In 2010 and 2011 the Timber Creek Regional High School boys’ soccer team eliminated Moorestown in the Group 3 playoffs.
The Quakers found revenge in a big way this season.
Less than a month after Moorestown defeated Timber Creek in the Coaches Cup, the Quakers did it again—this time by way of a 3-0 victory in the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 3 semifinals.
Mike Handlin scored all three goals, sending No. 1 seed Moorestown to the Group 3 championship, where it will face No. 2 Kingsway.
Handlin opened the scoring two minutes in, sending a chip shot past senior goalie Trevor Tierno. The Quakers’ lead remained 1-0 until the second half when Handlin scored twice more to ice the game.
The No. 4 seed Chargers were without two of their wing defenders for much of the game. Vincent Palmucci missed the entire game after injuring his hip in warm-ups and Matt Hershey left the game in the first half with concussion-like symptoms. That forced the Chargers to turn to their bench, and Moorestown took advantage.
“We started the second half with two guys that have played for us, but have not been asked to play 40 minutes out there,” Timber Creek coach Sean Ortzman said. “They had some great speed up top, and they used it to their advantage.”
The loss brings to a close a season that caught many onlookers by surprise. Timber Creek advanced all the way to the state finals last season, but graduated almost its entire starting lineup, including a pair of career 50-goal scorers. Despite all of the turnover, Timber Creek went 17-4-1 and was once again one of the top teams in South Jersey.
“We didn’t expect to be a 17-4 team,” Ortzman said. “I thought we would be a little above .500 after losing all of that talent. It is always disappointing when you lose, but I’m graduating just three starters this year. We should be OK in the future.”