By BRIAN CUNNIFF
Kate Herlihy did it.
Chasing a major milestone in a pandemic-shortened season, the Middle Township High School senior field hockey player became just the second career 100-goal scorer in program history after bagging a double brace in the Lady Panthers’ sectional playoff victory Friday.
The last of Herlihy’s four goals in the 5-1 victory over Riverside was the 100th of her career. It came on a penalty stroke early in the fourth quarter.
Herlihy is just the second Middle Township player to reach 100 career goals. The other is her older sister, Jenna, a 2018 graduate who holds the Cape May County career record with 146 goals.
Middle (10-2-1), the top seed in the South West A Region Tournament, had trouble cracking the defense of No. 16 Riverside (2-6) for quite some time as the teams played to a scoreless draw through halftime.
But Middle’s offense finally broke through with vigor in the third quarter, with Herlihy finding the cage three times.
Herlihy then got her milestone goal early in the fourth before Briar Lemma rounded out the scoring with a goal for the winners later in the period.
Carlynn Venetz scored late for Riverside.
Middle moves on to host eight-seeded Haddon Township on Monday.
The Lady Panthers are bidding for their second sectional title, the first coming in 2016. Middle lost in sectional title games in both 2017 and 2019.
(Video and photos courtesy MTHS athletics.)