By BRIAN CUNNIFF
STONE HARBOR — The first time the Middle Township High School and Wildwood Catholic Academy girls soccer teams met this season, Middle rolled to an 8-0 victory.
But in the rematch on Tuesday, the host Crusaders turned heads when Roan Jacqueline opened the scoring just a few minutes into the contest to give Wildwood Catholic a 1-0 lead.
The Lady Panthers, however, didn’t flinch.
Middle erupted for six straight goals over the remainder of the first half and went on to a convincing 7-1 victory. The win finished off an unblemished Cape-Atlantic United Conference campaign for Middle, which won all 10 of its conference games and the regular-season title. The Lady Panthers moved to 12-0 overall.
CC DiMauro and Olivia Sgrignioli each scored twice and Eva Dimitrov and Sofia Sgrignioli each added goals for Middle in the first half. Grace Repici finished the scoring with the lone goal of the second half with less than five minutes remaining.
The conference championship is Middle’s first since winning the National Conference in back-to-back seasons in 2014 and 2015.
The conference title automatically qualifies Middle for the four-team CAL playoff tournament, which is set to begin later this week. The league’s three conference winners and one wild-card team qualify for the tournament.