The glory ride of the Colts Neck High School girls’ soccer team finally came to an end.
Colts Neck’s bid to win the NJSIAA Group IV tournament championship, one year after the Cougars had captured the Group III state title, was denied by a powerful Hunterdon Central Regional High School team, 4-1.
That result occurred in the Central Jersey, Group IV semifinals Nov. 9 in Flemington.
Colts Neck had already claimed one major title this fall — the Shore Conference Tournament championship this past month. But a Group IV title was well within reach, especially when All-Stater Frankie Tagliaferri returned to the team midway through the season.
Tagliaferri had opened the season playing with the U.S. Women’s National Team in the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan.
She returned and was highly productive in the nine games that she played with Colts Neck. In those games, the star, who is headed to Penn State University, connected on 22 goals while leading the squad to the Shore Conference Tournament crown and a final record of 15-3-1.
Tagliaferri was instrumental in Colts Neck advancing to play Hunterdon Central by firing in three goals when Colts Neck pinned a 4-0 setback on East Brunswick High School, the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament champion, in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
Hunterdon Central managed a way to keep her from scoring in the semifinals, which helped that team advance in the tournament.
In that defeat, Colts Neck received a goal from Kristi Mikula, which came in the final minutes of the game.
The Colts Neck football team posted a 28-7 victory over Hightstown High School in the NJSIAA regional crossover consolation game Nov. 12 in Colts Neck. The regional crossover games are the option for teams that do not qualify for the state sectional playoffs.
Vincent Garguilo rushed for 82 yards on 10 carries and scored two touchdowns, and Carmen Catena gained 60 yards on six rushes and ended with one touchdown to spark Colts Neck.
Ashante Worthy is a very busy player on the football field. And he keeps the scoreboard operator busy, too.
Worthy’s explosive play as Freehold’s quarterback established a state record Nov. 12, when he guided his team to a 69-56 victory over Pennsauken High School in the opening round of the Central Jersey, Group IV playoffs in Pennsauken.
The total amount of points that were recorded in this wild shootout — 125 points — established a state record for scoring in a sectional playoff game.
The former record for scoring in a playoff game was 119 points, which was rung up between Paramus High School and North Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan Nov. 19, 2010. Old Tappan won that duel, 63-56.
Worthy was the player on the controls while these teams set state history.
He kept the ball to score an astounding eight touchdowns, and he also passed for two touchdowns. In the first quarter alone, he scored on touchdown runs of 10 and 13 yards, and he connected with Alonte Hair for scoring passes of 13 and 54 yards.
In the second quarter, he ran for touchdowns from 1, 51 and 15 yards, and he ripped off a 30-yard burst to the end zone in the third quarter. With his team holding onto a 56-50 edge entering the final quarter, he sealed the victory with scoring runs of 23 and 53 yards.
He also set a Shore Conference record for his 465 rushing yards, breaking the former mark of 425 yards that were amassed by Manalapan’s John Sieczkowski in 2011.
Worthy’s superb effort came a week after he ran for two touchdowns and threw two touchdown passes in a 28-8 victory over Long Branch High School.
Freehold Township High School’s field hockey team ran into a buzzsaw in the semifinals of the Group IV tournament.
Freehold Township’s season came to an end when Eastern Regional High School — the most accomplished field hockey program in New Jersey history — rolled to a 13-0 victory in the semifinals that were played Nov. 10 at Hightstown.
Howell High School rode the arm of its potent quarterback, Eddie Morales, to get by host Vineland High School, 29-27, in the first round of the South Jersey, Group V playoffs Nov. 11.
The talented quarterback connected on 19 of his 30 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns.
But it was the foot of Patrick Handy that sent Howell to the victory when he kicked a field goal with 22 second to go. That clutch kick gave Howell a 29-27 edge.
At the state gymnastics individual championships Nov. 12 at Montgomery High School, Howell’s Monica Servidio was crowned the state champion in the uneven bars with a score of 9.65. She also placed second on the floor exercise with a score of 9.6.
The undefeated Manalapan High School football team picked up its 10th victory of the season and gained a berth in the semifinals of Central Jersey, Group V with a 49-0 triumph over visiting New Brunswick High School in the first round of the playoffs Nov. 11 in Manalapan.
Naim Mayfield ran for 247 yards and three touchdowns, including an 83-yard sprint, and quarterback Luke Corcione passed for one touchdown and kept for an 18-yard scoring run to help the Braves build a 35-0 lead at the half.
Next up for the Braves is the defending sectional champion, South Brunswick High School, in the semifinals Nov. 18 in Manalapan.
Marlboro High School’s historic boys’ soccer season came to a bitter end when the Mustangs were eliminated from the state tournament by a penalty kick Nov. 10 in Flemington.
Third-seeded Marlboro and top-seeded Hunterdon Central battled to a scoreless tie and then both teams remained in a draw as each school connected on five goals in the first round of penalty kicks.
Brian Dates, Steven Karp, Josh Grun, Brett Easton and Jaden Strumeier each converted in that session for Marlboro.
Then in the sudden victory portion of the penalty kicks, Dates hit for Marlboro, but Hunterdon Central scored twice to pull out the dramatic victory.
The result left Marlboro with a final record of 20-3-1, with the 20 triumphs counting as the most in program history.
Marlboro’s football team was dealt a 31-22 loss by Edison High School in the NJSIAA regional crossover consolation game Nov. 12 in Marlboro.
Cameron Caorsi broke off a 59-yard run to the end zone, while Johnny Helff scored from a yard out and Justin Marcus caught a 12-yard touchdown pass from Mike Wolff to account for Marlboro’s scoring.