TopOfTheCircle.com

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Oct. 29, 2017 — Last of the county tournaments

One week from today, the finals of the Shore Conference Tournament will be played. The match, featuring Rumson-Fair Haven (N.J.) and Manahawkin Southern Regional (N.J.), represents the last of the 10 in-season tournaments that add to the texture and flavor of the New Jersey scholastic field hockey season.

Most the other dozen or so FA Cup-style knockout tournaments have already been played this year, but this year’s SCT has special significance. That’s because both sides have had tremendous seasons this year and are poised to make a run at state championships.

Rumson-Fair Haven, which has won a number of state titles in the last five years, is in the Group II North 2 bracket. But also in Group II, but in the North 1 bracket, is North Caldwell West Essex (N.J.), your defending Tournament of Champions holder.

Southern Regional is in the Group IV South bracket, and it is a bracket which has hosted the likes of Medford Lakes Shawnee (N.J.) and Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) over the last four decades. And, as it happens, Southern takes on Eastern this Wednesday.

Now, I’ve always said that county tournaments can be great indicators of how teams will do in the high-octane pressure of the state tournament. Let’s see what happens with these two teams.

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