Bombers closing in on state playoff berth

Field hockey team needs one more win


Staff Writer

The Sayreville War Memorial High School field hockey team needs to win or tie one of its next three games to qualify for the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV Tournament.

Coach Lynn Taylor’s team is currently 5-3-4 heading into a game against South Brunswick on Friday. The Bombers remain at home on Monday to meet Old Bridge and will visit Monroe on Wednesday. Teams must have a .500 or better record at the end of play on Oct. 19 to qualify for the tourney.

Sayreville has relied on a stingy defense to get the job done and that was evident in Monday’s 1-0 victory over East Brunswick. Danielle Hoyte scored the lone goal, and goalie Alexa Baldasare recorded her fourth shutout.

The Bombers have also defeated South Brunswick, Monroe, and Piscataway twice, and forged ties with Metuchen, South Plainfield and Old Bridge.

“We play defense very well, and that’s been our key,” Taylor explained. “We haven’t been scoring a lot, so we have to make sure that we hold our leads.”

While Baldasare has played very well, she has had plenty of help from a fullback contingent that includes Kristy Langela, Kim Cardino, junior sweeper Katie Cavanaugh and sophomore Kelsey Mazur, whom Taylor credited with making a speedy adjustment to the fast pace of varsity play. Shima Saad also plays defense.

Sayreville is also strong in the middle with Erica Latz, who is tied for the team lead with four goals, providing a strong presence. Juniors Kristen Quinn, who has a pair of goals, and Holly Jarusiewicz flank Latz. Junior Annmarie Alberta comes off the bench.

Up front, Taylor employs Melissa Pirigli, Kristalin Christensen and sophomore Chrissy Deleto, who has four goals. Hoyte and Kristin Caperino provide depth.

“The girls are starting to gel as a team right now,” the coach said. “Our conference is so competitive this year that teams are knocking each other off, but we’re still in good shape and the girls are peaking at the right time. I look at the East Brunswick game as a turnaround game for us. That was a big game and we really needed the win.”

Historically speaking, Sayreville has always been a tough opponent in the tournaments, and Taylor is hoping that trend continues this year when the Bombers compete in the Greater Middlesex Conference tourney and, hopefully, the state event.

Taylor also noted that two of her former players, Kerry Ronan and Megan Mazur, are now playing for Neumann College in Pennsylvania.