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.”
Sabei said authorities had tried to prevent the protest from turning violent. “Things got out of hand when elements that had infiltrated into the ranks of the demonstrators broke through security shields,” he said. “The one remaining option was an order to shoot, but I was not prepared to order the troops to shoot Lebanese citizens.” Sabei, like other Lebanese politicians and Grand Mufti Mohammed Rashid Kabbani, spiritual leader of Lebanon’s Sunni Muslims, suggested Islamic radicals had fanned the anger. Kabbani said outsiders among the protesters were trying to “distort the image of Islam.” The United States accused the Syrian government of backing the protests in Lebanon and Syria. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card Flames and smoke billowed from the 10-story building, which also houses the Austrian Embassy and the residence of Slovakia’s consul. Protesters waved green and black Islamic flags from broken windows and tossed papers and filing cabinets outside. Witnesses said one protester, apparently overcome by smoke, jumped from a window and was rushed to the hospital. Security officials said he died. Thirty people were injured, half of them members of the security forces, officials said, making it the most violent in a string of demonstrations across the Muslim world. All the injuries were from beatings and stones. Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said before meeting with top Islamic leaders that about 200 people were detained, and police said they included 76 Syrians, 35 Palestinians and 38 Lebanese. The first apparent victim of the political fallout from the violence was Interior Minister Hassan Sabei, who submitted his resignation. It was not immediately clear if the resignation was accepted. BEIRUT, Lebanon – Muslim rage over caricatures of the prophet Muhammad grew increasingly violent Sunday as thousands of rampaging protesters – undaunted by tear gas and water cannons – torched the Danish mission and ransacked a Christian neighborhood. At least one person reportedly died and about 200 were detained, officials said. Muslim clerics denounced the violence, with some wading into the mobs trying to stop them. Copenhagen ordered Danes to leave the country or stay indoors in the second day of attacks on its diplomatic outposts in the Middle East. In Beirut, a day after violent protests in neighboring Syria, the crowd broke through a cordon of troops and police that had encircled the embassy. Security forces fired tear gas and loosed their weapons into the air to stop the onslaught. The protesters, armed with stones and sticks, damaged police and fire vehicles and threw stones at a Maronite Catholic church in the wealthy Ashrafieh area – a Christian neighborhood where the Danish Embassy is located.
The attorney said he and Nguyen met with investigators for two hours Thursday. He described the meeting as “pleasant and professional” but declined to elaborate.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’State and federal officials are investigating the mailing for possible violations of election law. Baugh said that after speaking with the state Attorney General’s Office and the private company that distributed the mailer, he believes Nguyen had direct knowledge of the letter. “I learned information that allows me to draw the conclusion that not only was Mr. Nguyen’s campaign involved in this, but that Mr. Nguyen was personally involved in expediting the mailer,” Baugh said in a telephone interview. He called the letter “obnoxious and reprehensible.” Nguyen was not immediately available to react to the committee’s vote, but his attorney, David Wiechert, said Thursday night that his client does not plan to quit. “Mr. Nguyen has no intention of dropping out of the race. He would do the public a disservice if he dropped out,” Wiechert said. GARDEN GROVE – Orange County Republican leaders on Thursday called for the withdrawal of a GOP congressional candidate who has acknowledged that his campaign sent a letter threatening Hispanic immigrant voters. County Republican Chairman Scott Baugh told The Associated Press that the party’s executive committee voted unanimously to ask candidate Tan D. Nguyen to pull out. Nguyen’s attorney said Thursday night his client has no intention of quitting. Earlier Thursday, Nguyen told The Associated Press he has fired a campaign staffer who may have been the source of the letter that falsely told Hispanics immigrants they can go to jail if they try to vote. “I did not do this. I did not approve of any letter,” said Nguyen, the challenger to Democratic U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez. Nguyen is a Vietnamese immigrant whose opposition to illegal immigration figures heavily in his underdog campaign.