RBC girls finish 23-1-1 BY WARREN RAPPLEYEA Correspondent After losing the past two years in the finals of the NJSIAA Non-Public A Tournament to Immaculate Heart Academy (IHA), the Red Bank Catholic High School girls soccer team fought IHA to a 1-1 tie last Thursday at The College of New Jersey. As a result the two teams are co-champions. Red Bank Catholic’s Olivia DeFelice (r) wins control of the ball from Immaculate Heart Academy’s Stefanie Scholz during the second half of the NJSIAA Non-Public A state championship match played Nov. 18 at The College of New Jersey in Ewing Township. The teams played to a 1-1 tie and shared the state championship. ERIC SUCAR staff From the start of the season, Caseys coach Ken Santos said his team’s goal was to win Non-Public A, and RBC was determined not to lose to the Blue Eagles for the third straight year. “The girls worked hard all season just to get to this point,” he said. “I thought we played very well and we were right there with them [IHA].” RBC and Immaculate Heart battled through a scoreless first half as the two teams got a feel for the game and began testing each other. Mackenzie Cowley put the Caseys in front in the 51st minute when she took a pass from Kelly Dolan and tucked the ball into the open space high on the right side of the net. It marked the first time RBC had been in front of IHA in the three championship games. The lead, however, was short lived as the Blue Eagles tied things up less than five minutes later when Mary Jane White booted in her own rebound. Both teams had chances to win the contest, and RBC’s Danielle Colaprico hit the cross bar on a free kick late in the game. The Blue Eagles had a good chance with time running out but their shot sailed over the net. While Santos conceded that a win would have been preferable, the RBC coach noted that both teams played well enough to win. The Caseys last won a state championship in 2005, when they shared the title with Pingry after the two teams played to a scoreless tie in the final. “I’m very proud of our girls, they played a great game against a great team,” Santos said. The state title culminates an outstanding campaign for the Caseys, who went 23-1-1 and won four championships (B North Division, Shore Conference Tournament, Non-Public A South sectional and State Non-Public A). In Non-Public A, RBC worked its way to the championship game by downing Bishop Eustace, 5-1, defeating Notre Dame, 5-0, and edging Paul VI, 5-3, in penalty kicks in a game played at Holmdel High School on Nov. 11. The later victory came on a penalty-kick goal by Kelly Dolan and gave the Caseys the Non- Public A South title for the third straight season. Goalkeeper Lisa Capelli also scored in the penalty-kick shoot-out. Cowley scored in regulation for Santos’ team. RBC’s only loss came against Colts Neck in a Shore Conference B North Division contest at the end of the regular season. Despite the loss, the Caseys won the first of their four championships outright.