DePaul wins second straight county championship

Camryn Wolf buried the game's first goal and set the tone for DePaul's 4-0 win over Lakeland that gave the Spartans their second straight Passaic County title.

WAYNE – DePaul has methodically picked apart opponents all year long and in its biggest game of the season the Spartans they threw everything but the kitchen sink and its opponent only to be denied at every turn. Lakeland, a team that upset its way through to the Passaic County Tournament final, stayed organized and its defense made play after play.

It looked like the Lancers would survive the first half with the game still scoreless until DePaul got the break it needed.

Kaylee Drakakis's lofting shot drifted off the crossbar and Camryn Wolf was there to tap it over the goal line with 3:52 to play in the half to put the Spartans ahead. They found their rhythm in the second half as top-seeded DePaul earned a second straight Passaic County Tournament title with a 4-0 win over sixth-seeded Lakeland on Saturday night at Passaic County Tech in Wayne.

“It felt like nothing we did was working but we had to keep pushing through it,” said Wolf. “Once we got that first goal it pumped us up and we were more relaxed in the second half. We came in the second half and just played DePaul soccer, the way we've been playing all year. Going back-to-back, is what we have wanted all year long.”

DePaul took control of the possession game right from the opening whistle, but for every dangerous attack the Lancers had a response. The Spartans had a chance when Wolf blocked a clearing attempt and went in alone on a breakaway only for her shot to go wide. Freshman keeper Shannon Harnett played well throughout the first half making several key saves to keep the Spartans off the scoreboard until a pair of key runs finally snapped the drought.

Kaylee Drakakis' shot off the crossbar set up the game's first goal and DePail proceeded to pull awy for the win.

Jazlyn Oviedo carried the ball up the left before cutting back across the middle to avoid two defenders. Steady outside back Danielle DiBiase showed off her versatility but making an overlapping run from the back. Oviedo played her the ball and DiBiase ran onto before delivering a cross towards the top of the box. Drakakis came sprinting in from the left on a diagonal run and popped up a shot towards the net. The ball drifted before grazing both the bottom of the crossbar and Harnett's fingertips before hitting the ground with some English on it. Wolf got her foot on it before Harnett could get to it with 3:52 remaining in the half that gave DePaul a 1-0 lead.

With Lakeland forced to play with more of an attacking style this allowed the Spartans more room to operate in the attacking third. Less than ten minutes into the second half, freshman Maggie Blum doubled their lead and that opened up the floodgates. Oviedo added a picturesque goal by making a run along the end line with the ball before cutting back to create both space and an angle to shoot before scoring to make it 3-0. Hailey Perez capped the scoring as DePaul went on to celebrate a second straight PCT crown.

DePaul now looks towards the state tournament where it is the No. 2 seed in Non-Public A North and appears on a collision course with top seed and rival Immaculate Heart Academy, with whom they've split two regular-season meetings.

“It feels amazing to win the counties again but we want more,” said Oveido. “Every game from now on could end our season if we don't play together as a team. Everyone had their job today and we worked together to get this done. Now we want to keep going and try to get a state title too.”