No. 6 Cherry Hill East Cruises Past No. 14 Vineland 5-1 in the Southwest Group 4 Soccer Playoffs.


Tyler Leomporra ('21)

The East Cougars dominate Vineland in an intense soccer game.

Domination. That is the only word to describe the performance by the East boys soccer team on Tuesday evening. The chilly air, the strong breeze, the high expectations, the chance of an upset, the pressure of a home playoff game, were all factors that the Cougars put to rest on November 17. The cloudy and eerie atmosphere put a spotlight on the turf at Decou Sports Complex, and in front of their home fans, the boys delivered.

It took two minutes for East to get on the board with a cross from Hank Feudtner (‘21) finding Luke Luehrs (‘21) in the box for a shot that soared over the keepers hands. This early pressure would be a glimpse into what the rest of the game had to offer. Whether it was the offense providing a potent attack force in the first ten minutes, or the defensive performance spearheaded by Drew Luehrs (‘21) and Jordan Grossman (‘21), East came out hungry.

The Cougars would tear up Vineland four minutes later after a controversial call by the referee. Luke Luehrs would get decked by Vineland’s goalkeeper, and that sparked even more anger from the home team. Jakub Semelko (‘23) would break down the left flank and fire a shot between the goalies legs to add another goal to the tally.

Nine minutes into the game, Luke Luehrs would make another splash play, taking a through ball and chipping it over the goalkeepers head, utter revenge for the previous controversy.

Luke Luehrs (‘21) celebrates after one of his two goals against Vineland in the Group 4 Playoffs.

“Everyone pitched in. It was a total team effort,” said Luke Luehrs after the game. And he’s right. Every single player on the roster would get minutes, and the win can be credited to the entire team and coaching staff.

Later in the first half, last game’s hero Matt Mueller (‘21) would make a few saves, and Ryan Lafferty (‘21) would create a few chances from down the right wing. He had two consecutive crosses get fumbled in the middle, two opportunities East will need to convert on Thursday against Washington Township.

To cap off a thrilling first half, sophomore Adam Blumenthal dribbled through the majority of the Vineland defense and smack a shot into the top of the net. East finished the half up 4-0, and the game was basically put to rest.

The second half had much less action than the first. As the sun dropped, the temperature flew down, and it would quiet the fans as well. Meanwhile, goalkeeper Patrick Keller (‘21) came in and made saves throughout the period, preventing any sort of comeback. A fluke goal would be scored by Vineland, but besides that moment, it was all Cougars.

The twin duo of Drew and Luke Luehrs, as well as the sophomore tandem of Samelko, Blumenthal and Trey Shaw would ball out late. Lots of chances were created, and one turned into a magnificent goal.

Blumenthal broke down the baseline of the flank, and whipped a cross into Hank Feudtner. Feudtner would head the ball straight into the back of the net, solidifying what was a near-perfect showing by the Cougars.

East boys soccer faces No. 7 Washington Township on Thursday afternoon at Decou. Township upset No. 2 Clearview on Tuesday, but will face a staunch opponent in East. ROLL COUGS.