By BRIAN CUNNIFF
ERMA — The hot streak continued for the Lower Cape May Regional High School field hockey team Monday.
The Lady Tigers closed out the home portion of their regular season schedule by winning their ninth game in succession through a convincing 4-0 victory over Oakcrest.
Lower (13-2 overall, 12-2 Cape-Atlantic National Conference) hasn’t experienced a defeat since Sept. 22.
“I’m extremely proud,” Lower coach Anne Bracken beamed.
The win was also the team’s and goalkeeper Mahogany Kelly’s fifth straight shutout and seventh clean sheet overall.
Lower took control early in the contest when Maggie Boyle scored off the team’s first corner chance less than two minutes into the game. Maddie Schiffbauer pounded home a second goal in the second quarter to finish a wild scramble in front of the Falcon cage as Lower led 2-0 at the half.
Lower put the game away in the final quarter when Schiffbauer and Boyle scored three minutes apart.
Schiffbauer exited the game with 20 goals on the season.
The win came one game after a 1-0 result over St. Joseph, which will most likely win the conference title. Lower could have tied the Wildcats for the title but an early-season loss to Cedar Creek slipped the team a game back in the standings. Lower routed Cedar Creek, 5-1, in the second meeting earlier this month.
“I’m very happy for our girls,” Bracken said. “They’re learning some life lessons. We let a couple games early in the season slip through so now our chances of winning a CAL championship are very slim.”
The victory over St. Joseph, regularly one of the CAL’s top teams, was a signature moment in the team’s season.
“That was a lot of fun,” Bracken said. “I thought we actually played better against them the first time we played (a 2-1 loss, the team’s last defeat), but we were still able to get a win.”
Lower, which features six seniors in Boyle, Schiffbauer, Sabrina Faulkner, Julia Gibson, Jenna O’Neill and Molly Davis, closes out its regular season Friday at Millville. The team will then compete in the South Jersey Group II Tournament next week.
“We’re playing very well right now and it’s a good time to peak,” Bracken said. “I’ve always known they could do this. This group of girls is very, very talented and very athletic. I’m happy they’ve gotten it together.”