Upon further review, a new record-holder

Eastern coach Jamie McGroarty. (Akira Suwa/Staff Photographer)
Eastern coach Jamie McGroarty. (Akira Suwa/Staff Photographer)
Posted: October 18, 2013

Asked to describe the situation, Dominick Castaldo remained humble, which is probably why much of this confusion started in the first place.

"First of all, I have no doubt that [Eastern girls' soccer coach] Jamie McGroarty will surpass me some day," the Bordentown coach said of the South Jersey record for all-time coaching wins in girls' soccer.

Up until last week, it was thought that McGroarty held the record. There was even an on-field celebration earlier this year when McGroarty passed previous record-holder Lee Troutman with his 317th win. The story was widely reported in multiple media outlets.

One of those stories, according to Castaldo, caught the attention of Rancocas Valley coach Jay Flanagan.

Flanagan questioned whether Castaldo, in his 30th year at Bordentown, might be the actual record-holder.

Further research was done and, as it turns out, unbeknownst to him, Castaldo is the winningest girls' soccer coach in South Jersey history.

Castaldo's career record is 328-232-28. McGroarty's is 322-96-25.

"I've never really thought about records. I was never conscious of that stuff," said Castaldo, who had not reported his wins and losses to the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association, which keeps these records.

"But it's really a testament to the girls I've had over the years. That's really what these records are all about - it's a tribute to everyone who's contributed to us being successful."

Heat's on for Red Devils. For a rare few, a 75-degree sunny afternoon in October is not an ideal weather forecast.

After nearly 100 minutes of soccer, most of it played shorthanded, the Rancocas Valley boys' soccer team allowed a goal with a little less than a minute left in a 2-1 double-overtime loss to Kingsway on Monday.

Walking off the field, the Red Devils appeared tired, physically worn out, and obviously dejected.

RV coach Damon Petras took in the whole situation, and it wasn't so much the loss that concerned him.

"We have four games this week," Petras said. "We just battled through 100 minutes of soccer in the heat with nothing to show for it, and we better be able to bounce back from this very quickly."

Yes, it's that time of year in South Jersey boys' and girls' soccer.

The Coaches Tournament starts Friday. Division races are heating up.

And for teams such as RV, that means from now until the end of the season, games will come and go at a frantic pace and nearly every one of them will have major implications.

Petras, whose Red Devils earned the No. 4 seed in the Coaches Tournament, knows this all too well. He led RV to a Coaches Tournament title in 2009. He also has coached his team to state titles in 2004 and 2008.

This year, the Red Devils are in a tight race in South Jersey's deepest division, the Burlington County League Liberty.

Moorestown (6-4-1 league, 5-3-1 Liberty), which entered the season as the No. 1 team in The Inquirer's South Jersey rankings, has struggled and sits in fourth place in the division.

RV (8-3-1, 6-2-1), Cinnaminson (7-3, 6-2), and Delran (9-4, 7-2) - all teams that have appeared in the top 10 this season - are poised to make runs at the title.

"It's anybody's division," Petras said. "We just have to focus on not making mistakes, bury our opportunities, and staying focused.

"I think we can be an elite-level team. We just need to take advantage of our opportunities."

For most of this season, RV has done just that. The team has dropped its last two games, but it opened the season 8-1-2.

The team is led by junior forward Fatai King, who is leading the Red Devils with 12 goals.

"We've been playing as a team," King said. "During this time of year, you just have to have that desire to keep playing, keeping wanting to win, and keep working hard. And I think we have that."


rallysports@phillynews.com

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