Undefeated Patriots repeat as A North lacrosse champs

Cougar baseball team defends division title

BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer

Freehold Township’s girls lacrosse team wanted to prove it was not a one-year wonder.

The Pats captured the Shore Conference ANorthDivision title in 2007 and the goal in ’08 was to make it stick.

“We’re not content winning the division last year,” said coach Nikki Hasting. “They want the division again.”

The Patriots did just that last week nipping their nearest rival, Ocean Township, 9- 8, Thursday afternoon to secure a second straight title and establish the program as one of the best in the entire conference.

Alex Marino scored five times in the win over Ocean and Maddie Comfort netted three. Marino and Comfort each assisted on two goals. J.M. Collichia netted the Pats’ other goal.

It was Comfort’s late goal that staked Freehold Township to a 9-7 lead that proved to be the game winner. KeeperAnna Kibrick stopped 12 shots in the game at home.

Freehold Township finished the A North schedule with a perfect 10-0 slate. They are 11-0 overall.

Comfort, Marino, Collichia and Adj Tepedino have provided the team’s firepower. Comfort, a junior, is one of the best players in the Shore and this spring, with team’s more focused on her than ever she has displayed her versatility as a player by creating more for her teammates. In awin overMarlboro, she had eight assists.

Collichia, a sophomore, has given teams an extra scorer to be concerned about. From a support role last year, she has become scoring force.

Kibrick has a save percentage near 60 percent, whichranksher secondinthe conference. Lauren Leff, Tara Contegiacomo, Sarah McKenna andKatelynMurphy are all playing well in front ofKibrick.One of the strengths of this Patriot teamis the communication in the back betweenKibrick and the backs.

It’s nowon to the Shore Conference Tournament and the state playoffs where Freehold Township will be looking to take the next step and contend for championships there.

Freehold Township wasn’t the only team towrap up a division title lastweek, asMike Yorke’s Colts Neck baseball team won the public schools A North crown beating Manalapan in a slugfest, 20-11. It was the Cougars’ second straight division crown.

Anthony DeSclafani, Mike O’Reilly and Pat Speechio all went deep for the Cougars. Speechio also doubled asColtsNeck pounded out 21 hits, 11 of them for extra bases. Ashton Jackson, one of the leading hitters in the Shore, contributed to the extra base flurry with a double. JoeDeNora had a pair of doubles and Ethan Jackson, Chris Coutros and Billy Noble also had two baggers.

The Cougars are 9-4 in division playwith one game to play. They are 12-5 overall.

State deadline approaching

This is going to be a bigweek for the state playoff contenders. Teams in baseball and softball must be .500 or better as of Friday. The deadline in lacrosse is Monday and volleyball, Tuesday.

Freehold Township’s girls volleyball team is, of course, in. They will be playing for seed this week.

Marlboro (5-6) and Colts Neck (5-7) will try and play their way in.

On the boys side, Howell at 9-3 is in. The Rebels will be playing for seeding this week aswell as first place inANorth. They are tied withWall Township in the public schools race with 4-1 records.

Freehold Township (4-6) needs a perfect week to get in, as does Colts Neck (4-7).

On the baseball diamond, ColtsNeckwill try and improve its seed this week.

Jon Block has Freehold Borough back in the postseason. The Colonials are 10-7.

Howell and Marlboro (which has made the biggest improvement in the area) start the week at .500 with 8-8 records. Their jobs this week are not to dip below .500.

On the softball diamond, Manalapan at 10-6 and Colts Neck, 12-8, are in.

Freehold Township, one of the pleasant surprises of the spring is 6-7 and controls its playoff destiny.

In boys volleyball,Howell (13-3) andColts Neck (14-3) are in, and Marlboro (9-11) has some work to do to get in.

Howell and ColtsNeck are currently tied for first place in A North with two losses each. They will play tomorrow in a match that could well determine this year’s public schools champion.