The Red Bank Catholic girls soccer team’s resume has endured only one loss for just over a month.
That loss came at the hands of Middletown South in overtime on Sep. 13.
So when the Caseys had their first chance to play the Eagles again this season, it was an opportunity that Red Bank Catholic girls soccer coach Frank Lawrence didn’t want his team to waste on Saturday afternoon.
Red Bank Catholic sophomore Morgan Cupo heard that message and responded with two goals, both in the second half.
Cupo’s goals combined with the Caseys’ outstanding defense was the perfect recipe for revenge. The No. 3 seed Caseys defeated No. 2 seed and previously undefeated Middletown South, 2-0, in a Shore Conference Tournament Semifinal game at Shore Regional High School.
“Every time somebody scores, somebody’s game elevates and somebody’s (game) lets down. We try to drill that in our kids that we have to be the one that elevates every single time no matter if they (our opponent) score or we score,” Red Bank Catholic coach Frank Lawrence said. “And we more than matched their intensity through this game, which was going to be the key.”
Cupo’s goal came in the 50th minute and in the 70th minute as she vaulted the Caseys (14-1-1) into the SCT Final for the second consecutive year. The Caseys will face No. 4 seed Toms River North on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at 5 p.m. in the SCT Final at Shore Regional High School. It will be a rematch of last year’s SCT Final, which Toms River North won 1-0.
“Morgan, there is no way to say it other than she’s the most competitive kid you (will) ever seen on a field. She wants to win so badly that she will do anything it takes to get in there and do that,” Lawrence said. “That’s her game. She will just not be stopped.”
On Saturday afternoon, Middletown South (17-1) couldn’t keep her off the scoreboard despite the phenomenal performance from Eagles’ senior goalie Emma Bennett, who made 13 saves. Red Bank Catholic sophomore goalie Cleo Grignard turned in a noteworthy outing as well with 10 saves.
“We are a better technical team and we have more speed. What they have is some really good backs who can hit the ball a long way and that’s where they were dangerous,” Lawrence said. “I think our goaltender (Cleo Grignald) did an exceptional job on three or four of those (shots). She’s not a tall kid but she went tall. She went big on a couple of those plays.”