Lenape blanks Eastern in Coaches final

To the victor go the spoils: Lenape celebrates after winning the Coaches Association championship with a 2-0 victory.
To the victor go the spoils: Lenape celebrates after winning the Coaches Association championship with a 2-0 victory. (      MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer)
Posted: November 04, 2013

When No. 1 seed Eastern met No. 2 Lenape for the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association tournament title, it was the seventh time the two girls' soccer teams had squared off in the last two years.

Similar to the previous six, this one was a war.

After dropping its last game against Eastern in overtime on Oct. 8, the Indians responded with a commanding, 2-0 win Saturday night at Paul VI.

Lenape scored two first-half goals, coming within five minutes of each other.

"We were saying all week that we were born for this game," junior back Lizzie Kinkler said. "All week, we kept saying that we wanted to play Eastern, and we finally got our opportunity and got it done.

Twelve minutes into the action, forward Marissa Topolski sprinted down the right side of the field. The junior played a cross over to senior forward Rachelle Ross.

Ross dribbled to the top of the box and booted a left-footer into the right side of the net to give the Indians an early advantage.

"I just got the cross from Marissa on a great run that she made and saw the opportunity to shoot it," Ross said. "I was a little off balance, but I just tried to get it on target, and luckily it went in the side of the net."

Lenape frustrated the Vikings, holding them to two shots on goal, compared with the Indians' eight. Most notably, the Indians contained star freshman Amirah Ali, disrupting her path to the goal nearly every chance they got.

"We made some defensive adjustments from last time they beat us, and I thought we did an outstanding job in the back and being dangerous up top certainly helps us. It was a total team effort," Indians coach Kevin Meder said.

Ali went down with what looked to be a left knee injury late in the game and needed help to get off the field. Eastern coach Jamie McGroaty, visibly upset with the officiating throughout the game, declined comment.

The second goal came when Lenape attempted its fifth corner kick of the first half. Kenie Wright played the corner to the far side of the box, where Lizzie Kinkler headed the ball into the net.

This was the seventh consecutive time that the Indians have won the Coaches Tournament title, and they will likely face the Vikings for the fourth time this season in the South Jersey Group 4 tournament, in which they will be seeded first and second again.

"If we see them again, we're going to do what we did tonight and come out strong early to put them away," Ross said.

Lenape 2 0 – 2

Eastern 0 0 – 0

Goals: L-Rachelle Ross, Lizzie Kinkler.

Saves: L-Alicia Hampton 2; E-Imani Taylor 6.


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