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VIDEO, PHOTO GALLERY: Boyle’s inspirational performance leads LCM to playoff win

Lower Cape May's Maggie Boyle makes a play on the ball.


ERMA — Maggie Boyle used to wear No. 35 for the Lower Cape May Regional High School field hockey team.

But when her uncle, Jeff Boyle, passed away after battling cancer a couple of years ago, Boyle switched her number to 33 in memory of him. Jeff wore No. 33 during his lacrosse career.

“I’m trying to make him proud,” Boyle said.

He certainly must have been smiling down from heaven Monday afternoon.


Boyle recorded a natural hat trick to open the scoring and later added a fourth goal as Lower Cape May rolled to a 6-1 victory over Gloucester in a first-round South Jersey Group I playoff game.

The circumstances around her third goal seemed to come straight out of a fairy tale. Her shot entered the cage with 33 seconds remaining in the second quarter.

“When I scored the third goal, (teammate) Sabrina Faulkner told me to look up at the scoreboard and I saw there was 33 seconds left,” Boyle said. “I got the chills. It made me really proud. It was awesome.”

Boyle has been a difference maker for Lower (14-2) all season due to her speed, tenacity and stick-handling skills. Her four goals upped her season total to 11. She also leads the team with 12 assists.

“It really feels amazing” to score four times in a playoff game, Boyle said. “I feel like I wouldn’t have done it without my teammates and everyone coming together. It’s very rewarding.”

Lower coach Anne Bracken was impressed, but not surprised, with Boyle’s performance.

“She’s been playing extremely well all season,” Bracken said. “Today she just played her heart out.”

Jenna O’Neill posted a goal and an assist, Maddie Schiffbauer chipped in a goal and Jessica Goodroe chipped in an assist for Lower, which won its 10th straight. 

“We scouted (Gloucester) last week, so we knew they had a couple good players with really good stick skills, but our pressure was very good,” Bracken said. “That’s what we try to do all the time, just really pressure the other team. I think we’re really playing as a team right now, too.”

Lower, the top seed in the tournament, is now in the midst of a week off. The team won’t play its second-round playoff game against No. 9 Gateway until next Monday.

“It can be tough to keep it going when you have such a long break but the girls have been so good at working hard all season,” Bracken said. “They practice every practice like it’s a game so I’m confident they’ll keep the energy up.”

  • Lower Cape May's Ryan Salinsky takes a shot at the Gloucester goal.
  • Maggie Boyle scored four goals for Lower Cape May in Monday's state playoff win
  • Lower Cape May's Ryan Salinsky )left) and Camryn Lyberger work to get off a shot near the Gloucester cage.
  • Lower Cape May's players celebrate one of their six goals scored in the victory.
  • Lower Cape May's Camryn Lyberger tips the ball into the air to stop a Gloucester attack.
  • Lower Cape May's Jenna O'Neill defends against a Gloucester player.
  • Lower Cape May's Maggie Boyle makes a play on the ball.
  • Lower Cape May's Camryn Lyberger chips the ball ahead of a Gloucester player as teammate Molly Davis looks on from behind.,
  • Lower Cape May's Brianna Loper and Maddie Schiffbauerlook to gain possession.