Shore Conference Tournament Field Hockey

Barnegat Field Hockey Team Gets By Vianney Before Being Bumped from SCT

By David Biggy | Oct 16, 2019
Photo by: David Biggy Barnegat field hockey goaltender Patricia Tanola is congratulated for her shutout during the Bengals' 2-0 win over St. John Vianney in the first round of the Shore Conference Tournament on Oct. 10.

Barnegat — With seniors making a vast majority of its starting lineup, the Barnegat High School field hockey program wanted to accomplish quite a few things this season. Unfortunately, Point Pleasant Borough made sure the Bengals weren’t going to win the Shore Conference Class B South title by going undefeated in the division, but that hasn’t stopped coach Jaime DiStefano’s squad from pushing forward, en route to a 13-4-1 record heading into this week.

On Oct. 10, Barnegat not only scored a 2-0 victory over St. John Vianney in the first round of the Shore Conference Tournament, the 13th-seeded Bengals captured their 13th win of the season – a new program record.

“All of our seniors are finally working well together because we’ve been playing for a long time now and we’re communicating better than ever, and our skills are better,” said senior Brooke West, who scored the second goal in the Bengals’ win. “We really believed we could get far this year, and we have a lot of confidence in how we play.”

That confidence, as well as their experience, showed during the second half against the 20th-seeded Lancers. After playing a scoreless first half during which the Bengals registered only a few decent shots, Barnegat immediately dialed up the intensity at the outset of the final 30 minutes.

“We had to calm down and clean up our game,” said senior Shannon Schiverea. “We had to win this because it was our first Shore Conference Tournament game. We weren’t getting knocked out of the tournament on our field. We just couldn’t let that happen.”

About five minutes into the half, Schiverea got the ball behind the Vianney defense on a semi-breakaway and fired a hammer shot from about 12 yards away that was turned aside by the opposing goaltender. Just over a minute later, Schiverea had another semi-breakaway and delivered a similar big shot, which went just wide of the cage.

Eventually, Barnegat’s sustained pressure broke down the Lancers’ defense, resulting in several penalty corner attempts. With just under 18 minutes to go, the Bengals broke the scoreless tie when Haleigh Dengler sent a shot to the front of the cage and Mikenna Reiser buried it for a 1-0 lead.

“We needed to hustle more and get our sticks down for more balls in front of the goal,” West said. “We had to turn up our intensity because we didn’t want to go to overtime.”

West made sure the Bengals had some insurance down the stretch. After a corner pass skipped past the front line, Faith Wolf played the ball forward to Schiverea, who carried through the middle of the circle and shoveled a pass toward the far post, where West banged it in for a 2-0 advantage with 5:19 left.

Senior goaltender Patricia Tanola, who needed two saves to help secure the shutout, and the Barnegat defense kept the Lancers at bay during the last five minutes.

“We’re doing a lot better than last year, which is awesome,” Schiverea said. “We’ve just had a lot better team chemistry this season. Our senior group has been working together for four years, and now we’re at our peak. Everything’s finally come together for us.”

A 4-1 loss to the third-seeded Panthers in the second round ended Barnegat’s SCT road on Oct. 12, and now the NJSIAA South Jersey Group II tournament is right around the corner.

“We want to go far in the state tournament, and I think we can do it if we play really well,” Schiverea said. “It all depends on how we play against the tougher teams.”

Pinelands, Southern
Advance to SCT Quarters

Knowing the top-seeded team awaits in the quarterfinals is a good motivator, and it seems the Pinelands Regional field hockey squad used the motivation to its advantage while ignoring the technicality that it was the underdog in its second-round matchup with Colts Neck, as the Wildcats scored a 2-1 win on Oct. 12 to advance in the SCT.

Senior Sarah Keady scored once in each half, assisted by Karianna Eagle and Kamryn Borden, while Mickenzie Horay made five saves along the way to help the ninth-seeded Wildcats knock out the eighth-seeded Cougars (11-2-1) and improve to 13-2-1 on the season. The victory set up a quarterfinals clash with No. 1 Shore Regional. Pinelands’ only two losses are to No. 4 Point Pleasant Borough.

Meanwhile, senior Maitland Demand and Erika Barbera each scored twice and gave out an assist, while Gabby Deo banged in the other goal, as second-seeded Southern Regional cruised to a 5-0 second-round win over 15th-seeded Brick on Oct. 12. Emily Raylman contributed a pair of assists during the win, the Rams’ 15th of the fall.

The Rams’ quarterfinals opponent was No. 7 Middletown South, with the winner slated to meet either third-seeded Rumson-Fair Haven or sixth-seeded Wall in the semifinals.

— David Biggy

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