Kingsway Field Hockey Finishes Strong

by Marc Narducci | Nov 17, 2023
Kingsway Field Hockey Finishes Strong
Kingsway field hockey completed a second straight season of dominance that would rival just about any current South Jersey team in any sport.

The Dragons won their second straight Group 4 state championship with a 5-1 title game win over Ridge. Coach Dana Ott’s Dragons finished 20-2 and didn’t lose to a team from New Jersey.  

No wonder Kingsway is the consensus No. 1 team in the state, according to NJ.com.

In winning five state tournament games, Kingsway outscored its opponents, 34-2. 

Just once in those five games did Kingsway trail at any point. That was against Lenape, when the Dragons surrendered the first goal of the game, only to score the next six in a 6-1 triumph.

The team’s success has been built on depth. 

Here are the Division I commits from Kingsway’s team–Soren Kipphut (U. of Virginia), Erin Callahan (Maryland), Marykate Finnan (Kent State), Sabrina McGroarty (Iowa), Mary Wordelmann (Louisville), Grace Hunter (Michigan) and Karlie Merts (St. Joseph’s).

In addition, Madison Rothwein, an extremely talented field hockey player, has committed to Rider to play lacrosse.

The closest game this year against a NJ team was a 1-0 victory over Camden Catholic, which also won a state championship this season in Non-Public B.

And while Kingsway will lose a lot to graduation, it’s interesting to note that the top three goal scorers will return next season. According to NJ.com, sophomore Sophie Brown led the team with 28 goals. Mertz, who is a junior, had 16 and junior Grace Hunter had 16 goals, along with 16 assists.

Among the seniors, Wordelmann had 10 goals and a team-high 19 assists. She also scored twice in the 5-1 state title win over Ridge. McGroarty had 15 goals and 10 assists. 

All told, Kingsway had six double-figure goal scorers, including sophomore Isabella Sanchez, who scored 10 goals.

That is plenty of firepower. 

Kingsway has a way to go before being compared to the previous Eastern field hockey dynasty. The Vikings won 22 consecutive state Group 4 titles that lasted through the 2021 season.

Since then, it has been all Kingsway. The passing of the torch came last year when Kingsway defeated Eastern, 7-0 in a South Jersey Group 4 quarterfinal.

In fact, Kingsway was almost equally dominant last season when the Dragons went 20-2-1 and outscored teams, 35-1 in the tournament, capped by a 4-1 win over Hillsborough in the state Group 4 final.

Other than Eastern, Kingsway has enjoyed one of the great two-year field hockey runs in South Jersey history. 

And as outlined earlier, with so many key players back, the Dragons will have high expectations next season and likely for many others after that. 

 

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Author: Marc Narducci

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