VOORHEES, NJ -- Eastern High School, the pre-eminent dynasty in New Jersey field hockey, defeated West Essex, 6-1, on Wednesday in the semifinal round of the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions.
West Essex (23-2-1) had to make the long, late-morning drive to South Jersey and play on Eastern's home field--rather than a neutral site--as a concession to the unseasonably cold weather that forced the games to be played in the afternoon rather than after dark.
Eastern (23-1) has won 21 consecutive Group 4 championships. West Essex, the Group 2 champion, got its only goal on a penalty stroke by Halle Aschenbach with 17 minutes left in the second half. That cut the Eastern lead to 3-1, but the home team pulled away with the last three goals of the game.
Eastern had defeated West Essex in last year's TOC semifinal. West Essex is 44-5-2 over the last two years, with two of those losses coming against Eastern.