The Jersey Blues women’s soccer team carved their names into the record books once again on Nov. 16, becoming the first team in college history to win back-to-back national championships.
Following 99 tense, scoreless minutes in the NJCAA Division III title game at Ocean County College, sophomore Megan Begley connected on a 30-yard strike in overtime to put the Blues past Richland (Texas) College, 1-0.
“There are no words to describe it,” said Begley. “It was just good timing. I picked the right game.”
Begley’s well-timed goal kicked off a wild celebration among the Blues and their supporters, dozens of whom braved a cold November night to see the team hoist the NJCAA trophy for the second straight year.
“We have all been working so hard for this for so long,” said sophomore Caroline Duerr, who scored three goals throughout the championship tournament and was named tournament MVP for the second consecutive year. “The fact that we came together and pulled through in the end, words cannot describe how happy we all are right now.”
The victory was particularly special for Coach Katie Miller, who was a player for the Jersey Blues in 2006. That year the squad came close to winning Brookdale’s first ever women’s soccer championship, but fell to Richland in the final game.
“It kind of came full circle for me tonight,” said Miller, who was named Coach of the Tournament for the second straight year. “To watch these 15 student athletes pull together and do what they did tonight was amazing.
“They have worked so hard to get here, they did the right things on the field and in the classroom, and I am just so, so proud of what they have accomplished,” Miller added.
Sophomore Nicole Rodriguez was also named the offensive MVP of the tournament, while defenders Alexandra Montefinese and Amanda Anastasia were named to the All-Tournament team.
More photos of the game are available here.
(MAIN IMAGE COURTESY OF TOM SMITH)