Middletown, N.J. - The start to the 2019 season has gone picture perfect for the Middletown South girls soccer team.
Upbeat after their comeback win over Allentown this past weekend, the good vibes continued for the Eagles in their Shore Conference A-North Division clash with Marlboro on Wednesday, defeating the Mustangs 3-1 to improve to 4-0 on the season.
“We’re very excited about how the season is going so far,” said Middletown South girls soccer coach Megan Barry. “We have a lot of veteran leaders here that have played in some pretty exciting games in the past. There's really good team chemistry this year, which helps us fight for one another when our backs are against the wall.”
Senior Emma Laudisi got the party started early for Middletown South, knocking home her fourth goal of the season off a nice touch pass by teammate Keira Prince less than three minutes into the contest to put the Eagles up 1-0.
“I’m trying to do all I can do to help the team win,” Laudisi said. “This was an important game to win. This is my senior year and I want it to be my best.”
Middletown South extended their lead in the 22nd minute with Emma’s twin sister Madyson helping set up the Eagles’ second goal.
Laudisi sent a perfect crosser to the middle of the box where teammate Katie Coyle rose up and headed in her first goal of the contest to put Middletown South up 2-0.
Coyle also had a great pass to the box to help set up Middletown South’s first goal of the game.
“I saw the ball coming across the field and knew I needed to put in,” Coyle said. “There was no one around in the box, so I had time to set myself up and see where I wanted to head it.”
Middletown South took a 2-0 lead into the half. Marlboro came out with a mission to get back into the game to start the second half, getting two chances to get on the board but came up empty.
One of those chances got denied by a great effort play made by Middletown South defenseman Filomena Degregorio.
With a wide open Eagles’ goal, the senior raced back to the open net and was able to deflect a Marlboro player’s shot away to keep Middletown South up two goals.
Marlboro did get on the board with 5:39 left to play on an Alexandra O’Hare goal to cut the Middletown South lead to 2-1.
Their lead down to a lone goal, the Eagles didn’t panic and put the pedal to the metal to get their two-goal lead back to ice the game in the final five minutes.
The great team chemistry Middletown South possesses showed with 3:43 left to play as Emma Laudisi made a great pass to teammate Angie Shekian streaking up the middle of the field and the sophomore knocked in her first goal of the season to ice the game and give the Eagles their fourth win of the season.
“I saw (Shekian) open up the field and that she was onside to pass to,” Laudisi said. “We needed to score to secure the win.”
Senior goalkeeper Emma Bennett finished with six saves in net for Middletown South.
The Eagles have scored two or more goals in all four games they’ve played this season.
The theme for Middletown South this season is that every game matters and with playing in the always tough Shore Conference, there can’t be any let ups says Barry.
“No matter who you are playing against, you have to go out there with 100 percent max effort,” Barry said. “Every team is a competitor in the Shore Conference. Every time you step onto the field you work hard and play for one another.”
Middletown South will next travel to play Freehold Boro on Wednesday.
Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports.