Another S. Jersey title for Eastern

Posted: November 15, 2012

When Eastern won its 14th straight South Jersey Group 4 field hockey championship Wednesday, there was no dog pile, and no tears of joy.

There was no loud music, and there were no other sounds of victory.

There was not much more than a subdued round of applause for the team that improved to 24-0, won another sectional title with a 12-1 victory against visiting Shawnee, and looks to accomplish bigger things this season.

"We know that it's not the end and we have to focus," said Austyn Cuneo, who scored four goals to increase her season total to 62. "We have to keep our heads on tight, and we know that we have to keep working because we want that state title."

"These girls have things they want to accomplish beyond this game," Eastern coach Danyle Heilig said. "They're excited, but they know they have work to do to prepare for Friday."

The Vikings will face the Central Jersey champion on Friday and, with a win, would play for a state title on Sunday.

The nation's top team according to topofthecircle.com has impressed, even by its own lofty standards, by scoring 40 goals in three playoff games.

"This is a very highly skilled team," Heilig said. "You've got some outstanding seniors, some of the top juniors in the country, and probably the top sophomore [Cuneo] and freshman [Madison Morano] in the country."

While work remains, Heilig, who took over Eastern the year it started its streak, acknowledges the longevity of her team's success.

"It is incredible," she said. "When you think about the length of time and you think about where these kids were 14 years ago, some of them weren't even born."

Eastern started strong Wednesday, scoring the game's first seven goals in less than 20 minutes, and took a 7-1 lead to halftime, before continuing the onslaught with five goals in the second half.

"We come from a really great tradition," said Jade Dixon, who scored three times. "It's something really special, and we work hard to keep it going."

Shawnee   1 0 – 1

Eastern   7 5 – 12

Goals: S-Marissa Cutry; E-Karlee Spirit 2, Kasey Morano 2, Austyn Cuneo 4, Carly Celkos, Jade Dixon 3.


Contact Nick Carroll at ncarroll@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @NickJCarroll.

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