A look at South Jersey’s Top H.S. Girls’ Soccer Teams

by Marc Narducci | Sep 15, 2023
A look at South Jersey’s Top H.S. Girls’ Soccer Teams
The South Jersey High School girls’ soccer season kicked off last week and in looking at who should be the top teams, there is no better place to go than Jamie McGroarty’s preseason Top 20.

McGroarty is the head coach of Eastern and has done so much to promote high school soccer in South Jersey. Each year he publishes a Top 20 and does so with great candor. 

Many coaches don’t want to put the pressure on their team by predicting success, but McGroarty calls it as he sees it and he has put his Eastern team as No. 1. 

McGroarty isn’t the only person high on his team. The Vikings were the highest ranked South Jersey team in NJ.com’s preseason state Top 20, earning the No. 7 spot.

With eight returning starters from a team that went 22-2-2 and won the South Jersey Group 4 title, Eastern appears ready to contend again for the top spot. In addition to winning the SJ Group 4 title, the Vikings also captured the South Jersey Coaches Tournament title, which consists of the top teams in the area. It was the Vikings’ sixth Coaches Tournament crown since 2012. Eastern also has reinforcements from unbeaten freshman and JV teams. Junior Katerena Kikolis, who had 11 goals, will lead a balanced offense.

Eastern opened its season with a 7-0 win over Winslow Township and a 4-2 victory over Gloucester Township Institute of Technology.

Here is McGroarty’s entire preseason South Jersey Preseason Top 20:


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2. Shawnee
3. Cherokee
4. Sterling
5. Paul VI
6. Ocean City
7. Mainland
8. Williamstown
9. Washington Township
10. Delsea
11. Bishop Eustace
12. Seneca
13. Delran
14. Rancocas Valley
15. Haddonfield
16. Clearview
17. West Deptford
18. Middle Township
19. Cinnaminson
20. Cherry Hill West

What is notable and not surprising is the presence of the Olympic Conference American Division in his preseason ranking. The top three teams – Eastern, Shawnee and Cherokee - are from the American, as is No. 14 Rancocas Valley, which won the division last year. Rancocas Valley was 5-0-1 in the American, with the tie coming in a 1-1 draw with Eastern.

The Vikings finished 4-1-1 in the American, also falling to Cherokee, 2-1. (Eastern would beat Cherokee, 2-0 in a rematch during a South Jersey Coaches Tournament semifinal game).
Besides Eastern, the other defending sectional champions from the seven-county South Jersey area are Cherry Hill West (Group 3), Seneca (Group 2), Palmyra (Group 1) and Paul VI (SJ Non-Public A).

All but Palmyra are in this Top 20, with Cherry Hill West 20th, Seneca 12th, and Paul VI 5th.

Cherry Hill West and Paul VI played in state championship games last season. There are several candidates from South Jersey who could be state title contenders, but just winning a South Jersey championship will present plenty of challenges with so many expected contenders in each Group.

Author: Marc Narducci


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