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High School Soccer:
Sterling Starts Group Playoffs Strong

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

By George Brookings
SJSports Special Correspondent

It was a match up that gave all of the indications that a very close and competitive game was about to begin. The first round of the South Jersey Group II boys' soccer tournament began at Sterling High School with the ninth seeded Cougars from Schalick taking on the Silver Knights who were the eighth seed. Both of these teams had the players that could single-handedly take control of a game, but it would be a team effort that would decide the outcome. Schalick appeared to have the emotional edge during the first half that Sterling was able to withstand especially when a goal by Mike Delp scored the eventual game winner. With the 1-0 victory, the Knights move on to the next round and compete against the top seeded Pirates from Cinnaminson.

Both of these teams worked hard during the regular season ensuring them a seed in the state tournament. Both Schalick and Sterling knew that in order to extend their season, they had to win this one game elimination. The Cougars would start off this game aggressively moving the ball down field putting the pressure on the defense. Their efforts to score would come up short but appeared to have the slight edge. During the second half, it was a bit different as Sterling began to move deep into Schalick's end of the field seven minutes into the half. That's when Delp's shot sailed into the net giving the Knights a one goal lead. Schalick would make a fierce attempt at typing this game but the defense would preserve the win for Sterling.

Photos by Frank Crescenti

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