(This story appeared in the November 20th issue of The Stall, the student run newspaper of Brookdale Community College.)
It took 99 minutes, which means the first overtime period, but the Jersey Blues Women’s Soccer team defeated Richland (Texas) College 1-0 in the 2014 NJCAA Division III women’s soccer championship game on Sunday to give Brookdale its second-straight National title. The victory marks the first time any Brookdale athletics program has won back-to-back National championships in school history.
Sophomore midfielder Meghan Bradley scored only two goals all season, but then after a corner kick, she took a shot from about 30 yards away and it sailed over the goalie and into the net.
“I just took the ball, controlled it and hoped it went back in for a header, but it actually went in the net” recalled Begley, a Middletown native and Mater Dei graduate. “There are no words to describe it. It was just good timing – I picked the right game.”
Sophomore forward Caroline Duerr (Brielle, NJ/Manasquan,) who propelled the Blues into the National Championship game with a total of three goals in the tournament, was named the tournament MVP for the second consecutive year.
“I can’t sum this feeling into words,” Duerr said. “This is what we’ve wanted since the beginning of the season. Anything is possible and we proved that tonight. I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with anyone else.”
Head coach Katie Miller was named the Coach of the Tournament for the second consecutive year and could not have been happier with her team’s efforts.
“The teams were very evenly matched,” said Miller, who played on the 2006 Brookdale team that lost in the National Championship game to the same Richland team. “Our girls left everything out on the field. This proves that any goal can be achieved with hard work, determination, and by believing in one another. They worked hard all year long, did the right things in the classroom and it’s just absolutely amazing for this group of girls to achieve something that’s never been achieved before.”
Sophomore Nicole Rodriguez was named the offensive MVP, while defenders Alexandra Montefinese and Amanda Anastasia were named to the All-Tournament team.
The team finished the regular season 16-1, including an 8-0 record in conference play. They defeated Union 6-0 to win the Region XIX Tournament and advance to the National Tournament, which was held at Ocean County College. They beat Anne Arundel Community College (Maryland) 3-1 in the quarterfinals and Rock Valley College (Illinois) 3-0 in the semifinals to advance to the championship game.
Congratulations to the team on a great season!