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Mar 14, 2023

RBR Girls’ Lacrosse Facing Tough Schedule Again

By Les Pierce

Defender Sophia Callano (right)

The Red Bank Regional girls’ lacrosse team finished the 2022 season with a middling 9-9 record, yet they finished the season ranked in the shore conference top 10. A team lacking a winning record is rarely ranked, unless they have just endured a dreadful schedule.

Such was the case with the Buccaneers. Last year, their slate of 18 games included 10 matches with state-ranked and/or shore conference top 10 squads. This year’s schedule will provide a rough ride yet again.

  However, the old adage is “Improvement comes from competing with the best.” Perhaps the Bucs derived some benefit from their experience that will lead to success this spring.

There is much anticipation as to the return of Paige Kelly (Sr. A) to the lineup. Kelly had a breakout sophomore year with numbers including 76 goals, 64 ground balls and 56 draw controls. She was named to the APP.com All-Shore First Team and the Shore Coaches All-Shore First Team that year. In 2022, she suffered a season-ending injury in the fourth game of the campaign. At the time, she was on track to exceed the 100-goal milestone. In spite of the injury, she remained one of the highest-profile recruits in the state. The senior has committed to the University of North Carolina.

Other top players on the roster are Marley Victor (Sr. M), Janey Wright (Sr. A/M), Lily Savko (Jr. M/D), Molly Wood (Sr. M), Sophia Callano (Jr. D), Elizabeth Kelly (Sr. D) and Carina Appel (Sr. G).

Last season, Victor scored 39 goals, provided 22 assists, picked up 26 game balls, prevailed on 37 draw controls and caused 14 forced turnovers. Wright tied Victor for team high on goals at 39. Both players were selected to the Shore Coaches B-North All Division First Team.

Savko’s stats included 28 goals, 22 assists, 24 draw controls and 15 forced turnovers. Wood put up 28 goals, 21 assists and 22 draw controls.

A tenacious defender, Callano menaced opponents to cause 15 forced turnovers. She also scooped 30 ground balls.  

Joining Callano in the backfield, Elizabeth Kelly posted 10 forced turnovers and garnered 20 ground balls. The senior was rostered to the Shore Coaches B-North All Division Second Team.

Goalkeeper Appel netted 73 saves in 2022. She shares the position with Natalie Clark (Jr. G) who stopped 27 shots.

Red Bank will host Monmouth Regional on Tuesday, April 4 to start the season.