The South Jersey girls soccer tournament is scheduled to begin on Monday. All but one of the teams from Cape May County set to participate will play their first-round games on the road.
The following is a look at each Cape May County team as it enters the state playoffs.
LOWER CAPE MAY: The Lady Tigers finished the regular season at 8-9. They’re seeded 12th for the South Jersey Group II playoffs and will travel to No. 5 Point Pleasant Boro for a 2:30 p.m. game on Monday. The winner of the Lower-Point Pleasant Boro game will face No. 4 Oakcrest or No. 13 Sterling on Thursday. As their near .500 suggests, Lower has had an up-and-down season. The team finished the regular season with back-to-back losses but had won six straight prior to that. Taylor Magill (9) and Jo Jo Gibson (8) are Lower’s leading scorers.
MIDDLE TOWNSHIP: Middle Township finished at 6-10-1 and is the 11th seed for the South Jersey Group II playoffs. The Lady Panthers will travel to No. 6 Cedar Creek on Monday for a 2 p.m. start. Middle played Cedar Creek twice in the regular season and lost by 3-0 scores in each game. Emma Stanford, the team’s lone senior, leads Middle with 12 goals. Junior Nadine Coyle is one of the top players in the area. The winner of the Middle-Cedar Creek game will face No. 3 Manchester Township or No. 14 Delran on Thursday.
OCEAN CITY: The Raiders enjoyed a brilliant regular season, going 16-3, winning the Cape-Atlantic National Conference title and earning the No. 1 seed for the South Jersey Group III playoffs. The team opens tournament play at home Monday at 2 p.m. against No. 16 Central Regional. A win there – Ocean City is a heavy favorite – puts the team in a second-round game Thursday at home against No. 8 GCIT or No. 9 Absegami. If seeds hold to form as the tournament progresses, it would set up a very juicy South Jersey title game for the Raiders against No. 2 Mainland, the school’s biggest rival. Faith Slimmer has proven to be one of South Jersey’s top freshmen. The debutant posted 16 goals during the regular season. Delaney Lappin, Hannah Nathan, Paige Panico and Natalie Stinson have also been top offensive player while goalkeeper Abbey Fenton has posted 11 shutouts.
WILDWOOD: The Lady Warriors finished the regular season at 6-11 after a 6-1 win over Wildwood Catholic in their season finale. Wildwood is the No. 15 seed in South Jersey Group I and faces a tall task when it travels to No. 2 Haddon Township for an opening-round game Monday at 2 p.m. The winner plays No. 7 Clayton or No. 10 Pitman on Thursday. Maddie McCracken (24 goals) and Tracey Young (18) are the top two goal scorers among Cape May County players.
WILDWOOD CATHOLIC: Wildwood Catholic enters the South Jersey Non-Public B Tournament at 4-9. The Crusaders are the No. 15 seed and will travel to No. 2 Moorestown Friends for a tough opening round game Monday at 2 p.m. The winner advances to play No. 7 Holy Cross or No. 10 St. Joseph (Hammonton) on Thursday. Bella Feraco has six goals to lead the Crusaders.
— Brian Cunniff