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High School Soccer:
Lady Crusaders Advance in South Jersey Coaches Tournament

Wednesday, October 23, 2002

By Vincent Lewis
SJSports Staff Writer

Before the start of this game, West Deptford and Bishop Eustace were able to put their regular season schedule out of their minds and concentrate on the second round of the girl's South Jersey Coaches tournament. Both of these teams were in first place in their division and were looking to add another win to their overall record and advance to the next round. The Lady Crusaders kept the offensive pressure on when it counted and posted a 2-1 victory over the Lady Eagles from West Deptford.

In the first round of the girl's South Jersey Coaches tournament, the third seeded Lady Crusaders defeated the fourteenth seeded Pennsville Eagles by a score of 4-1. West Deptford, seeded eleventh, had a closer battle against the sixth seeded team from Ocean City in a 1-0 final. The winner of these two teams will face the seventh seeded Cherokee Chiefs who defeated Lenape 2-1.

Bishop Eustace had the advantage of hosting this game at an early start time that allowed some the student body to hang around to support their team. It wasn't until the twenty-four minute mark that the crowd had something to cheer about when Jenna Shenk received a pass from Kristin Hextall to give the Eustace a 1-0 advantage. Still in the first half, Bishop Eustace kept most of the play in the Eagles half of the field and it paid off. Around the thirty-one minute mark, Ashley Nowakowski's header bounced off the ground hard enough to drop over the goalkeeper for a 2-0 lead.

The Lady Crusaders kept the pressure on keeper Ashley Bagnell all game and she came up with some nice saves. On the opposite end of the field, Erin Thibault saw little action as she only faced five real threats all game. One of those opportunities for West Deptford beat Thibault with less than a minute remaining in the half. Jacquie Shields found an open shot and place the ball inside the right post to cut the lead in half. But that would be the end of the scoring in this quarterfinals match. West Deptford would pick up their play in the second half, but could not get that equalizing goal.

Photos by Art Redd

©2002 South Jersey Sports Online Inc.