Great Season For South Jersey Girls’ Soccer Teams

by Marc Naducci | Dec 8, 2022
Great Season For South Jersey Girls’ Soccer Teams
While there were no state championships won by high school girls' soccer teams from the seven-county South Jersey area, it was still a great season, with two teams advancing to the state final and another losing on penalty kicks in the state semifinal.

Palmyra (18-1-3) won the South Jersey Group 1 championship. The Panthers then were eliminated by penalty kicks in the state Group 1 semifinal by Point Pleasant Beach. The teams had played to a 1-1 draw through regulation and two overtime.

Palmyra junior Julia Ostroff scored her 30th goal of the season. Then Point Pleasant Beach advanced by earning a 5-4 edge in the penalty kick shootout. With a strong returning cast led by Ostroff, Palmyra should be a contender next season.

Seneca (15-8) was the South Jersey Group 2 champion. The Golden Eagles then were eliminated by Wall, 1-0, in the state Group 2 semifinal.

Juniors Gabby Miller and Ava Palladino each scored 17 goals for Seneca, giving the Golden Eagles a strong foundation for next season.

Cherry Hill West (13-7-4) was the South Jersey Group 3 champion. The Lions advanced to the state final before losing on penalty kicks to Ramapo.

The teams played to a 3-3 tie through regulation and two overtimes before Ramapo won the penalty kick segment, 6-5.

Junior Kennedy Erdman will lead next year’s team after scoring 21 goals, but the Lions will miss senior Reilly McGlinn, a Rutgers commit, who scored 19 goals.

Eastern won the South Jersey Group 4 championship, but the Vikings had the toughest state semifinal of any area team. In the state semis, Eastern fell to Freehold Township, 3-0. Freehold Township ended the season ranked No. 1 in the final NJ.com state poll.

Eastern (22-2-2) could still stake a claim as South Jersey’s No. 1 team after winning the 16-team South Jersey Coaches Tournament, beating Shawnee, 1-0 in the championship game. The Coaches Tournament consists of the top teams in South Jersey.

The future appears bright for Eastern, whose top two scorers were sophomores. Katerina Kokolis, who had 11 goals, and Aubrey Benfield, who added nine.

The South Jersey Non-Public B title was won by a team outside of the South Jersey area, Rutgers Prep, which beat Holy Cross, 5-1 in the sectional title game.

There was an area team that won the South Jersey Non-Public A title – Paul VI. The Eagles were the No. 7 seed but defeated top-seeded Red Bank Catholic, 2-1, in the sectional championship.

Paul VI (12-8) then lost a heartbreaker in the state final, falling 4-3 in overtime to Immaculate Heart. Paul VI will return one of the top defenders in South Jersey next season, current junior Sophia Miller, but the Eagles will miss the offensive production of senior Olivia Brocious. A Drexel commit, Brocious had a team-high 18 goals and shared the team lead with six assists.

One other note, Paul VI won the Olympic Conference National Division. The Eagles were one of three sectional champions in the division, with Cherry Hill West and Seneca.

There aren’t many divisions in any sport that can boast of three sectional champions.

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Author: Marc Naducci

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