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Jaguars making push to get into state, conference tourneys

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Jackson Memorial High School’s girls’ soccer team is in the tournament hunt after a slow start.

The Jaguars recently reeled off five straight victories after a 2-2 start and on Oct. 10, they rallied from a 1-0 deficit at halftime on second-half goals by junior interior midfielder Lindsay Bathmann and senior defender Cassie Collimore to beat Toms River High School East, 2-1.

Karyssa Neidt, a senior, made 11 saves in goal.

It set Jackson Memorial’s record to 8-3 — all against Shore Conference A South Division opponents — as it nears the cutoff for berths in the Shore Conference and NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group IV tournaments.

“We had a couple of injuries [early in the season], and girls stepped up and filled different spots,” coach Drew Gibson said. “We’ve played pretty well once they were used to playing with each other. It just took a while.”

Jackson Memorial bounced back in the Oct. 10 victory from a 1-0 loss to Toms River High School North Oct. 6 — a second loss to Toms River North this season that has virtually knocked the Jaguars out of the division race and put their focus on the upcoming tournaments.

Senior Kylee Sullivan made six saves in goal. She has four shutouts on the season. The loss ended a five-game win steak in which the Jaguars outscored their opponents, 14-4.

Alyssa Fernandez, a junior forward, leads the scoring with eight goals, and junior middle midfielder Madyson Taylor has five. Senior Emily Jacoby also has been effective at forward. Freshman Natalie Knauf and Bathmann join Taylor as interior midfielders. Seniors Caitlyn Fogarty and Bridget Sheeran and junior Carissa Eckel play on the outside. Junior Alexis Casella and sophomores Kaysie Lauro and Corryn Eckel bolster the back line with Collimore.

Jackson Memorial plays at St. Rose High School Oct. 13 in a nondivison game and has A South games at Central Regional High School Oct. 14 and at home against Brick Township High School Oct. 17.

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