By LESLEY GRAHAM
Ocean City Boys Soccer Team pulled out a thrilling final minutes victory over visiting Middle Township Tuesday afternoon, 1-0. The win brings the Red Raiders record to 2-0, while the Middle Township Panthers drop to 0-1-1, early in the 2020 season.
The Red Raiders who opened up the 2020 season with a dominant win over Wildwood Catholic last Saturday, kept the momentum going into Tuesday’s game controlling the pace of play to dictate the game in their favor.
The Red Raiders spent most of the 80-minute game with the ball in their offensive possession, but it took until under two minutes on the clock for the ball to find the back of the net off the foot of senior Drew Tarr. Fellow senior Nick Chiccarine was credited with the assist.
Head Coach Aaron Bogushefsky, entering his 12th season as the leader of the Red Raiders program was proud of the fight his team showed against a gritty visiting Middle Township.
“It’s always a work in progress. I tell the guys we want to be better today than we were yesterday. And today, we were good but it just didn’t show in the scoreline,” Bogushefsky said after the game.
Ocean City was able to get a few solid looks on net, but were unable to finish against a feisty defense from Middle Township. The first half ended scoreless so both teams went back to the drawing board at halftime to tweak the game plan and make adjustments for the second half.
The second half was much of the same, with Ocean City once again dominating the majority of possession, preventing the Panthers from getting to execute quality shots. As the clock wound down, Tarr was able to finish off what appeared to be a bit of a broken down play from a corner opportunity for the Red Raiders.
Middle Township attempted to answer back with a strong shot on goal with just 46 seconds remaining in the contest but the Red Raiders goalie, senior Kyle Plenn was able to come up with a big save to finish out the game.
Bogushefsky explained post game that he truly believes it’s a total team effort and there is a strong group of seniors that he is excited for.
“I really like this group of seniors and am excited for them to show off all that they have been working for,” he said.
The uncertainty of the times amid the COVID-19 pandemic, also plays a role in the messaging to the team this season.
Bogushefsky noted, “We are trying to instill a feeling of gratefulness because we get to be out there. There are a lot of things not happening right now and we feel privileged to be out here, so let’s make the most of the situation.”
The Red Raiders will be back in action Saturday against Mainland.