Much like the girls’ soccer program, the Kingsway boys’ soccer program has been one of the top programs in the Tri-County Conference for years. Long-time coach John Green has continued Kingsway’s winning ways within the conference. This season, however, they also made inroads outside of the conference, showing that they are one of the top programs in South Jersey.
Within the conference, they once again battled with rivals Clearview and Williamstown for title bragging rights. Ultimately, they finished behind Clearview for the Tri-County Conference Royal Division title. Considering that the Clearview boys soccer team eventually went on to make the championship game of the South Jersey Coaches Tournament and had a state ranking of 17th, there was no shame in the Dragon’s divisional finish.
Outside of the conference, Kingsway truly took steps forward by progressing deep with the two major seasonal tournaments. At the South Jersey Coaches Tournament, which pits the top 16 teams in South Jersey against each other regardless of group size, they defeated Triton 4-0 and Schalick 3-1 to reach the semifinals.
In the semifinal round, they lost to Moorestown. It came down to penalty kicks. Moorestown then went on to defeat Clearview 2-0 to win the tournament championship.
In the South Jersey Group 4 tournament, they defeated Atlantic County Institute of Technology 2-0 before losing to nemesis Washington Twp. 1-0 in the quarterfinal round. They finished the season with an outstanding record of 15-4-1.
“The Dragons Boys Soccer Team had an outstanding season,” said Kingsway athletic director June Cioffi. “The team earned a spot in the prestigious SJ Coaches Tournament and went on to a great playoff run before falling to Washington Township in overtime 1-0. As always Coach Green and his assistant coaches, Brent Dodulik, Drew Laverty, and Dave Stanton do an amazing job with our team. Their constant commitment to coaching, their guidance, their encouragement and their dedication to our athletes is to be commended.”
Coach Green would echo those sentiments.
“This was another fun team to be around,” said coach Green. “They were another record-breaking team. Last year’s team was the first to win a South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association tournament game, in which only 16 schools are invited to play. This year’s team wanted to surpass that, which they did. They made it to the Semi-Final game. What a fun game that was.”
Green also commented on the history behind this season.
“We also participated in the most tournament games in school history which is five games, Green continued. “This was a group that took the Kingsway soccer program to a whole other level it has never been before and expanded the expectations for future teams.”
For such an esteemed and long tenured coach as John Green to make that statement speaks volumes about the impact of the team this year and about the future of the program.
In a community that truly embraces soccer, these are welcome words. The future appears to look as bright as the present.
By Christian Lynch