A Big Year in South Jersey Field Hockey

by Marc Narducci | Dec 26, 2023
A Big Year in South Jersey Field Hockey
South Jersey has always been a high school hotbed for field hockey and this year was no exception, but a special mention this year goes to Gloucester County.

This year there were five NJSIAA state champions. Four came from South Jersey, including three from Gloucester County. 

Camden Catholic won the Non-Public title, defeating Oak Knoll, 3-1, in the championship.

The other three South Jersey state titles were won by Gloucester County schools.

West Deptford repeated as Group 1 state champion as the Eagles defeated Shore, 4-1 in the final.

Clearview captured the Group 3 championship with a 3-2 double overtime win over North Hunterdon.

Kingsway repeated as Group 4 champion with a 5-1 win over Ridge. 

Camden Catholic (18-2-1) actually had one of its most impressive performances come during a loss. That defeat was a 1-0 setback to Kingsway. 

The Irish didn’t lose another game to a team from the seven-county South Jersey area. With freshman Sophia Stazi leading the way with 33 goals and 11 assists (stats courtesy of NJ.com), the future is bright for Camden Catholic. 

Kingsway (20-2) didn’t lose to a New Jersey team this season. The Dragons finished as the No. 1 team in the state according to NJ.com. 

In five state tournament wins, the Dragons outscored teams, 34-2. 

The Dragons had six players who scored 10 or more goals, led by sophomore Sophie Brown with 28 goals. Junior Karlie Mertz had 18 goals, while classmate Grace Hunter added 16 goals and 16 assists. 

The other double-figure goal scorers were senior Sabrina McGroarty (15 goals, 10 assists), senior Mary Worldelmann (10 goals, 19 assists) and sophomore Isabella Sanchez (10 goals, 4 assists). 

While Kingsway will lose some outstanding seniors—led by McGroarty, who will attend Iowa—a number of players will return as the Dragons attempt to three-peat as a state champion. 

Clearview (17-6) had the difficult task of playing in the Tri-County Royal Division, where Kingsway was the champion. No doubt, that competition helped Clearview prepare for the state tournament.

The Pioneers’ ability to win the close game was the main reason they won the state championship. Their last three wins were by one goal.

Clearview beat Cherry Hill West, 1-0 in a South Jersey Group 4 semifinal. That was followed by a 2-1 victory over Shawne in the sectional final, before the double-overtime win over North Hunterdon on the game-winner by Alaina Lomonaco. 

A junior, Lomanaco led Clearview with 15 goals, while sophomore Ella Gandy added 13 goals and a team-high 12 assists. 

West Deptford outscored teams 9-3 in winning four tournament games. The lone one-goal game was a 2-1 victory over Colonial Conference rival Collingswood.

Senior Kassidy Yarusso led West Deptford with 17 goals, while junior Emmie Goldberg had 12 goals. 

One common trait of all four state champs from South Jersey is that they all will have at least one double-figure scorer returning next season. 

Don’t be surprised if all four are again contending for a sectional and possible state title next year. 

Photo: Kingsway's Karlie Mertz

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Author: Marc Narducci

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