Postseason awards follow Jersey Blues soccer season

first_img BY TIM MORRISStaff Writer All that any coach can ask of his/her team is that is better at the end of the season than it was at the beginning. Brookdale Community College women’s coach Frank Lawrence has no problem saying that about the 2005 Jersey Blues. The season ended with a disappointing 2-1 loss to Camden in the Region XIX championship game, but en route to the Region final, the Jersey Blues improved every game and became a nationally ranked squad. “When I look at where we were at the end of August I thought it would be a stretch to get to this point [Region final],” said Lawrence. “The girls did an amazing job. “We had a great group that had chemistry,” he added. “We had the right mix of great defenders and enough scoring to win.” The Blues won their fourth straight Garden State Athletic Conference title during the campaign and made school history by completing the GSAC season undefeated. They had a nine-game winning streak during the season and finished 10-4 ranked No. 7 in the country. Brookdale had one foot in the door on the way to the District playoffs, leading Camden 1-0. But they surrendered two late goals and fell short of extending their season (Camden won the District playoff and is off to the national tournament). “It’s always disappointing not to win when you’re winning with eight minutes to go,” said Lawrence. “We had beaten them during the regular season and controlled the game. But we gave up two late goals. It was not a lack of effort. They worked extremely hard for 90 minutes. “It’s disappointing, but when I look back on the season, from where we were when we started, it was a great achievement,” he added. “We excelled as a team.” It was the way that the Blues jelled as a team that made the 2005 season such a rewarding one for Lawrence. “It was a easy team to coach,” he said. “The girls worked hard and understood the team concept.” If there was anything that held the Blues back this year, it may have been depth. The team was not particularly deep and injuries that cropped up during the season and late may have led to the team running out of gas late in the championship final against Camden. That aside, the Blues can look upon 2005 as highly rewarding. Postseason awards are always a gauge for how successful a team was and the all-star honors won by Brookdale is an indicator of what the other coaches thought of the Blues. Six players made postseason teams and two, Laura Fiorentino, a defender, and forward Lauren Lovallo, were nominated for All-American honors. Lovallo, Fiorentino and defender Katelyn Miller were selected to the All-Region First Team and goalie Kim Mergner, to the Second Team. Mergner, Fiorentino, defender Erika Thompsen and midfielder Kirsten Difenderfer were selected to the All-Garden State Athletic Conference team. With Fiorentino and Miller among the players coming back next year, Lawrence can see his team returning to the championship game. “We have a good corps of kids returning, including our two defenders, who are terrific players,” he said. BY TIM MORRIS Staff Writer last_img

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