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Sep 07, 2022

Colts Neck Field Hockey to Continue Winning Trend

By Les Pierce

Junior defender Tori Henderson

The Colts Neck High School field hockey team has established a trend of winning. Over the past five years, they have posted a win loss record of 66-18-4. They claimed the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2 Group 3 championship in 2017 and the NJSIAA Central East C Championship in 2020. With many key personnel returning, it appears the Cougars are poised for continued success.

The offense will be energized by Kylie Dawson (Sr. F), Sofia DeThomasis (Sr. F), Abby Kenny (Sr. M), Liriana Seferovic (Sr. M), Jess Schlindra (Jr. F) and Faith Hanwacker (So. F). Dawson led the squad last season in assists with 10.

Last year, the Cougar defense produced nine shutouts. Colts Neck has traditionally been tough on defense and should continue that reputation through the efforts of Jessie Serluco (Sr. D), Abby Polyanskiy (Sr. D), Abby Bellows (Sr. D) and Tori Henderson (Jr. D). Henderson was named to the Shore Coaches A-North All Division squad in 2021 and managed to score six goals as a defender.  

Goalkeeper Elizabeth Connors (108 career saves) has been lost to graduation. Senior Alex Blaszczyk will take over in the cage.  

Colts Neck has moved to the B North Division and will be facing new rivals. Head Coach Maria Merlucci expects Ocean, Saint John Vianney and Manasquan to present the most significant challenges. “We lost three seniors to graduation but we have a lot of depth and have worked really hard in the off season,” Merlucci said.  

Prior to Merlucci taking over the reins, the Cougars were considered an easy mark by opposing teams, a soft spot on the schedule. That has all changed under Merlucci. She is approaching her 100th career win milestone, having completed the 2021 campaign at 98.

Named as captains for the 2022 squad are Bellows, Dawson, Kenny, Seferovic and Serluco.