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Undefeated Patriots field hockey team still seeks improvement

Eric Sucar
The Freehold Township field hockey team huddles together prior to the Shore Conference Tournament game against Rumson-Fair Haven held at Rumson-Fair Haven High School in Rumson on October 26.

Freehold Township High School’s field hockey team secured a 4-0 victory against Howell High School, its Shore Conference A North Division foe, to move to 2-0-1 on the season.

But coach Kara Moceri still sees room for improvement for her Patriots.

“They stepped it up in the second half when they needed to,” Moceri said following the game at Howell on Sept. 11. “They worked together and cleaned up a few things that I asked them to work on at halftime. So we had a strong second half, but we need to be better.”

Four different players scored for Freehold Township against Howell, including a penalty shot by Kali Williams moments before the game ended. Williams also had an assist in the game. Elena Andreyev  registered a goal and two assists, while Julia Eriksen and Kirsten Murphy each scored a goal.

Freehold Township was only ahead 1-0 at halftime, which Moceri was not happy about.

“We need to come out strong right away,” Moceri said. “We do all this work on the basics over and over again in practice. So when don’t see it right away, it’s frustrating. We tend to wait until the last minute to step up our game. We need to do that for a full 60 minutes.”

Moceri was impressed with the effort in the second half, when the Patriots scored three goals.

“I thought our communication was good,” Moceri said. “They began to finish and execute in the circle in the second half. So that was pretty good.”

The fifth-year coach has guided Freehold Township  to three straight Central Jersey, Group 4 state titles.

“We won Central Jersey, Group 4 last year,” Moceri said. “So hopefully, we make it four in a row in Group 4.”

In this year’s season opener on Sept. 7, Freehold Township defeated Saint John Vianney High School, 9-2. The Patriots followed that victory with a tie the next day against Wall High School, 3-3.

Williams believed the team could step up in its next game, which was scheduled for Sept. 13 at Neptune High School.

“We kept clumping up in the circle,” Williams said. “We need to believe in ourselves and start playing to best of our ability.”

Williams was happy with the team’s ability to stretch the field and dominate time of possession.

“Definitely, we used the length and width of the field to our advantage,” Williams said. “We were able to create space and open up the lanes for passes. We were using the long through ball that helped us to get all the way up the field into the circle to get shots off.”

The Patriots remained undefeated at 4-0-1 when they played at home against Middletown High School North on Sept. 15, winning by a score of 3-1.

Freehold Township was scheduled to play at home against Middletown High School South on Sept. 18 and visited Manalapan High School on Sept. 19 before returning home to face local rival Freehold High School on Sept. 23 at 10 a.m.

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