Colonial Conf. Liberty Of Interest

by Marc Narducci; photo Marc Narducci | Sep 26, 2014
Colonial Conf. Liberty Of Interest Colonial Conference Liberty Should Provide a Great Field Hockey Race

One of the most interesting races in South Jersey this season will be in the Colonial Conference Liberty Division. This is one of the top small-school conferences in the state in field hockey. In this six-team division that consists of the Colonial Conference’s larger-enrollment schools, three of them are major contenders.

Those three are defending champion Collingswood, along with West Deptford and Haddonfield. Newcomer Audubon is considered dangerous, but probably on paper, a notch below the three aforementioned teams.

While Audubon is a long-time Colonial Conference school, the Green Wave have moved from the smaller-enrollment Patriot to the larger enrollment Liberty.

As far as the postseason games, West Deptford will be among the favorites in South Jersey Group 2. Defending sectional champion Collingswood, along with Haddonfield and Audubon are among the major expected contenders in Central Jersey Group 1.

Last week’s game between West Deptford and Collingswood was an example of the type of close contests in what should be a tight race.

With goals by Eirann Canning and Lauren Henry, West Deptford scored a 2-1 overtime win over Collingswood.

Henry’s goal came a minute into the sudden death overtime period.

That gives West Deptford the early edge, but there is a long way to go. The Colonial Liberty teams will play each other twice in the regular season. The rematch will be October 8 at Collingswood.

The game against Collingswood was the only one in the first four games in which West Deptford received a major test. The other three wins over Woodstown, Overbrook and Paulsboro were by a combined 22-1 score.

In fact, West Deptford showed during its opening 4-0 win over Woodstown that the Eagles will again be a major factor in South Jersey Group 2.

Last year, West Deptford won the South Jersey Group 2 title with a 1-0 win over that same Woodstown team.

And despite some key losses to graduation, Collingswood has shown in the early going that it won’t relinquish its Colonial Conference title easily.

The Panthers rebounded from the loss to West Deptford to beat Gateway, 8-1 as Kelly Rodgers and Morgan McConnell each had hat tricks. Rodgers also had the lone goal against West Deptford. Collingswood was tested immediately, but is facing Haddonfield and West Deptford in its first two games.

The Panthers opened with a 2-1 win over Haddonfield as Rodgers got both goals.

After losing to Collingswood, Haddonfield won its next two games over Sterling and Woodbury by a combined 16-0 margin.

As for Audubon, the Green Wave started out 2-1, losing to a quality Haddon Township team. Since Audubon is so young, this is a team that will likely be better during the second part of the season.

In addition, the teams in the Colonial Liberty will play one crossover game against the Colonial Patriot Division. Haddon Township and Haddon Heights are considered the favorites in the Patriot. Since Haddon Township already owns a 2-0 win over Heights, the Hawks have moved into the frontrunner role.

Either way, the Colonial will provide outstanding field hockey competition all season. And while West Deptford has earned the early edge in the highly competitive Liberty Division, this one has a chance to go down to the wire.

Photo (Marc Narducci): No. 19 in the white for West Deptford Ciara Girouard battling with No. 4 for Collingswood Morgan McConnell

© SouthJersey.com 2014. All rights reserved. This article or parts thereof may not be reprinted or reproduced by any other party without the express written consent of SouthJersey.com. For more information, please call 856-797-9910.

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Author: Marc Narducci; photo by Marc Narducci

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