Staff Writer By Warren Rappleyea South girls are looking to compete for A North title Field hockey team must overcome slow start The Middletown High School field hockey team is looking to get back to the .500 mark after a 1-3-2 start. With just three players with varsity experience back, goalie Jill Green and forwards Becky Bolen and Jill DeMarco, the young Eagles have played better than the record might indicate, coach Meghan Harmon said. “Our defense is good, and we’re very strong in goal with Jill Green, and we have excellent team speed,” the first-year coach said. “This is a young team, so they’ll be able to grow together, but they will make some mistakes. Right now they’re working hard to learn our new system. I’m very pleased with their efforts.” Middletown South earned its victory against Freehold Township and gained ties against Toms River North and Howell. Green, who recently set a team record with 26 saves in a game, is the backbone of the team. A three-year starter, the veteran netminder has been spectacular in the early going. Seniors Liz McGee, Sarah Black and Paige Williams lead the defense, which also includes junior Katie Collins and sophomores Kaitlyn Dudzinski, Jackie DeLuca and Leslie Zak. On the forward line, Bolen and DeMarco are joined by junior Breanne Murray and sophomores Alyssa Evans and Allison Gibney. Versatile senior Jessica Bernadini is in the middle along with sophomore Maura Jane McCall; both add scoring punch. Juniors Allison Oliver and Kelly Toth also play midfield. “We have several players who can score and that will only help us,” Harmon said. “With our speed we can create the scoring chances we need.” Middletown South is looking at a three-game week. The Eagles were slated to meet Neptune yesterday and will visit Manalapan tomorrow before hosting Freehold Township on Friday. The Eagles find themselves in the middle of the pack in the Shore Conference’s Class A North thus far with Middletown North sitting atop the division. However, the remainder of the division’s teams are off to starts similar to the Eagles’, leaving no clear favorite in the division race. South will get another shot at fifth-ranked Middletown North on Oct. 4, when they host the upstart Lions in what should be an important game for both teams.