Middletown, N.J. - The Middletown North girls soccer team got its mojo working again Tuesday afternoon after losing to Red Bank Catholic this past weekend.
Led by a two-goal performance from junior Ashley Dietrich, the Lions roared to their sixth victory of the fall with a dominating 4-0 victory over Shore Conference B-North Division foe Neptune to clinch a spot in the Shore Conference Tournament.
“We needed this win,” said Middletown North girls soccer coach Patricia Misciagna. “It’s a division win. Neptune is having a great season and we knew they were going to come out strong and not give up. It was just what we needed going into the cut off date of the Shore Conference Tournament.
Middletown North took control of the contest from the start, cashing in just three minutes into the action when Dietrich banged home the game’s first goal after getting a great feed in the box from Carly Binn off the free kick.
Not being able to cash in on a few scoring opportunities that followed, Middletown North was able to extend its lead in the 21st minute thanks to some great hustle from senior Katelyn Reid.
Just saving the ball from going out of bounds, Reid was able to retreat and get control of the ball, passing it then to teammate Ryleigh Noonan in front of the net for the senior to score her first goal of the season to put the Lions up 2-0.
“I had a feeling that I would be able to stop it from going out,” Reid said. “I stopped it right on the line and once I realized it was still in, I passed it to my teammate for an assist.”
Reid provided the Lions with a huge game-changing score to finish out the first half.
Jumping on the loose ball tapped into the box by Dietrich with 12 seconds to play in the first half, Reid slammed in her fourth goal of the season to give Middletown North a 3-0 halftime lead over Neptune.
“I figured why not shoot it and see what happens,” Reid said. “It was very exciting to score. It made a positive impact on the game.”
Dietrich capped the Middletown North victory with notching her first two-goal game of the season in the second half.
The junior scored her game-high second goal of the contest in the 61st minute with the rare double header off a nice pass from teammate Darien Rinn towards the box, providing Middletown North its first game with four or more goals scored since beating Ocean earlier in the season.
Dietrich now has four goals scored on the season and is tied with Rinn for the team-lead in assists with four.
“I’m just glad to help the team win,” Dietrich said. “We needed this win to get into the Shore Conference Tournament. Those were two big important goals in the game.
Middletown North goalkeeper Ellie Kacen totaled four saves in a half of action in net. Freshman goalie Maura Chawner had six saves in the second half to preserve Middletown North’s third shutout of the season.
Standing at (6-5) now on the season, the Lions are not worried about how their season has gone so far and feel they can get on a roll to end the regular season and make a run in the Shore Conference Tournament.
“This win was a big confidence booster for us,” Dietrich said. “I think everyone is excited and ready to go. With this confidence, we can definitely continue to win more games this season.
Middletown North will next travel to play Matawan on Thursday.
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