Hailey Gutowski Leads Girls Soccer to 2017 South Jersey Group 2 Soccer Championship


Darlene Llewellyn

Mr. Digney (back left) poses with the Cinnaminson Girls Soccer team captured the South Jersey Group 2 sectional soccer championship after its 3-2 victory over Haddonfield.

from Staff Reports

Coming into the season, the two teams were on a crash course – the Cinnaminson and Haddonfield girls soccer teams.

Both teams returned a strong core of players from last year’s South Jersey Group 2 finalist teams, won by Haddonfield, 1-0 on a controversial penalty kick late in the game.  This year, Haddonfield returned 10 starters to its team, while Cinnaminson returned less, but key senior leaders in captains Hailey Gutowski, Christine Bescript and Kellyn Weist along with a number of other outstanding contributors.

The foreshadowing of the game was everywhere you looked – in the rankings, they followed one another in no particular order among the top teams in South Jersey and Group 2 teams on various websites and in newspapers.  It was building in the South Jersey Coaches Cup, where both teams made it to the semifinals on opposite sides of the bracket, only to see Cinnaminson lose a heart-breaker to Eastern in penalty kicks in the semifinals and Haddonfield slithered through their semifinal game with a 1-0 win off a Washington Township goalie’s misplayed ball before also losing to Eastern, 1-0, in the championship game.

Both teams manhandled their first two opponents in the South Jersey Group 2 playoffs and struggled a bit, but emerged, from their semifinal games to set up yesterday’s championship game.

Finally, yesterday, these teams would have their chance to continue their battles from last year that ended in two 1-0  Haddonfield wins, with the second leaving a bitter taste for the CHS girls.  And, even yesterday, they entered the South Jersey Group 2 Championship game with identical 18-2-1 records.

Sophomore Emma Karch opened the scoring for the Pirates with a goal, but Haddonfield quickly tied the score within the first ten minutes of the game.  With the score tied at 1-1 at halftime, it was time for senior captain Hailey Gutowski to take over once again.  Gutowski was coming off a sizzling performance in Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Cedar Creek where Gutowski scored all three goals to will the Pirates to victory in overtime.

In the second half, Gutowski used some fancy footwork to spin away from a Haddonfield defender but her shot was deflected and found its way back to her.  She settled the ball and sent a rocket towards the net and buried the shot in the top right corner of the goal to give the Pirates the lead with 16:23 remaining in the game.

However, a foul in the box against Cinnaminson gave Haddonfield a penalty shot that they converted on with just over six minutes remaining in the game and the Bulldawgs tied the score and sent it to overtime.

Just as she had two days earlier, Gutowski delivered again, this time off a beautiful feed from senior goalie Maddie Ogden, who sent the ball towards the goal from 41 yards out and Gutowski headed home the winner with 3:55 remaining in the first overtime to give Cinnaminson its first sectional championship since 2012.  Burlington County Times sports writer Joe Tansey caught the video of the restart and Gutowski goal that he tweeted out earlier today.

With the win, the Pirates are one step closer to their fourth state championship, but their first since 1991 when the program had won three state titles in a row.  However, the girls will have a huge test standing in their way in the presence of Wall High School in the state semifinal game on Tuesday night.  Wall is the defending Group 3 state champion but the current Group 2 Central Jersey champion by virtue of yesterday’s win.  Wall will enter the game with a 23-1-1 record and  a great deal of confidence after a 2-0 shutout of AL Johnson in yesterday’s sectional final.

The only way to compare the two teams would be the one common opponent that Wall and Cinnaminson share – Manasquan.  Wall defeated Manasquan 4-1 and 6-1 in two games this season.  Manasquan was a second round opponent of CHS in the state playoffs and the Pirates equally manhandled Manasquan 4-0 before pulling their starters in the second half.

Please keep tuned to chsshipslog.com for any updates or information regarding the game that will occur on Tuesday night at a netural field.

UPDATE @ 10:25 am on 11/10/17 – According to CHS Principal Mrs. Darlene Llewellyn, the girls will compete in the NJ Group 2 State Semifinal game on Tuesday, Nov 14 at 5 pm at Hopewell Valley against Wall Township.  Hopewell Valley High School is 32 miles from CHS and Mrs. Llewellyn is currently working on a bus for to the game for fans of the team that will leave CHS at 3:30.