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VIDEO: Hristov’s goal gives LCM first win over WCA in seven seasons


ERMA – None of the current players on the Lower Cape May Regional High School girls soccer team had experienced a victory over rival WIldwood Catholic.

Until Wednesday evening, that is.

Isabelle Hristov’s goal with 11 minutes to play broke a 1-1 draw and sent the Lady Tigers to a 2-1 victory in a match played under the lights on Lower Cape May’s football field.

Kaia Ray (left) and Isabelle Hristov were the goal scorers for Lower Cape May in its 2-1 win over Wildwood Catholic.

The win was Lower’s first over Wildwood Catholic since 2015. The Lady Tigers had mustered just one draw in six meetings with the Crusaders from 2018 through last season. The teams did not play one another in 2016 and 2017. Lower’s last victory in the rivalry came in a 6-1 decision in 2015.

“We had a great fan base out here tonight, and every one of them wanted to see our girls get this result,” Lower coach Darren Rutherford said. “The whole atmosphere here, I think the girls felt it and that drove them to get this result.”

Lower led at halftime through a goal by Kaia Ray. But Wildwood Catholic equalized when Lily King’s perfectly placed shot from the right flank dropped just below the crossbar and fell softly into goal midway through the second half.

Lower Cape May responded, though, when Hristov tallied by converting teammate Sianna King’s dangerous free kick from 35 yards out.

“At halftime we challenged the girls and told them this moment wasn’t too big for any of them,” Rutherford said. “All we wanted them to do was go out there and give it their all. That second goal was a result of staying hungry and moving forward. In recent years, we might’ve gotten flat after giving up a tying goal but we didn’t tonight. I’m so proud of them for not stopping and never giving up.”

Lower (2-3) had to survive some strong challenges by Wildwood Catholic (3-2) in the final minutes. The Tigers finally sealed the win when goalkeeper Kiki Soto parried away a tricky free kick by Catholic’s Carly Murphy from 30 yards in the dying seconds.