BY LESLEY GRAHAM
The Ocean City High School girls soccer team continued its winning ways on Wednesday afternoon with a dominating 11-0 playoff performance over visiting Vineland.
The win brings Ocean City’s record to 9-0-1, while Vineland sees its season come to a close with a 3-6 record.
Senior Faith Slimmer led the scoring for the Red Raiders with five goals and one assist.
Ocean City scored all but one of its goals in the opening half of play. Opening the scoring up for the Red Raiders was Suzy Dietrich on a ball from Emily Benson within the first minutes of the game. Benson would add a second assist later in the half.
The Red Raiders wouldn’t take their foot off the gas, adding nine more goals before the half ended.
Faith Slimmer scored her first goal of the afternoon from an assist by her sister, Hope. The two would connect on the same combination twice more in the game. Hope Slimmer would end with four assists.
Also scoring for the Red Raiders were Paige Panico with two goals, Summer Reimet with two and Aimee Altieri with one. Besides the four assists from Hope Slimmer, youngest sister Joy Slimmer added an assist of her own.
Ocean City Head Coach Lisa Cuneo was impressed by how fast her team came out of the gate.
“We haven’t played since last Tuesday and a normal year that would be a bit of an issue coming into the game,” Cuneo said. “But practice has been great. The girls keep pushing each other to play faster and more accurate and to take shots.”
In the coronavirus-shortened season, the team is making sure to take every opportunity as it comes, especially the seniors who are nearing the end of their careers in red and white, Cuneo noted.
“These seniors want to win, no matter if it’s 10 games or 20. It’s what they have worked for for years. They also understand and want to make the most out of it whatever we get,” said Cuneo, relaying the message to the team to not take a game or practice for granted.
The Red Raiders will face rival Mainland on Friday at home in the South East B semifinal round. Although the two teams are familiar opponents, Cuneo noted there is added excitement to a playoff matchup with a conference rival.
“We knew when we played them in season that the winner would most likely get home field advantage for playoff time. That motivated us to play hard and take that momentum into the playoffs,” Cuneo said.