The Brookdale Jersey Blues women’s soccer team won its third consecutive national championship Nov. 15 with a 1-0 win over Oxford College of Emory University in the final round of the NJCAA Division III tournament, held at Ocean County College in Toms River.
Following nearly 75 scoreless minutes of play, Brookdale freshman Amanda Karabin sent a corner kick to sophomore Simone McEnough, who headed in the go-ahead score. The Jersey Blues would then hold on to win, becoming the first squad in Brookdale history to win three straight national titles.
“It’s an unforgettable feeling,” said McEnough, of Neptune. “That was our motivation today, to etch our names in the record books. And now we have.”
McEnough was named offensive player of the tournament, while sophomore Ashley Cafarella was named the tournament’s most valuable player.
Sophomore goalkeeper Marti Stewart, who did not allow a goal during the tournament, was named defensive player of the tournament, and freshman forward Heather Arbachesky was named to the all-tournament team.
Top coaching honors in the tournament went to Jersey Blues coach Katie Miller, who led each of Brookdale’s championship squads in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
“I’m speechless,” said Miller, a former Jersey Blues soccer player who helped the team reach the NJCAA Division III championship game in 2006.
“This is what we have worked so hard for. We fought through so many tough moments this year, particularly in this tournament, and these players never gave up on each other. As a coach, that’s what I’m most proud of. They are so determined, and so committed to each other. I am extremely humbled by what the women’s soccer team has been able to.”
The Jersey Blues, who spent much of the year ranked No. 1 in the nation, finished the regular season with a 16-1 record. They went 3-0 in the NJCAA Division III tournament, including a double-overtime win over Suffolk County Community College on Nov. 12.
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Check out more photos of the Nov. 15 championship game here.
(Featured photo by Mark DeYoung, college relations intern)