MONROE — Despite falling behind in the opening portion of their contest Monday afternoon, the East Brunswick High School field hockey team stayed the course and found their offensive touch, doubling their season output in goals scored en route to a 3-2 victory over Monroe Monday afternoon.
Senior Rachel Huang recorded a first half hat trick to pace the East Brunswick (2-2) attack, which had scored just three goals in three games to begin the season.
“We’re still working on a lot of things and we’re still getting into a rhythm and we’re working on our chemistry so I just wanted to help out the team today with my offense,” Huang said.
The help was needed, especially after Monroe jumped out on top just 3:45 into the game, when Jenna Parisen beat Emily Polinski for the goal. But the Bears knew that they needed to stay the course and play their game, something that head coach Cindi Todoroff praised afterwards.
“As far as going down 1-0, we just had to be patient and work the game. What we were trying to do today was improve our small-passing game,” Todoroff said. “We stayed with our passing game and made some adjustments, worked the ball and that all resulted in some good scoring opportunities and we finished.”
Less than 10 minutes after Parisen’s tally, Huang connected on her first goal of the season, taking a Meagan Costello pass in the middle of the defense and slapping a shot into the back of the goal. But the 2012 Home News Tribune first team All-Area performer wasn’t done, as she put the Bears on top for good five minutes later. Taylor McNamara fed Huang on top of the offensive formation and Huang ripped a shot home exactly halfway through the opening 30 minutes.
For good measure, Huang completed the hat trick with an unassisted goal just before intermission.
“We stuck to our plan and stayed patient and Rachel had three goals; in games like this you look for your impact players to step up and that’s what happened today,” Todoroff said.
Monroe got back into the game midway through the second stanza when Jenna Morelli clicked on an unassisted goal at the 15:30 mark, but the Falcons couldn’t get the equalizer as the time ticked away.
The Falcons were able to keep East Brunswick off of the scoreboard in the second half, something that Huang said is becoming customary of Monroe’s teams during the years.
“They play really good defense and it was just a lot of unforced errors that I was able to take advantage of; without those errors, it would have been a really close game,” she said.
Even with the victory that evened up their season record, Todoroff knows that her squad has plenty to work on at practice.
“We also had a number of scoring opportunities that we didn’t finish, so we’ll work on that in practice,” Todoroff said. “Defensively, Monroe plays a really great circle attack, and we were getting beat a lot; we need to work on that as well.”