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Field hockey: West Deptford edges Delsea in S.J. 2 final

Senior goalie Bailey Shannon, who missed the last two games with a knee injury, led a strong defensive effort as the Eagles won their fifth sectional title in a row.

West Deptford’s Jessica McGivern holds up trophy after the Eagles won the S.J. 2 title with a 2-1 victory over Delsea.
West Deptford’s Jessica McGivern holds up trophy after the Eagles won the S.J. 2 title with a 2-1 victory over Delsea.Read moreElizabeth Robertson/Staff photographer

Bailey Shannon's sore knee felt fine during the game.

"Adrenaline kicked in — didn't feel a thing," Shannon said.

Standing on the field after West Deptford's 2-1 win over Delsea in the South Jersey Group 2 title game in field hockey, Shannon's knee started to ache.

But she wasn't complaining.

"It hurts now but I don't care," the senior goalie said. "This is insane. There are no words."

Shannon, who missed the previous two games with a knee ailment, led a sturdy defensive effort and senior Jessica McGivern and junior Miranda Mason scored goals as West Deptford won the South Jersey Group 2 title for the fifth year in a row.

The Eagles' last four sectional title-game victories have been over Delsea.

"They're really good," West Deptford coach Linda Decker said of Delsea. "We let up a little (after taking a 1-0 lead) and they really played well."

West Deptford, which has won six South Jersey Group 2 titles since 2009, advanced to face Central Jersey champion Seneca in the Group 2 state semifinals on Tuesday.

Mason's goal off a strong feed from Grace Hoelbinder with nine minutes, 27 seconds to play snapped a 1-1 tie and proved to be the game-winner.

"It felt like a movie," Mason said. "Everything paused, just perfect timing, top corner, nothing could have been better than that."

McGivern gave West West Deptford (18-3-1) a 1-0 lead with 14:57 left in the first half.

Dawn Lombardi tied the score at 1-1 with a goal for Delsea (21-1-1) with 4:04 to play in the first half.

The Crusaders, whose only two losses in the last two seasons have been to West Deptford in the sectional title game, controlled play in the second half, with a 8-0 advantage in corners.

"It was a little nerve-wracking," Shannon said. "But we had to keep calm. I'm the boss in the circle and I kept telling everybody, 'Stay calm, we got this.'"

Delsea 1 0 — 1

West Deptford 1 1 — 2

Goals: D-Dawn Lombardi; WD: Jessica McGivern, Miranda Mason.

Saves: D-Hailey Abbott, 3; WD-Bailey Shannon, 4.