The West Deptford High School boys’ and girls’ soccer teams rose to the occasion Tuesday afternoon, each winning a South Jersey group 2 playoff game to advance. The boys team will now head to the sectional championship game, while the girls' team advanced to the semifinals.
Unfortunately, the field hockey team could not make it a perfect three-for-three, as the Eagles dropped their Group 2 semifinal against Camden Catholic.
The girls’ soccer team was led by Megan Sullivan, who scored two goals while assisting on the third goal. Paige Paratore also found the back of the net and Anna Kipp made five saves to preserve the shutout.
The Eagles now have a chance to earn their way to the South Jersey finals on their home field after the Group 2 playoff picture was turned on its head on Monday when No. 8 Cinnaminson stunned No. 1 Haddonfield.
The West Deptford boys’ soccer team finally gave up a goal but it did not prevent them from marching on to the South Jersey semifinals with a 3-1 win over No. 4 Deptford.
The Spartans turned the tables on the Eagles in the early going, scoring the game’s first goal, 1:45 into the contest. West Deptford had made a habit of scoring quick goals – including scoring less than two minutes in against Haddonfield – so the turn of events initially stunned the squad.
“They jumped out to an early lead, which kind of shocked out guys because that’s something we had been doing,” Jakubowski said. “I think it showed our guys that we are playing to get to a South Jersey final so have to show up and start playing well. From there we kind of took over.”
Devine evened the game with his first goal of the season and Mingrino added both of his goals in the second half.
As a No. 9 seed, not to many people outside of West Deptford saw this type of run in the Eagles, but Jakubowski said he had no doubts his team was capable of a deep playoff run.
“I’m sure a lot of people out there didn‘t really think (we could get to the final) seeing West Deptford as a No. 9 seed having to travel all the way to lower Cape May and then knowing who we would get in Haddonfield if we won. I guess to them we shocked the world. For us, our guys understand that if we keep doing the things we know we can do then we can continue to have success.
The Eagles will now play the waiting game as the other half of the bracket is still at quarterfinal games. The South Jersey final will likely not be played until Monday, Nov. 19, although there is a chance it could be played Friday, Nov. 16, according to Jakubowski. In either event, the Eagles will have a lot of time to prepare for the biggest game of their season.
The No. 2 Eagles field hockey team went toe-to-toe with No. 3 Camden Catholic, but could not find the back of the cage in a 1-0 loss. Both teams defended well with only nine total shots on goal coming from the two teams—three by West Deptford.
Camden Catholic got the only goal it would need three minutes, 17 seconds into the contest when Tara Vittese sent a rocket into the Eagles’ cage.
One of West Deptford’s best chances came in the final minute when Sydney Ponto fired a shot on target off a corner, but Camden Catholic goalie Isabella Dolente made the save and the defense cleared the ball away before any ensuing offensive attack could be made.
Camden Catholic advanced to the South Jersey finals where the Irish will meet the winner of No. 1 Collingswood and No. 4 Woodstown.
West Deptford finished its season 14-3.