Brookdale Women's Soccer Claims Second-Straight NJCAA Division III National Championship

Brookdale Women's Soccer Claims Second-Straight NJCAA Division III National Championship

Meghan Begley's third goal of the year couldn't have come at a better time.  The sophomore midfielder's 30-yard strike hit in the 99th minute (first overtime period) of the 2014 NJCAA Division III women's soccer championship game to give Brookdale Community College its second-straight National title, a 1-0 overtime victory against Richland (TX). Today marks the first time any Brookdale Community College athletics program has won back-to-back National championships.

"I just took the ball, controlled it and hoped it went back in for a header, but it actually went in the net" recalled Begley, a Middletown native and Mater Dei graduate. "There are no words to describe it.  It was just good timing - I picked the right game."

On her team's durability, Begley continued, "we fight until we don't have to fight anymore."

Caroline Duerr (Brielle, NJ/Manasquan), who propelled the Blues into the National championship game with a total of three goals in the tournament, was named the tournament MVP for the second consecutive year.  She agreed with Begley, "I can't sum this feeling into words.  This is what we've wanted since the beginning of the season.  Anything is possible and we proved that tonight.  I wouldn't have wanted to do it with anyone else."

Head coach Katie Miller was named the Coach of the Tournament for the second consecutive year and couldn't have been happier with her team's efforts.  "The teams were very evenly matched.  Our girls left everything out on the field.  They worked hard all year long and this proves that any goal can be achieved with hard work, determination, and by believing in one another."  And, as fate would have it, when Miller was a player for Brookdale in 2006, her squad lost in the National championship game to Richland.  That was the farthest a women's soccer team ever advanced in the National tournament until Miller took the helm.

"They worked hard all year long, did the right things in the classroom and it's just absolutely amazing for this group of girls to achieve something that's never been achieved before."

For her tireless hustle, sophomore Nicole Rodriguez was named the offensive MVP, while defenders Alexandria Montefinese and Amanda Anastasia were named to the All-Tournament team.

Other notes:  Held on the campus of Ocean County College, Brookdale was one of two Region XIX programs competing.  Ocean County College earned the second bid from the Region, and placed fifth in the National tournament. Richland advanced to the winner's bracket after defeating Ocean in penalty kicks, 5-4.   Ocean also earned the tournament Sportsmanship Award and Melissa Fickner and Mary Kate Sullivan were named to the All-Tournament team.