Thursday, April 2, 2015

Lenape defeats Eastern in S.J. Group 4 girls' soccer final

Lenape’s girls’ soccer team is in its accustomed November position – as champion in South Jersey and now vying for yet another state title.

The five-time defending state Group 4 champions won a sixth straight sectional title with today’s 1-0 win over top seeded Eastern in the South Jersey Group 4 final.

Junior Rachelle Ross scored the game winner on a turnaround blast from inside the box in the 52nd minute.

Eastern made a last-ditch effort and the Vikings thought they scored at the end, but referee Tim Rakes ruled that time had expired.

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Thus Lenape (20-3-1) now advances to Tuesday’s state Group 4 semifinal against the Central Jersey champion at Neptune.

Eastern, ranked No. 1 in South Jersey, finished 23-2-1.

This was the fourth time the teams met. Eastern won both regular season meetings to earn the Olympic Conference American Division title.

The teams were co-champions of the South Jersey Coaches Tournament after playing to a scoreless draw in the championship game.

“It’s great and gets better every year, especially beating a team like Eastern,” Ross said.

These two teams have combined to win the last seven state Group 4 titles. Before Lenape began its run, Eastern was the state champion in 2005 and 2006.

“It was a quality game and one team had to advance,” said Eastern coach Jamie McGroarty. “Unfortunately it wasn’t our day.”

Contact Marc Narducci at mnarducci@phillynews.com or @sjnard on Twitter.

Marc Narducci INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
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