It had been nearly a decade since the Delran High School girls’ soccer team reached the semifinal round of the NJSIAA South Jersey Group II tournament.
The 2014 season to be exact.
That feat had yet to be accomplished under current head coach Scott Brody, but this year, things clicked at the right time. Delran’s season-ending results weren’t necessarily indicative of how well the team played, but coming into the playoffs having won just three of their last eight matches, the Bears were ready to make a statement.
And a statement they made, advancing to the semifinals before a tough 3-2 loss against Seneca sent the Bears packing. Yes, the goal of hoisting hardware came up short, but in a season of growth and rebuilding, the team took a necessary step in the right direction.
“We played some really tough competition this year, purposely, to get us ready for the sectional playoffs,” Brody explained. “… We beat some good teams and played everyone competitively. Overall, definitely a good season.”
Delran ended up finishing the year at 12-8, a record highlighted by an early seven-match winning streak as the Bears jumped out to a 7-2 start. That included a 6-2 record in divisional play, taking care of business when needed, including massive wins over both Cinnaminson and Palmyra.
“What worked so well for me to be successful on the field is the support and help of my teammates,” junior Mya Jackson said. “… As a team, a lot of us have been playing together since we were freshmen and sophomores, so we’re all pretty used to each other’s play style, which I think really helped with the team chemistry.”
Jackson was one of two Bears named to the 2023 South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association All-South Jersey teams earlier this month. The forward earned second-team honors and was one of the most electric offensive players in the region, finishing the season with a team-high 18 goals and a career-high 16 assists.
Jackson wasn’t the only big factor; senior midfielder/forward Loghan Myers had 22 goal contributions of her own, 14 goals and eight assists, to lead the midfield group. The two ran the show and accounted for 57% of Delran’s goals and 51% of its assists overall.
“Mya’s a very good player,” Brody noted. “She’s a standout. She’s the piece that gets us that extra edge, but we had a great team overall. I can name so many people. I mean we had eight all-conference players this season.”
On the back line was First Team All-South Jersey selection Summer Parkinson, a massive bright spot for the Bears who guided the defensive front during the team’s long winning streak and late post-season success. Her presence will be lost next season, along with seven other seniors on the roster, but returning will be Jackson; Olivia Suppin; and Anna Corsanico, among others.
This Bears are already building up and reloading for next season and a hoped-for sectional final and title.
“The message following the sectional semifinal was that, as a team, we should be very proud of all the things we accomplished over the season,” Jackson noted. “I’m confident that we can make it back to this point next year, because while we graduate lots of seniors, we still have a lot of experience coming back.”