Former LCM star in SJ soccer Hall

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MATT LUCAS Matt Lucas has long been recognized as one of the best high school soccer players ever in Cape May County. Last weekend, the 1996 Lower Cape May Regional High School graduate was recognized as one of the best ever in South Jersey.

Lucas, who scored 97 career goals for one of the Cape-Atlantic League’s best teams in the mid 1990s, was formally inducted into the South Jersey Soccer Hall of Fame on Sunday during a ceremony at Valleybrook Country Club in Blackwood.

Lucas said he was notified he had been selected for induction about a month ago.

“It was totally unexpected, I had no idea,” Lucas said. “They called me and said I had been selected and asked me if I wanted to attend the banquet and of course I said yes. I was more shocked than anything. … It was a great honor.”

Lucas, who scored a single-season program-record 37 goals as a senior in 1995, led Lower Cape May to three straight Cape-Atlantic National Conference championships. He also recorded a program-best 87 career assists, many of which went to 1997 graduate Mike Gavin, his teammate of three seasons who netted a program record 111 career goals.

Lucas, also a basketball standout at Lower Cape May, went on to play four seasons of soccer and one season of basketball at University of South Carolina Upstate, which was then a Division II program.

Lucas was inducted into the Lower Cape May Regional High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012. He is one of only five players from Cape May County inducted into the South Jersey Soccer Hall of Fame since its inception in 1988. The others are Wildwood Catholic’s Pat MacFarlane, Middle Township’s Kevin MacFarlane and Anthony Maher and Ocean City’s Chad Severs. Others with Cape May County ties in the Hall include former Lower Cape May coach Dave Smith, who led the program during Lucas’s playing days; former Wildwood Catholic coach Gerry MacFarlane; and Ocean City resident Bill Siteman, a longtime historian of Cape-Atlantic League soccer.

Lucas returned to coach at his alma mater in the early 2000s as an assistant under Smith before serving as head coach for two seasons in 2004-05.

Lucas is still heavily involved in soccer locally. He currently coaches the Cape Express U-15 boys team, which has reached the New Jersey State Cup Final Four during the current spring season. The team was scheduled to play a semifinal game last weekend but the contest was postponed due to poor field conditions following Friday’s heavy rain.


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