Heroics and Defense Propel Randolph into State Finals with OT Win over Montclair

The triumphant Rams. Credits: Nick Russo
Katja Brackelmanns-Puig jumps for joy after scoring the golden goal. Credits: Nick Russo
The team celebrates the huge win. Credits: Nick Russo
Goalkeeper Rachel Fennell after a save. Esther Wellman (3) foreground. Credits: Nick Russo
Anna Conklin plays a ball at midfield . Credits: Nick Russo
Rachel Fennell punches the ball over the crossbar to preserve the tie.  Credits: Nick Russo
Katja Brackelmanns-Puig (center) is embraced by teammates. Credits: Nick Russo
Dana Shalit plays the ball forward. Credits: Nick Russo
Katja Brackelmanns-Puig races after a pass. Credits: Nick Russo
Gillian McConnell (6) spies Brackelmanns-Puig (7) downfield. Credits: Nick Russo
Fennell makes one of her easier saves on the night. Credits: Nick Russo

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Top-seeded Montclair offered a huge test to Randolph and the Rams' state title hopes on Monday. But the Rams stood tall through regular time and into overtime to earn a heart-stopping 1-0 victory as Katja Brackelmanns-Puig scored the golden goal in overtime and sophomore goalie Rachel Fennell played the game of her life in net.

Hotly contested through regulation time, Montclair had the majority of the quality scoring chances, but it was anyone's game from the get-go. With a talented and aware Montclair defense stifling Brackelmanns-Puig in the offensive zone for most of the game, she broke free in overtime and beat the goalie low in the corner from just outside the box to send the Rams to the North 1, Group 4 Final.

“It was kind of messy,” said Brackelmanns-Puig after the game. “It was a little anticlimactic, but we were having so many chances. We were so close every time, and we were getting closer and closer and closer, and now we're here.”

Sign Up for E-News

But “here” is not somewhere Randolph would have been able to get to if it wasn't for the heroics of sophomore goalie Rachel Fennell. Her play in net was sublime. “Oh my gosh. She came up huge,” said senior center back Samantha Brener. “I thought at least five of those were going in.” The magnitude of her play wasn't lost on coach Colleen Suflay. “Unbelievable. She made three or four game-changing saves.”

With that many game-changing saves the game changed just enough to give Randolph the advantage, and they steadily gained momentum as they weathered the storm from Montclair and mounted their own attacks. Seniors Dana Shalit and Anna Conklin had chances on goal, but their missed opportunities only made the result just that much sweeter.

Randolph's defenders played no small part in the clean sheet for Randolph. Despite numerous saves by Fennell, no second chances found their way on net. Which speaks both to Randolph's defense as well as Fennell's excellent ball control. “Last year we played Montclair in the semi-finals also at our home field, so we know how great their offense is,” said senior defender Samantha Brener. We knew we had to come in strong. Every single defender had their best game of the season. I'm so proud of them.”

Randolph draws a 15-3-2 Livingston squad in the Final who beat Clifton to earn their berth. “We're pumped, we're ready,” said Fennell, still out of breath nearly a dozen minutes after the victory. “ We're just ready to take the state title.”



TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Road Resurfacing Work in Randolph for July 9 - 16

July 7, 2018

Below is a list of the streets for the upcoming resurfacing work. All roads will remain open for local traffic and emergency vehicles. Motorists should allow additional time for travel.

Street Name
Dates of Milling
Dates of Paving

Springhill Road - Forrest Road to #40

Musiker Avenue - Morey Lane to ...

Randolph Diner: Serving Up the Next Version of the Diner Experience

July 16, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- A diner, back in the early days of diners, typically referred to a restaurant that resembled a dining car on a train. Today, most diners still have a long counter and an array of booths lining the windows – much like the old railroad dining cars – but in many communities, the “diner” evolved into something more than a restaurant.

The diner became a ...

Upcoming Events


Mon, July 23, 9:30 AM

Randolph Township Free Public Library, Randolph

Nursery Rhyme Time

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Health & Wellness Other


Mon, July 23, 10:15 AM

Randolph Township Free Public Library, Randolph


Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Education Other


Mon, July 23, 7:00 PM

Randolph Township Public Library, Randolph

The Break Lights

Community Calendar

Catriona Lucus Selected to Play in 2018 National Lacrosse Academy  

July 16, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- Catriona Lucus, a rising freshman at Randolph High School has been named as a 2018 Maverik National Lacrosse All-Star and has been selected to attend the Maverik National Lacrosse Academy to be held July 16-19, 2018 in Frederica, Delaware at the DE Turf Sportsplex.

Catriona plays on the DEWLAX 2022 West club lacrosse team as well as being chosen to play with the DEWLAX ...

Geoffrey the Giraffe Moves In To New Brunswick Children's Hospital

July 12, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Over a stretch of nearly 70 years, Geoffrey the Giraffe at Toys R Us stores was the symbol of happy times for generations of children, and now he may provide those same feelings for children coming to a hospital.

"From this day forward, Geoffrey stands tall in our lobby to encourage our smallest patients to smile when they enter our facilities," said John ...

Education: A Bedrock of Democracy, Civic Engagement and Economic Prosperity

July 6, 2018

More than 240 years ago, our nation’s founders envisioned a country where individuals could forge their own destinies and not be constrained by the circumstances of birth. The essential concept was that people could govern themselves and participate in democracy, or what Benjamin Franklin and others called “a great experiment.” The vision was bold and has flourished as the ...

Murphy Administration Takes Action to Help Smokers Quit

July 16, 2018

Eliminates Prior Approval for Medicaid Tobacco Cessation Medications; Counseling Options to be Expanded

July 16, 2018

(TRENTON) – The Murphy administration on Monday announced new steps to help New Jersey Medicaid recipients quit using tobacco by making it easier to receive tobacco cessation medications and counseling.

“Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of death ...

Garden State Urology named a Center of Excellence by NAFC

Urology group recognized for exemplary care, dedication to patients

WHIPPANY, NJ – Garden State Urology, part of Atlantic Medical Group, was recently designated a Center of Excellence by the National Association for Continence.

Garden State Urology is a cooperative urology group that provides residents in northwestern New Jersey with a modern, integrated, comprehensive health care ...

Registration open for Randolph Hebrew with Early Bird Discount!

Entering its 17th year, Randolph Hebrew of Morris County has opened registration to new students for the upcoming school year that is set to begin on Sunday, September 16th.

Randolph Hebrew enjoys a well-earned reputation as a trend setter in creative Jewish education. It's well trained staff, cutting edge curriculum along with the teacher to student ration allows for individualized ...

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey

How often do you read TAPinto?  Have you downloaded the TAPinto APP?  These are a few of the questions for readers in our 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

We want to hear from you!

The survey will take less than five minutes to complete and will help TAPinto better serve you. 

Take the 2018 TAPinto Reader Survey.

Thank you.  We appreciate your support and ...

Atlantic Health System, MedExpress partner in 11 New Jersey Urgent Care Centers

Atlantic Health System, an integrated health care delivery system, and MedExpress, a neighborhood health care provider, are collaborating to coordinate care between MedExpress' 11 neighborhood medical centers in northern New Jersey and Atlantic Health System's extensive clinically integrated network of physicians, hospitals and other care sites.

The jointly owned centers will enable ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.