Delbarton soccer received the No. 1 seed in the Morris County Tournament on Wednesday night.
The Green Wave (5-1-1), whose lone loss came against St. Anthony (Melville, N.Y.) in the second game of the season, reached the MCT final a year ago but lost to host Roxbury, 3-2, in double overtime — their only loss in a season which culminated in the NJSIAA Non-Public A championship.
Delbarton has qualified for the MCT final four times in the past six seasons, but has not won since 2008.
“I can’t remember a year that was more difficult to select,” veteran Green Wave coach Dave Donovan said. “There were a lot of teams that had beaten each other, so that was very confusing. A lot of the games were very tight. It really seems wide open this year. … In normal years, I’d think a No. 1 ranking is bad, but these kids understand they’re not No. 1 even if they’re ranked No. 1. They have to continue to prove themselves. It’s not going to be an easy run, that’s for sure.”
The Gaels (4-1), who will once again host the final, were voted No. 2 by the county’s coaches. The last remaining Morris County team with a perfect record, Mountain Lakes (6-0), is the third seed, followed by offensive powerhouse Mount Olive (5-1-1) and Pequannock to round out the top five. Undefeated Randolph, which has scored two goals and played to three double-overtime scoreless draws, will be No. 6. Kinnelon and Morris Hills also earned first-round byes as the seventh and eighth seeds.
The first round of the MCT must be completed by Sunday, with the second round on Oct. 6. Quarterfinals will be played at the better seed on Oct. 13. Mountain Lakes will host the boys semifinal doubleheader on Oct. 20. The final returns to Roxbury on Oct. 26 at 5:30 p.m., the first game of a doubleheader with the girls MCT final.
Here are the first-round matches, all of which will be hosted by the better seed:
No. 17 Whippany Park at No. 16 Chatham, winner at No. 1 Delbarton; No. 24 Butler at No. 9 Montville, winner at No. 8 Morris Hills; No. 21 Parsippany Hills at No. 12 Morristown, winner at No. 5 Pequannock; No. 20 Jefferson at No. 13 Morris Knolls, winner at No. 4 Mount Olive; No. 19 Morris Catholic at No. 14 West Morris, winner at No. 3 Mountain Lakes; No. 22 Boonton at No. 11 Dover, winner at No. 6 Randolph; No. 23 Hanover Park at No. 10 Mendham, winner at No. 7 Kinnelon; No. 18 Parsippany at No. 15 Madison, winner at No. 2 Roxbury.