We’re about halfway through the field hockey season and still nobody has been able to figure out how to beat Egg Harbor Township. The Eagles have gotten off to a blistering 10-0 start punctuated by big wins over Hammonton and Mainland Regional this week, and going back to the start of last season EHT is an impressive 21-3.
The Eagles currently have a two-game lead over Ocean City in the Cape-Atlantic League American Conference race, and lead Hammonton by 1.5 games. And EHT has been getting it done on both sides of the field. The Eagles are second in the CAL in scoring with 48 goals and have allowed just eight goals — third best in the league behind Ocean City and St. Joseph Academy.
Sophomore Jenna Gray has been making a big-time name for herself with 10 goals and 14 assists — 11 more points than any of her teammates. But the Eagles’ undefeated start certainly has been a team effort. Eleven players have scored at least one goal, with juniors Julia Zappile and Kara Wilson combining for 16. Another junior, Anna Smith, has contributed four goals and six assists. On the defensive side, the Eagles rely on senior goalie Rebecca Macchia, who has 54 saves in nine games.
So, how good are the Eagles? They’ll get every chance to prove themselves in October. They already have wins over Ocean City, Hammonton, Vineland and Millville and will see all those teams again plus tough games against Williamstown and West Deptford.
Surprise start: One of the biggest surprises so far in the field hockey season has been Cedar Creek, as the Pirates have gotten off to a 6-3 start and are contending for the CAL National division title. Cedar Creek and Lower Cape May are both 2.5 games behind St. Joseph Academy, and the Pirates have won 4-of-6 since a tough 4-2 loss to EHT. Junior Riley DeMarco has been leading the way with 10 goals and five assists, while Rachel Dutton has added eight goals and two assists.
Now is their chance: The Cedar Creek football team has gotten off to a 5-0 start, but there may be some nonbelievers out there as the Pirates haven’t had the most difficult schedule. Still, they are undefeated and are coming off a convincing 21-8 win over Woodrow Wilson in a game they were in control of from start to finish.
They’ll get their chance to prove they are an elite South Jersey team tomorrow night when they visit Holy Spirit, the No. 1 team in South Jersey to finish up the Covid-shortened 2020 season and the top team all season in Glory Days Magazine’s “Best 11” rankings.
Proving they are No. 1: The St. Augustine Prep boys soccer team had a chance to prove they are the top team in the CAL today when they visited undefeated Ocean City. The Hermits made an emphatic statement, recording a 5-1 win to improve to 8-1 and run their winning streak to seven games since a 3-0 loss to Delran on Sept. 11. Ethan Torpey racked up three goals while Aidan Davis and Shane Clancy each chipped in one, and the Hermits have scored 20 goals in their last five games. The Hermits get a rematch with Ocean City on Monday at 5 p.m. at Subaru Park in Chester, Pa., home of the Philadelphia Union.
Games To Watch: The big one is our Bunting Family Pharmacy Game of the Week and features Cedar Creek football at Holy Spirit on Friday at 6 p.m. Also on the docket is undefeated Ocean City traveling to Egg Harbor Township at 7 p.m. and surprising Middle Township hosting Clayton at 6:30.
On Saturday the cross country season starts heating up with the Shore Coaches Invitational at Holmdel Park, and there’s also an interesting girls volleyball matchup at 11 a.m. as Lower Cape May travels to Mainland.