Middle Township High School's Zack Thomas scored with less than three minutes left in the second overtime to give the Panthers' boys soccer team a 1-0 win over host Oakcrest on Tuesday. Ray Wilson assisted on the goal, which gave Middle coach John Maher his 200th career victory. The Panthers (11-1) are ranked eighth in The Press Elite 11.
The win kept Middle in a tie for first place with Ocean City in the Cape-Atlantic League National Division. Middle and O.C. split this year, and both have two division games remaining.
"It was a tense, must-win game, and I didn't even get a chance to think about 200 wins until the fans brought the banner over after the game," said Maher, 63, who's in his 15th year as head coach. "With 200 wins, I guess you could bring up the old cliche about longevity."
Maher thanked his former players and many others at Middle Township. He also thanked God, and wife, Andrea, and sons Anthony, Michael and Matthew (all former Middle soccer players).
"I've had some great memories at Middle, and I'm looking forward to the ones in the future," Maher said.
Middle's Nik Anagnou made seven saves for his fifth shutout. Oakcrest's Jack Markley had 12 stops.
Middle Township;0 0 0 1—1
Oakcrest;0 0 0 0—0
Goalies—Anagnou (7) MT. Markley (12) O.
Records—MT 11-1; O 6-5-1.