By LESLEY GRAHAM
The Ocean City High School girls soccer team defeated the Mainland Mustangs 3-1 on a sunny Friday afternoon, advancing to the South East B championship round.
The win continues the Red Raiders winning streak, bringing their record to 10-0-1, while Mainland ends the season with a 10-2 record.
Senior Faith Slimmer scored all three goals for the red and white, with her sister, Hope Slimmer, assisting on two of them.
Unusual for the Red Raiders, who dominate on offense, it took a full half before a goal was scored.
For the full 40-minute first half, both Ocean City and Mainland remained knotted at zero with both teams battling for the first tally on the scoreboard.
Ocean City had a number of shot opportunities in the first half, but outstanding play by the Mainland goalkeeper kept the game tied.
Red Raider Head Coach Lisa Cuneo told her team at half that there was no better time than the present to make changes.
“At half time we made an adjustment to help find some space and it paid off. I told the seniors if this is our last home game, what a better day but to beat Mainland,” Cuneo said.
As the second half started, Ocean City wasted little time showcasing its prolific ability to score as Slimmer found the back of the net for her first of three on the game. In a span of two minutes, Ocean City would add two more goals, both off the boot of Faith Slimmer.
Mainland would continue to battle, adding a goal of their own late in the second half, but with the precision passing and athleticism of Ocean City, the Mustangs were unable to overcome the deficit.
Ocean City, the defending state champion girls soccer program, will play for the South East B title Sunday against Absegami, albeit with a different look than last season.
Although it will not be the same run for a state title due to restrictions from the pandemic, the team is still looking forward to finishing a season on a high.
“The season may have ended up a bit different but our expectations never changed. The goal from the start was to win the last game no matter if that was a championship or not,” Cuneo said.