SJSW Notebook: November Reign

Seneca quarterback Malin Jasinski runs for a first down during the Golden Eagles’ 46-0 win over Cherry Hill
East. Seneca has been one of South Jersey’s surprise teams in 2019. (MIKE MONOSTRA/South Jersey Sports Weekly)

South Jersey Sports Weekly is a publication that launched in April. It’s produced by Sun Newspapers and appears in the physical copy within the Suns throughout South Jersey (in Moorestown, Medford, Cherry Hill, Washington Township, Deptford, etc). each Wednesday. Most of the content also appears online. The weekly, online notebook will provide you with even more of the content within SJSW’s physical pages.

***

Seneca High School’s football team hasn’t beaten Lenape High School District rival Cherokee since 2009, but it’d unwise to underestimate this year’s team in the Thanksgiving week matchup. But first, Seneca has a somewhat unexpected playoff run to continue on Friday.

Seneca rolled to its fifth straight win on Friday in a 27-23 upset over Ocean Township in the South Jersey Group 3 quarterfinals. The victory also clinched Seneca’s first 8-win season this decade. Seneca will travel to second-seeded Somerville this Friday.

Seneca’s season has been remarkable considering where they were a year ago: following a season-ending defeat to Cherokee, a team that entered the game without a win, the Golden Eagles went 3-7 in 2018. It was the team’s third straight losing season. Mike Monostra caught up with the Golden Eagles to find out how they were able to turn their fortunes around in 2019.

***

Another team still pursuing a state championship: Delran boys soccer.

For the fifth straight year, the Bears will play in the state semifinals when they take on Rahway on Thursday. With a win, Delran would play for the chance to bring home the program’s first state title since 2013 on Sunday at Kean University.

Delran advanced to the state semifinals with a 3-0 win over Oakcrest in the South Jersey Group 2 championship game after edging rival Cinnaminson in a 3-2 overtime thriller in the sectional semifinals. Senior Daniel Strohlein was instrumental in both games, scoring the overtime winner against Cinnaminson and tallying a goal and an assist against Oakcrest, earning him South Jersey Sports Weekly Player of the Week honors in the process.

Delran senior Daniel Strohlein.

 “I couldn’t be happier for (Strohlein) getting that game-winning goal vs. rival Cinnaminson,” Delran coach Mike Otto said. “He has been the engine for the Bears this season and that goal is just one example of the impact he has on our team. (Strohlein) has fought through injuries most of the season, so it was thrilling to see him get that goal. It’s So well deserved and so like (Strohlein) to get to the balls in the box (where) most kids are afraid to sacrifice their bodies to score. He is an absolute beast and his tenacity, toughness and soccer talents have made it possible for the Bears to compete, once again, at a national level and win.”

***

The girls haven’t been left out of South Jersey’s November Reign by any stretch.

Two of the area’s field hockey teams are still alive in the Tournament of Champions, Group 4 Champion Eastern Regional (which collected its 21st straight state title last weekend) and Group 3 champ Clearview Regional (which knocked off Shore to advance to tomorrow’s T of C semifinals).

Despite a strong showing, holding the country’s top team (Oak Knoll) scoreless in the first half, Camden Catholic’s field hockey team came up short in its bid to collect the program’s first state title. But the Irish’s season was still a memorable one, as they collected their first sectional championship in eight years last week.

South Jersey Sports Weekly was also at two of last week’s soccer sectional championship games: Eastern Regional’s girls, ranked No.1 in the country, collected its latest trophy (and the program’s 42nd straight win) in a victory over Toms River North while, in Group 2 action, Haddonfield Memorial enacted revenge over a rival in collecting their program’s 12th overall sectional championship.

***

Games to Watch: Nov. 13 – Nov. 19

Wednesday, Oct. 13

Field Hockey:
Tournament of Champions semifinals
West Essex at Eastern, 2 p.m.
Clearview at Oak Knoll, 2 p.m.

Girls Soccer: State semifinals
Group 4: Eastern at Hunterdon Central, 2:30 p.m.
Group 2: Haddonfield at Wall, 2 p.m.
Group 1: Audubon at Shore, 2 p.m.

Girls Volleyball: State semifinals
Group 4: East Brunswick at Williamstown, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 14

Boys Soccer: State semifinals
Group 2: Delran vs. Rahway, 6 p.m. at Hopewell Valley
Group 3: Triton vs. Wall, 6 p.m. at Toms River North

Friday, Oct. 15

Football: South Jersey semifinals
Group 5: Vineland at Williamstown, 7 p.m.
Group 5: Hillsborough at Lenape, 7 p.m.
Group 4: Millville at Shawnee, 7 p.m.
Group 3: Seneca at Somerville, 7 p.m.
Group 2: Delran at West Deptford, 6 p.m.
Group 2: Hillside at Haddonfield, 7 p.m.

Field Hockey: Tournament of Champions final
Eastern/West Essex winner vs. Oak Knoll/Clearview winner, 6:30 p.m. at Kean University

Saturday, Oct. 16

Cross Country: Group State Meet
At Holmdel Park
Group 1: Girls at 9:30 a.m., Boys at 10:30 a.m.
Group 2: Girls at 1:30 p.m., Boys at 2:30 p.m.
Group 3: Girls at 10 a.m., Boys at 11 a.m.
Group 4: Girls at 2 p.m., Boys at 3 p.m.
Non-Public A: Girls at noon, Boys at 1 p.m.
Non-Public B: Girls at 11:30 a.m., Boys at 12:30 p.m.

Girls Volleyball: State Championships
Group 4: Williamstown-East Brunswick winner vs. North Hunterdon-Southern winner, 10:30 a.m at William Patterson University

Girls Soccer: State Championships
Group 4: 12:30 p.m. at Kean University
Group 1: 3 p.m. at Kean University
Group 2: 5:30 p.m. at Kean University

Sunday, Oct. 17

Boys Soccer: State Championships
Group 3: 10 a.m. at Kean University
Group 2: 5:30 p.m. at Kean University