The 2007 South Jersey boys' soccer season ended with some surprises - some welcome and some not so welcome - to the teams involved. But one thing was a constant: the hard work and dedication of the squads that made it to the NJSIAA playoffs.
Here is a look at highlights from the season.
Team of the year.
The Ocean City boys won the highly acclaimed South Jersey Soccer Coaches' Association tournament and followed that up by reaching the Group 3 state championship game.
Ocean City (23-1-1) advanced to the Group 3 final with a team of overachievers. Ocean City entered the game without a loss, but unfortunately for the Red Raiders, they succumbed to Ramapo, 1-0, on a second-half goal. Ocean City, ranked No. 1 in South Jersey by The Inquirer all season, joined the rest of the area's boys teams in failing to win a state crown this season.
Coach of the year.
Cinnaminson coach Bill Dent, with an "offense-first" strategy that endeared him to his players, led the Pirates through rocky shoals to their first appearance in the Group 2 state final in his 12 years at the helm. Cinnaminson lost to speedy Ramsey, 3-1, but enjoyed a ride that started with a 4-1 victory over Delran in the sectional final - even with its top scorer, Danny Korenyi (23 goals), out with a foot injury. Dent shuffled the lineup and guided the Pirates to a 3-2, come-from-behind victory over Somerville in the state semifinals.
Goalie of the year.
Ocean City senior John Fogarty registered 13 shutouts in 24 games. He allowed 12 goals all season. In the coaches' tournament, Fogarty blanked all four opponents as the Red Raiders captured the title.
Playoff performance of the year.
In a sport in which most games are decided by a goal or end in a tie, Ocean City's Giancarlo Granese started an avalanche during the South Jersey Group 3 championship game against Kingsway. Granese, a junior forward, blasted four goals off four rebounds, propelling the Red Raiders to a 5-1 win.