Boys Soccer – Toms River South Blanks Allentown for Second Straight Sectional Crown
Last year's run to the NJSIAA Group III title game by Toms River South was highlighted by one now-graduated player who scored a majority of the goals. This year's run by the Indians is about who is not scoring goals: the other team.
For the third straight game in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III Tournament, Toms River South shutout an opponent and got two second-half goals by Dylan Parks within a minute of one another to down eighth-seeded Allentown 2-0 and win a second consecutive sectional title.
Toms River South - which won the South Jersey Group III title last year and reached the South III final in 2014 - will play South Jersey Group III champion Mainland Tuesday in the Group III semifinals at nearby Toms River North High School.
Parks scored the game's first goal on a pass from Egnatuk midway through the second half and added a second goal in the following minute to turn a scoreless deadlock into a two-goal advantage for a team and a goalkeeper in Dom Pizzi that have currently held opponents scoreless over the last 280 minutes of the tournament.
Toms River South conceded a goal to 15th-seeded Long Branch in opening seconds of the 61st minute in the Oct. 31 opening round. Since then, the Indians have outscored their opponents 8-0 on the way to a third sectional title in eight seasons. They went on to equalize against Long Branch and beat the Green Wave on penalty kicks, defeated Steinert 2-0, and beat Wall 3-0 in Monday's sectional semifinal.
The defensive prowess has anchored this year's championship run after Cameron Geerinck led the Indians to the Group III final by scoring eight of the team's 14 goals in its five victories. This year, Parks is one of three players to lead the team with two goals during the run and the senior forward also chipped in two assists in Monday's win over Wall. Egnatuk and junior Matt Babcock also have two goals apiece during the tournament.
Toms River South will face another stingy defense on Tuesday when Mainland travels to Toms River for the Group III semifinals. The Mustangs did not allow a goal in any of the first three state tournament games, including a scoreless draw against Central Regional in the sectional semifinals before winning on penalty kicks. Mainland finally conceded a goal in a 2-1 win over Hammonton Thursday in the South Jersey III final.