first_img By warren rappleyea Staff Writer Middletown North girls wrap up another successful season Lions have bright future ahead of them FARRAH MAFFAI Middletown North’s Heather Zito completes her balance beam routine at Friday’s state gymnastics meet at Old Bridge High School. It was another successful season for the Middletown High School North field hockey team and, with most of its players returning, even better things may be in store down the road. The Lions finished at 14-6-1 and won the Shore Conference’s Class A North crown for the third successive year. Middletown North also went to the finals of the conference tourney, downing quality teams in Ocean and Wall along the way, and reached the second round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group IV tournament. “It took us a while to find out which girls fit in which positions, but we had a set lineup for the playoffs, and that helped us quite a bit,” coach Bill Lafalce said. “Last year we had mostly seniors, so we had to move some players around and change a few things this season.” Only two seniors, fullback Elena Marszallwicz and midfielder Jaimee Famando, started regularly, and both were key performers. Marszallwicz led the team with 12 assists and handled a lot of responsibilities, such as penalty corners and free hits, while Famando, in her third varsity campaign, helped control the middle of the field. Forward Mary Hern and midfielder Lauren Benedetti, the Lions’ other two seniors, contributed valuable minutes off the bench. Other key players included Kaitlyn Faalan, a junior forward, who led Middletown North with a team-record 20 goals. Sophomore wingers Annmarie Lopresti and Corrine Monahan added 14 and 12 goals, respectively. Monahan also contributed 11 assists. Sophomores Ashleigh Pecherski and Caitlin Browne were instrumental in the middle, and the Lions’ defense was outstanding throughout the season. Goalie Katie McGowan, a junior, sparkled, posting eight shutouts. The defense included juniors Allison Corvo, Lindsay Harris, Samantha Mazzucola and Jackie Matthew, as well as sophomores Amanda Wichnick and Allyson Dunzello, and reserve goaltender Allison Walker, who did well in limited action, including a 4-3 victory over Manasquan in her first varsity start. “This turned out to be a very balanced team,” Lafalce said. “We had to move a few people around, but once we got to a set lineup, everything fell into place. We were able to beat some very good teams in the playoffs, and that gave the girls a lot of confidence. The best thing is that most of the girls will be back next season.”last_img read more