South Jersey High School
Eastern Regional Again Rules the
South Jersey Large-School Roost . . .
This page, which debuted after Eastern won
the 2018 South
Jersey Group 4 girls soccer championship, includes photos, stories,
lineups, recaps, opponents/results . . .
Before game pics here. Regulation/OT pics here. Penalty
kicks/celebration pics here.
The Vikings surged ahead to also win the state Group 4 crown.
They beat Hunterdon Central, 2-1, in two OTs, in the semifinal
(pics here) and Bridgewater-Raritan, 1-0, in the final (pics here).
According to coach Jamie McGroarty, the starters and subs in
the B-R game were the same as in the Shawnee game featured on
this page. Eastern won the final when Kelli McGroarty, Jamie's
daughter, scored on a head-ball follow with five minutes left. That
score gave her the school record for goals in one season (37) and
the win gave this squad the school record for wins (25).
To provide additions/corrections:email@example.com.
Return to TedSilary.com Home Page
On Nov. 9, 2018, Eastern Regional High, which draws its students from
Voorhees, Berlin and Gibbsboro, in South Jersey, defeated visiting Shawnee
on a sudden-death penalty kick to win its first South Jersey Group 4
Sectional Title since 2006. The score was 2-2 after 100 minutes (80
regulation, 20 OT). Each team scored three goals (out of five chances) in
the first penalty-kick phase. In sudden death, Eastern's Olivia Alves
made a save and Marissa Feltoon followed with a goal. One story is here.
Another at bottom of page . . .
“She’s been a good leader all
year,” McGroarty said. “She hasn’t seen the amount of minutes she’d like, but
high school is all about, when your number is called, you have to do your job.”
Feltoon’s kick erased years of heartbreak and disappointment in the sectional playoffs. In the previous five seasons, Eastern
never lost more than four games and even finished the 2017 season undefeated. Despite this, the Vikings were unable to win a
sectional title in any of those seasons.
This year, players believe they had an extra ounce of determination and heart. That could be seen in the sectional final, as
Eastern trailed Shawnee, 2–1, with less than 10 minutes to go after Shawnee got a late goal from Kailyn Johnston.
“We could have quit,” McGroarty said. “When they scored that goal late in the game, we could have quit. But we didn’t.”
With 3:35 remaining in regulation, junior Kelli McGroarty corralled a loose ball and bounced a shot into the net to tie the
game at two and send it to overtime.
“We’ve been taught, we preach, when you’re losing, you have to keep fighting,” Kelli said. “If there’s 10 minutes left, 40
minutes left, three seconds left, anything can happen. I don’t think we were nervous. We just kept going at them.”
“We didn’t panic,” Jamie said. “We still played the right way and we made a couple changes to get us more offense. But we
Feltoon believes it wasn’t skill, but heart that allowed Eastern to win the title, saying the 2018 team emulated the 2006 team
that won both the South Jersey Group IV championship and the NJSIAA Group IV state championship.
“They had chemistry and they had heart and that’s the reason we won today,” she said.
There was something else giving Eastern extra motivation. All season long, Eastern has honored the legacy of their former
teammate, Kara Lemanowicz, who passed away from sudden cardiac arrest just before the start of her freshman year in
2015. Feltoon and many of her teammates wore purple headbands throughout the season in honor of Lemanowicz’s favorite
color. Feltoon had her purple headband on when she made the game-winning kick and said winning the title in honor of
Lemanowicz was one of the greatest things the team could have done.
“Every game, we play for ourselves, we play for each other, we play for the seniors, but we all play for her,” Feltoon said.
“She couldn’t be here. We all give double the effort for her because she wasn’t able to be here with us to celebrate moments
“Every thing we do, she’s in our heads,” Feltoon added.
This story about the win over Shawnee was published on nj.com . . .
By Brandon Gould
New Jersey Advance Media
Here we go ago again.
That was the fear for Eastern, No. 7 in the NJ.com Top 20, when No. 8 Shawnee went ahead with 11 minutes left in the
South, Group 4 final on Friday morning. The Vikings have come into sectional playoffs in years past as the favorite, but
there's always been something that has gotten in their way over the last decade.
Eastern did not let that phase it, however, and junior Kelli McGroarty saved the season with a goal in the 77th minute. That
score gave the Vikings life and they took advantage, pushing the game into penalty kicks and winning the shootout, 4-3.
"It was crazy," said Eastern coach Jamie McGroarty, Kelli's father. "Shawnee kind of packed it in, but we kept our
composure and knocked the ball around a little bit and then finally we got one loose and Kelli buried it. It was one of those
balls that just had eyes. It trickled into the far post and it was very exciting to see it end up in the back of the net and give us
a chance to play some more soccer."
Shawnee's Alexa Endres and Eastern's Klio Kokolis each scored in the first half and the score was even at the break. After
Endres scored to tie the game, it took more than 45 minutes before either team scored again.
Kaylin Johnston out a ball into the back of the net with a header in the second half. That goal put Shawnee ahead and put
the Renegades in a position to upset its Olympic Conference rival.
Shawnee had already beaten Eastern once in the regular season, but it lost also lost during the series. The two teams met
again in the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association Tournament final and Eastern won that game, 2-1.
The sectional final marked the fourth time the two teams crosses paths and it was the most dramatic meeting.
"Every time we play Shawnee is tough," said McGroarty. "They're extremely talented and they're well-coached. The games
are always back and forth; no matter what the records are each year. To see them four times in a year is brutal, but at the
same time, it's fun because it's such a great showcase of soccer.
"Our kids were resilient today and for them to pull this one out against a good team was very satisfying."
Eastern keeper Olivia Alves stopped three shots in penalty kicks and those stops set up Marssa Feltoon with a chance to
put the game away. The senior connected on the kick and gave Eastern it's first sectional title in 12 years.
"It's funny because I don't think the girls feel the pressure because they're only here for four years, but I was feeling the
pressure because we've been in that spot so many times and not gotten the lucky break," said McGroarty. "Today, when it
was 2-1 with 10 minutes left, I thought, 'Here we go again.'
"We played well for large stretches of this game though and I thought we had control for a while and should have won. To
see us tie the score and then win in penalty kicks, it was great."
This story was published in The
Philadelphia Inquirer after the Vikings won the
2018 Group 4 state title . . .
By Chris Melchiorre
Kelli McGroarty was 4 years old in 2006. There's a picture of her from that year on display at her school: She's bundled
up in a winter coat. She's standing at midfield, next to her father, Jamie. She's posing with the Eastern girls' soccer team
after the Vikings won the Group 4 state championship.
McGroarty walks past it every day. For three years, it's helped reinforce her dream, and she would talk about it often:
She wanted to add another picture to that wall. And this time, she wanted to be in uniform.
Sunday morning at Kean University, McGroarty took that dream into her own hands and headed home the winner in
Eastern's 1-0 win over Bridgewater-Raritan in the Group 4 state title game.
It marks Eastern's first state championship since 2006, even though the team perennially churns out some of the most
talented players and most well-rounded squads in the state.
"This is all I've wanted for this program since I was little," said Kelli McGroarty, a junior forward. "I didn't want to
leave it to my senior year. It's just such a great feeling. I don't even know how to put it into words."
Her father struggled just as much. And when asked about the win, and about accomplishing the feat with his daughter,
the veteran coach had to take a moment to compose himself.
"You couldn't write a better script," he said. "We battled, we played hard today. And we found a way to get a 'W' like
we have all through the tournament. There's just not enough words. …"
This is the third state title in McGroarty's 16 years at Eastern. It ends a frustrating drought in which despite being one
of the state's top teams, Eastern couldn't even get get out of South Jersey.
"We've been knocking on the door for 10 years," Jamie McGroarty said. "South Jersey is brutal. … But we're proud
to represent South Jersey and this is a big moment for our program."
McGroarty's score was a rebound off a laser from Riley Tiernan with 4 minutes, 55 seconds left in regulation.
"I saw Riley winding up," Kelli McGroarty said. "I was hoping she wasn't going to cut in and that she was going to
shoot it, and she shot it, and it bounced right in front of me and I headed it in."
Bridgewater-Raritan keeper Maggie Ousouljoglou was forced to make several acrobatic saves.
It was fitting that Tiernan and McGroarty were at center stage for the winning goal. Both flashed skill and athleticism
that Bridgewater-Raritan (20-2-1) had trouble matching for most of the game.
Even in the first half, the Vikings (25-2-1) were peppering the Panthers with shots, including a wide-open look by
Emily Eustace that clanked off the bottom of the crossbar, straight down, just inches from counting as the game's
"I think the first 10 minutes we were scared, we were younger than them," Jamie McGroarty said. "I knew if we got
through that first 10 minutes we'd be OK. We got some good chances, didn't finish, and then we finally got a break
and buried one."
Under coach Jamie McGroarty, Eastern won back-to-back South Jersey/State
Group 4 championships in 2005-06. Details/lineups are below . . .
Final record: 19-4-3
SJ final: Beat Toms River East, 1-0, on a goal by Jeana Favat.
State final: Beat Roxbury, 2-0, on goals by Marissa DiMarco and Brenna Rubino.
Final Record: 18-4-2
SJ final: Beat Washington Twp., 2-0, as Jess Edelman scored both goals
State final: Beat North Hunterdon,
2-0, on goals by Rachel Campbell
and Kelliann Doherty.
(Note: Star forward Marissa
DiMarco suffered late season