The Central Regional girls soccer team improved to 3-0 on Friday, but it took some last-minute heroics by Gina Cowdrick to make it happen.
The Golden Eagles (3-0) defeated Monsignor Donovan 2-1 in overtime in a nondivisional contest in Toms River. Donovan was leading 1-0 on Erin Ruddy's goal when Cowdrick, a senior midfielder, volleyed in a cross from senior forward Samantha Jensen with less than a minute in regulation to tie the game.
Then she did it again, scoring off a corner kick that turned into a scramble in front of the the net.
"The ball was bouncing around in the box and it just rolled in front of me and I finished it," Cowdrick said.
"In the first half Donovan definitely dominated us," Cowdrick said, "but we had a little pep talk at halftime and in the second half we came out ready to go."
It was a big win for the Golden Eagles, who face tough challenges next week when they host Jackson Liberty on Monday and Lacey, one of their biggest rivals, on Wednesday.
"Both games are going to be tough," Cowdrick said. A comeback victory may be just the confidence booster they need to master those challenges.
The Central Regional field hockey team also improved to 3-0 on Friday, with a 4-0 nondivisional victory over Brick Memorial in Brick.
Ashley Aires had a pair of goals off passes from Allie Zambito and Brittany Oldehoff and Jess Sudia also scored for the Golden Eagles, who took a 3-1 lead in the first half and held strong in the second, finishing with 26 shots to Brick Memorial's 9.
Briana DeGraaf assisted on Oldehoff's goal, and Alexa Padula and Taylor Keehn shared the goalie duties in notching the shutout.
Central travels to Lacey and to Barnegat this week in what should be a key test for the Golden Eagles' title hopes.
The Central boys soccer team suffered a tough loss on Friday, falling 3-1 to Monsignor Donovan in Bayville.
TJ DenBleyker headed in a cross from Andrew Stazzone for the Golden Eagles, who fell to 1-2 on the season. Freshman Blake Czajkowski left the game with an injury, and coach Rob Bechtloff said that makes six starters who are currently injured. He was hopeful that Czajkowski's injury was not serious.
Dakota Thomson had eight saves for Central, which travels to Jackson Liberty on Monday before heading to Lacey for a key divisional contest on Wednesday.
In girls tennis, Central fell to 2-2 on the season after being swept by Barnegat, 5-0, on Friday in Barnegat. The Golden Eagles hope to shake off a couple of tough days on the court when they host Manchester on Monday. Central then travels to Brick on Wednesday and to Monsignor Donovan next Friday.
In girls volleyball, Central suffered its first loss of the season, 2-1 to Brick in Brick. The Golden Eagles (2-1) won the first game 25-22, but the Dragons rallied to take two straight games to win. Michelle Iozzia had nine kills, Sarah Will had seven aces and Taylor Robertazzi had 13 assists for Central, which hosts Point Beach on Monday and travels to Manchester on Wednesday.