Great season for South Jersey boys’ soccer

by Marc Narducci | Dec 20, 2022
Great season for South Jersey boys’ soccer
This was among the best seasons for South Jersey boys’ soccer in quite some time. Three teams from the seven-county South Jersey area were crowned state champions.

That is half the number of state champs from South Jersey. It’s more impressive when considering there are four sections of the state – North I, North II, Central and South.

For one of those four sections to claim half the championships, shows how much talent there is in South Jersey.

Haddon Township captured the Group 1 state title. Delran was the Group 2 winner for the second consecutive year and Cherokee earned the Group 4 crown. Here is a review of the three state champs.

Haddon Township

The Hawks went 21-2-1 and earned four championships. They won the Colonial Conference Liberty Division, one of the best Group 1-2 sized divisions in the state. In addition, the Hawks won their first-ever South Jersey Coaches Tournament titles. This is the tournament that consists of 16 of the top teams in South Jersey. The Hawks beat Shawnee in penalty kicks in the championship after the teams had played to a 1-1 draw through 100 minutes of regulation and overtime.

Haddon Township then won the South Jersey Group 1 championship, beating Glassboro, 4-0 in the championship. After a 6-3 state Group 1 semifinal win over Shore Regional, Haddon Township defeated Waldwick, 2-1 in the state final That reversed the outcome of a year ago, when Waldwick defeated the Hawks 2-0 in the state Group 1 championship.

It was the third state title in school history, all under current coach Jim Bonder.

The catalyst for Haddon Township this year was senior midfielder Luke Chatten, who finished with 29 goals and 24 assists. In six playoff games, he had 11 goals and five assists. Chatten will be taking his talents to Delaware.

Delran

Former Delran player Tommy Orr is now 2-for-2 as a head coach. In his second season, he earned his second state championship.

The Bears finished 14-3-5 and tied Cinnaminson for the Burlington County Liberty Division title. Delran didn’t compete in the Coaches Tournament.

The Bears, who were seeded No. 6 in the South Jersey tournament, defeated Sterling, 2-0 in the South Jersey championship.

After beating Holmdel, 2-1 in the state Group 2 semifinal, the Delran defeated Ramsey, 1-0 to capture the 10th state title in school history.

Junior Drew Roskos was the catalyst for Delran. He finished the season with 25 goals and five assists and was at his best in the postseason. 

Roskos scored at least one goal in each of Delran’s six playoff games and finished with eight goals and two assists in the postseason.

Cherokee

The Chiefs, coached by Glenn Thomsen, finished 16-2-3. They placed second in the Olympic Conference American Division, one game behind champion Shawnee. Cherokee beat St. Augustine, 3-0 in a first-round Coaches Tournament game, but then was eliminated in the quarterfinals by West Deptford on penalty kicks.

The Chiefs beat Rancocas Valley, 1-0, to win the South Jersey Group 4 title. After beating Freehold Township, 1-0 in the state Group 4 semifinal, Cherokee captured the Group 4 state championship with a win in penalty kicks over West Orange.

 The teams played to a 1-1 draw through regulation and overtime before the Chiefs earned a 3-1 penalty kick advantage. It was Cherokee’s first state title since 2011 and fourth overall.

Senior Miguel Graterol led a balanced scoring attack with 13 goals, in addition to producing eight assists. Classmate Chris Meder had 12 goals and 10 assists, tying Graterol for the team’s point lead with 34.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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