COLTS NECK – An ability to weather body blows from opposing defenders and a tendency to maneuver through the tangled limbs of double teams speak to the rise of Jordana Golove as one of the Shore Conference’s top goal scorers.
According to Colts Neck girls soccer coach Kevin Hein, what sets Golove apart is her desire “to play in areas where others aren’t willing to, and to do what others won’t.”
Golove was tripped up and knocked down to the turf on several occasions during a Central East D sectional quarterfinal meeting with Central Regional on Wednesday, but not before Colts Neck’s leading scorer notched two goals to propel the Cougars to a 3-0 victory.
In the waning seconds of the first half, Golove beat the buzzer, jostling for position in front of the keeper where she used her head to bang home a crossing pass into the box by Madelyn Moore to extend the Colts Neck lead to two goals.
Midway through the second half, Moore fed a lead pass deep into opposing territory that was tracked by a defender and the Central Regional keeper. When the pair collided with Golove near the top of the box, it was the junior who emerged with possession, before tucking home her second of the afternoon to secure the 3-0 quarterfinals victory.
“I’m a very aggressive player,” said Golove, who leads the Cougars with 12 goals. “I’m not afraid of contact, and I know if I’m going after ball against another girl, I’m coming away with it at my feet. That’ just how I’ve played since I was little and it’s a style that works for me.”
The Cougars opened the scoring in the eighth minute of play when Kylie Jacoutot popped a pass into the box for Carys Gardiner, who chipped the ball over the outstretched arm of Golden Eagles keeper Rachel Wilfred – who made 10 saves in the loss – and deposited her fourth goal of the season into an empty net.
The early lead was preserved thanks to the poise of Colts Neck netminder Kaitlyn Torres, who turned away all seven shots faced in the game, including a pair of first half breakaway opportunities.
“We got a little loose in the first half, but thanks to Kaitlyn it didn’t hurt us. She’s been making big saves like that for us all year,” Hein said of his senior keeper. “You wouldn’t even know it that she saved us twice, because makes two huge saves and shrugs it off like it’s no big deal, and it’s on to the next play. I can’t talk about her play enough. When we do have a lapse, she’s always there for us.”
Top-seeded Colts Neck entered its quarterfinals matchup following consecutive losses to Wall Township, the only blemishes on an otherwise spotless regular season record.
“Those losses stuck with us a little bit, but we came in today wanting to prove that we were worthy of the top-seeding,” Golove said. “We went out strong, really wanting to get the first goal, and we rolled from there.”
As the top-seed in the Central East D bracket, Colts Neck will retain home field advantage for the remainder of its playoff run, including a Nov. 20 semifinals matchup with fourth-seeded Cranford.