Another stellar year from Turco key for Falcons in postseason

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By Jimmy Allinder

Kara Turco has broken just about every Monroe Township High School girls’ lacrosse scoring record, but she’s not finished yet.

Turco led the Falcons (11-6) against Old Bridge High School May 15 for the Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) Tournament championship. Third-seeded Monroe edged second-seed North Brunswick Township High School, 10-7, to earn a meeting with the top-seeded Knights.

Following the GMC Tournament finals, Monroe will participate in the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Central Jersey, Group IV tournament, where it is the fourth-seed. The Falcons’ first match is in the quarterfinals May 19, when they host the winner of a first-round game between fifth-seeded Marlboro High School and 12th-seeded Toms River High School North.

The tournament continues with semifinal-round matches May 23, and the title match is May 26. All games will be at the site of the higher seed.

Turco is wrapping up what can only be considered a sparkling high school career. Earlier this season, the senior surpassed 400 points and 200 goals for her career. She has registered 62 goals thus far this spring and will undoubtedly score more.

In addition to her goal total, she also leads the team in assists with 55. The next highest scorer is junior attack Ashley Patten (38).

In addition to Turco and Patten, the starting lineup includes seniors Nicole Gardinali (defense), Jenna Cutrone (defense), Courtney Frycz (midfield, 28 goals, 19 assists, team-leading 49 ground balls) and Lesley Lane (attack). The juniors are Julianne Palmer (goaltender), Teresa Buffalino (defense), Kendall Lamauro (defense), Paige Gandy (midfield) and Jill Reina (attack).

Liz Skobelev is the only sophomore in the lineup and has been a solid contributor at midfield with 25 goals and 14 assists. Others seeing action include junior midfielders Christina Wang and Katie Gallagher and sophomore attack Olivia Hyrmoc.

“This has been a special season,” coach Carly Welsh said. “I had high expectations for this team, and each girl has stepped up in her own way. What will continue to make us successful is playing as a whole [team] with confidence, teamwork and maximizing our talent.

“Our township recreation department sponsors a great feeder program, which has helped both the boys’ and girls’ teams enormously. The program has continued to grow and has been responsible for players arriving at the high school skilled and experienced.”

Welsh said another important element has been the communication among the high school and recreation teams.

“The rec coaches have reached out to us to make sure their drills, cues and skill development is in line with what we use,” Welsh said.

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