguletti. “If we can mentally lock in and maintain that drive into the second halves of games, I believe that we will start to see better final results.”

The Green Wave hosted Ocean Township last Friday, visited Manasquan on Apr. 23 and will host Red Bank Regional on Apr. 26.

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