Record-setting season for C.N. girls lacrosse

First winning season and playoff bid

BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer

Colts Neck’s underclassmen got a good look at the future. Now that the seniors on the girls lacrosse team helped bring the Cougars to the NJSIAA tournament, the underclassmen got a preview of what postseason play is all about.

“They saw the intensity and what it’s like to be in the states,” said coach Troy Madison.

For the 10 seniors on the Colts Neck squad, the May 17 game in Manahawkin against Southern Regional represented their final contribution to the program. They were there at the very start of the program when wins were hard to come by, and their goal from the very beginning was to take the team to the state tournament. Reaching that goal would be a sure sign of progress.

“The states was our goal from day one,” said Madison. “For the seniors, it was something they wanted. They worked hard for four years.

“This was our first time in the state playoffs, our first winning record (10-9) and most wins in a season,” he added.

To achieve all these firsts, Madison pointed out that the Cougars got great leadership on and off the field from their seniors, and contributions from underclassmen who stepped up as the season advanced. The team finishes the season

going 9-3 in its final 12 games. Although Colts Neck would lose its state debut (South Jersey Group IV), 16- 13, to Southern, the Cougars proved they belonged.

Plujimakers established records

In Aurelie Plujimakers, the Cougars have one of the Shore’s great snipers. She proved it against Southern, scoring seven times. She had a career worth of goals this spring – scoring 95 times – lifting her career total to 233. The program may be young, but these are records that will stand the test of time.

The 5-foot-10 Plujimakers isn’t the swiftest player on the field, but she isn’t going to lose many races to the cage. She uses her height and wingspan to great effect near the goal.

“Her stick skills are very good, and she has a real hard shot,” Madison said of his senior attacker. “She is tough to stay with when she’s going to the net.”

Plujimakers, who also had 18 assists, was able to put those numbers up because of help from Kim Campfield, Jenna Campfield, Sam Shaw, Lauren Bilotti, Ilyssa Meyer and Hallie Keselman, who all enjoyed solid seasons scoring.

Kim Campfield, a senior, scored 49 goals and had 32 assists. She scored her 100th career goal during the season. Her twin sister, Jenna, contributed 15 goals and 17 assists. Bilotti (17 goals) is the fourth senior in this group.

Junior Meyer (10 goals and 12 assists) and freshman Keselman (14 goals, 10 assists) are the future.

“Our offense was consistent all year,” Madison pointed out. “We had scoring depth.”

Another reason for the offensive production, besides the talent up front, was the team’s steady improvement on the defensive end. As the Cougars shored up the defense, the transition game became a weapon.

“It was a combination of our defense really starting to get better leading to our transition game picking up,” said Madison. “A couple of quick passes and we were on the attack.”

Colts Neck’s defense started to turn it around when Madison decided to switch to a match-up zone that was more suitable to his defensive talent.

“We had team speed on defense,” he pointed out.

Experienced seniors Whitney Deedmeyer and Clarissa Mulligan teamed up with junior Casey MacLean, sophomore Jessica Maguire and freshman Sarah Greenberg.

Deedmeyer, MacLean and Maguire are excellent one-on-one defenders who were allowed to do their thing in the match-up zone, while Mulligan and Greenberg are very fast and used that speed to trigger the transition game.

Now that the Cougars have cleared their biggest hurdles – a winning season and playoffs – the goal, Madison explained, is for the team to be a consistent winner. That is the challenge facing the Cougars in the future.