One of the Cape-Atlantic League’s top boys soccer rivalries will be renewed when Middle Township and St. Augustine Prep face one another in the opening round of the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association Tournament this week.
Middle has drawn the 11th seed and will travel to Richland to face the No. 6 Hermits on Thursday for a 3:45 p.m. start.
The SJSCA Tournament includes the top 16 teams in the region – although a handful of teams, including Ocean City and Delran, opted out of the event – to determine a South Jersey champion regardless of enrollment.
Middle (10-1) enters this week having suffered its first loss of the season in its last contest, a 2-1 decision at Ocean City that essentially creates a tie between the Panthers and the Raiders atop the CAL National Conference.
St. Augustine (10-2-1) goes into this week tied with Mainland for first place in the CAL American Conference.
Middle and St. Augustine were fierce rivals when both teams were members of the National Conference. The teams also met occasionally after the Prep moved into the American Conference. They last played one another in 2014, with the Hermits posting a 2-1 victory. St. Augustine holds a 29-19-5 advantage over Middle in the all-time series.
The Middle-St. Augustine winner will play No. 3 Cherry Hill West or No. 14 Haddon Township in a quarterfinal game on Monday, Oct. 23. Semifinal games are scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 5 and 7 p.m. at Paul VI High School. The championship is slated for Saturday, Oct. 29, at Rowan University at a time to be determined.
Shawnee is the No. 1 seed. Rancocas Valley is seeded second. Two other CAL teams are also part of the field. Mainland is seeded seventh and will host No. 10 Washington Township, while Egg Harbor Township is seeded 16th and will travel to Shawnee.