CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – The Middle Township High School field hockey team didn’t take long to establish control of its second-round South Jersey Group I playoff game on Monday.
Kallie Leonik scored on the team’s first penalty corner chance 42 seconds into the contest to help send the Lady Panthers to an eventual 4-1 victory over Pennsville.
Middle (11-9), the fourth seed in the tournament and the defending sectional champion, advances to a South Jersey semifinal game at No. 1 Woodstown on Wednesday. Woodstown beat No. 8 Overbrook, 4-0, in its quarterfinal matchup.
Pennsville (9-10-1) eventually settled into the game after Leonik’s stunning opener, but Caroline Gallagher gave Middle an insurmountable advantage by scoring twice in the final eight minutes of the first half.
Leonik scored again in the second half to round out Middle’s scoring. Kara Thomas scored for the Eagles.
Julia Mallett needed to make only five saves in goal for the victory for Middle, which won for the fifth time in six games, the only loss a 1-0 decision at Cape-Atlantic National Conference champion St. Joseph.
— Brian Cunniff