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VIDEO, PHOTOS: DiMauro’s 50th sends Middle into CAL semifinal

CC DiMauro of Middle Township wins the ball in the midfield.


CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – CC DiMauro picked an awfully good time to score her 50th career goal.

The senior striker netted the milestone tally early in the second half for the decisive goal as the Middle Township High School girls soccer team edged Our Lady of Mercy Academy, 2-1, in a Cape-Atlantic League playoff game Tuesday afternoon.

Middle, the No. 3 seed in the six-team tournament, will play at No. 2 Mainland in the semifinal round on Thursday.

Middle, an automatic qualifier to the tournament via its CAL National Conference championship, won a CAL playoff tournament game for the first time in program history. The CAL tournament for soccer was established in 2019. The Lady Panthers lost in the opening round last season.

“We didn’t come out like we should have and like we normally do but anytime you get a win in a tournament setting it’s great,” Middle coach Mike Hickman said. “Winning the National Division was a first for us, too, after moving up from the United, so these are nice steps for the program.”

  • Middle Township's Sophia Sgrignioli sends a pass across to a teammate.
  • Middle Township's Eva Dimitrov fends off an OLMA defender.
  • Middle Township's Olivia Sgrignioli beats an OLMA player to the ball.
  • CC DiMauro of Middle Township wins the ball in the midfield.
  • Middle Township's Grace Repici knocks the ball away from an OLMA back in the first half.

On the milestone goal, DiMauro was sprung in on goal by an excellent through ball from teammate Olivia Sgrignioli. DiMauro ran past two OLMA backs and chipped the ball inside the right post from about 12 yards away three minutes into the second half.

The goal was DiMauro’s 14th this season. She also has 13 assists.

“The kid’s a workhouse, and when you look at her statistics this year, she’s got just as many assists as goals,” Hickman said. “That’s hard to defend when you have a kid willing to play like that. She’s a captain this year and she’s taken a bunch of the younger kids under her wing. She’s just been really impressive. We’re going to miss her. I wish we could have three more years of her but obviously we can’t.”

DiMauro’s playmaking abilities were on display on the opening goal early in the game. DiMauro collected the ball on the right side of the box and, after two OLMA defenders converged, sent the ball across the box to a wide-open Sophia Sgrignioli, who tapped the ball off the left post and into goal.

Mainland equalized late in the half by converting the rebound of a long free kick before DiMauro restored Middle’s lead shortly after the interval.

Middle survived some anxious moments with about 12 minutes to play in the game, when OLMA hit the post twice on headers during the same sequence. Middle goalkeeper Angelina Lorenzo got her hand on one of the shots, deflecting it to the bar.

Middle (11-2) won its seventh straight game. The Lady Panthers will be facing some serious competition Thursday in the Lady Mustangs (9-3-1).

“Mainland will be a really good game for us,” Hickman said. “We’re excited to have the chance to play them.”

DiMauro is just the fourth Middle girls soccer player to surpass 50 career goals. The others are Tara Davis (1996 graduate, 104 goals), Danielle McCann (2014, 102) and Maddie DeVico (2012, 50).