Washington Township No. 1 Story

Washington Township No. 1 Story Washington Township The No. 1 Story in SJ Boys’ Soccer Washington Township’s boys soccer entered the season with the highest of expectations and then the Minutemen went out and showed why. The Minutemen began the season as South Jersey’s No. 1 team and ended it there after earning the first state Group 4 title in the program’s history.

Washington Township suffered an early regular season loss to Eastern and then went unbeaten the rest of the way during a 26-1 campaign.

Not only that, but Washington Township was named the state’s No. 1 ranked team by NJ.com.

The season was capped off with a 1-0 win over Scotch Plains in the state Group 4 title game. An early goal in the state final by Zach Burns held up for coach Shane Snyder’s Minutemen. This capped a strong two-year run by the Minutemen, who went 51-2 over the past two seasons.

The one loss last year came to Clearview in the South Jersey Group 4 final, a game in which the Minutemen had their chances, but weren’t able to capitalize against an excellent Pioneers team.

So this year the expectations were extremely high.

Not only did the Minutemen win the South Jersey and state titles, but for the second year in a row they were the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association champion. That is the tournament that consists of the top 16 teams in South Jersey.

Midfielder Lou Vilotti was named an All-American by the National Soccer Coaches Association of American.

Vilotti had 16 goals and 30 assists, but that only told part of the story. He was the one who directed the offense and got it moving while also being a cog in a defense that was air-tight.

A person who always looked to set up his teammates, Vilotti set a school record with 50 career assists.

Forward Derek MacKinnon was named The Philadelphia Inquirer South Jersey Player of the Year after getting 19 goals and 15 assists.

Last season, MacKinnon’s season ended with a knee injury during a South Jersey Group 4 semifinal win over Shawnee.

This year, he scored one big goal after another. He had the game-winner in overtime during Washington Township’s 3-2 win over Cherokee in the Coaches Tournament championship games. Then, facing that same Chiefs team, MacKinnon scored both goals in a 2-1 South Jersey Group 4 semifinal victory.

MacKinnon, with an assist from Vilotti, then scored the lone goal in Township’s 1-0 victory over Toms River North in the South Jersey Group 4 final.

He then added a game-winning goal in Township’s 2-1 state Group 4 semifinal win over Manalapan. It was quite a ride for somebody who played his best in the most significant games.

Township also received an all-star season from forward Burak Ozdemir, who provided 160 goals and 10 assists.

Yet another senior, Ed McCusker was a consensus all-South Jersey defender. He guided a Minuteman defense that recorded 15 shutouts. Junior Travis Yates was strong in goal throughout the season.

The ability to win close games was key for Washington Township. The Minutemen won 12 games by one goal, including their last five, all in the most pressurized of settings. This clutch play enabled the Minutemen to live up to their extremely high preseason expectations.

© 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.

For more Local Sports features, visit our South Jersey Sports page.

Article continues below

advertisement
Inspira_Banner_728x90_12.19



Author: Marc Narducci

Archives


Best of the Shore 2019

The Best of the Brunch

West Deptford boys’ Basketball Looking for a Healthy Second Half

Hit or Miss

Andy Reid Looks to Earn an Elusive Super Bowl Title

Camden Showing Expected Dominance this Basketball Season

Let’s Get This Over With

Palate: Il Classico

NFL Recognizes Camden Coach Dwayne Savage

Names to Know

Having Malcolm Jenkins Return is Key for the Eagles

Real Estate Roundup

All-South Jersey Soccer Teams Honored

South Jersey Happy Hour Guide

Year in Review 2019


More...