MOUNT HOLLY >> Megan McKenna scored in the second penalty stroke round after two scoreless overtime periods to lead No. 6 seed Lenape (15-6, 6-4) past No. 4 Rancocas Valley (12-10), 2-1, in the Central Jersey Group 4 championship Oct. 31.
“We knew going into the game that Rancocas Valley was going to give us a battle,” said Lenape coach Sarah Scannell. “But we also knew that the kind of hockey the team has been playing in October would be hard to another team to match and beat. We were ready - mentally and physically for a competitive game, and RV gave us just that. Winning was amazing. That feeling of pure elation in those nail-biter moments is what makes all the hard work worth it.”
The sectional title is the second for Lenape in three years. “We beat RV 1-0 in 2017 for the sectional title and many of the same girls were on the field in 2017, so this was pretty awesome for them to have two sectional titles in their high school career.”
Lenape advanced to the state semifinal round where they faced a familiar foe – Olympic Conference American Division rival Eastern, a team the Indians have lost twice to in the regular season by a combined score of 15-1.
“We know Tuesday (Nov. 4) is going to be a tough game against Eastern,” said Scannell. We gave them one heck of a battle the last time we played them (4-1 loss at home Oct. 2) and we know we can do the same this week.”
NJSIAA CENTRAL GROUP 4 CHAMPIONSHIP
Lenape 2, Rancocas Valley 1
HALF: 1-0 Lenape. GOALS: L-Allie Halfpenny (assist Gianna Monaco), Megan McKenna (penalty stroke); RV-Olivia Greer (unassisted). SAVES: L-Kayleigh Kmet 9; RV-Nina Vickers 9.
Seneca repeats again
WALL TWP. >> Cassidy Strittmatter and Sophia Abate scored goals to lead visiting No. 4 seed Seneca (15-7, 5-4) to a shutout of No. 2 Wall Township (16-6), 2-0, in the Central Jersey Group 2 championship Nov. 1.
“We are thrilled to have won the sectional title again,” said Seneca coach Kristina Foster, whose team has been sectional champions the last three season. “Our group is getting more competitive, which is great, so earning the title makes it more meaningful to our team.
Seneca advanced to the state semifinals against undefeated West Deptford (23-0).
“Traditionally, West Deptford is a very strong program,” said Foster. “They have a lot of strong individual players that know how to play with one another. We are excited to face them again in semis.”
NJSIAA CENTRAL GROUP 2 CHAMPIONSHIP
Seneca 2, Wall Township 0
HALF: 1-0. GOALS: S-Cassidy Strittmatter, Sophia Abate. ASSISTS: S-Tess Strittmatter, Olivia Quagliero. SAVES: S-Kylie Mitchell 4; WT-Mia Kepler 12.