Lacrosse: Ocean City girls close in on Cape-Atlantic League title as Tess Solazzo aims for 300 goals
The Ocean City High School girls lacrosse team has a lot to be excited about as the regular season comes to an end.
The Red Raiders, the Cape-Atlantic League champions last season, defeated Oakcrest 15-8 this past weekend and brought themselves one step closer to the league title again this year.
"That game (against Oakcrest) was really awesome," first-year coach Alyssa Preis said. "The girls played so good and they were really proud of themselves."
Leading scorer Tess Solazzo, had nine goals and two assists in the win.
The senior, who will attend Ohio State University on a lacrosse scholarship, is just four away from her 300th career goal.
"It's really exciting and obviously it's an individual goal, but if it wasn't for my team, there'd be no way I'd be able to achieve this," Solazzo said. "It's not only a big deal for me, but it's a big deal for Ocean City, too. We have all achieved this, and I'd be so happy if we actually did."
Solazzo and the team (12-3) have three games left, including its biggest of the season, when they play Mainland Regional on Monday for the title.
"(Winning the title) is our absolute, No. 1 goal," Solazzo says. "It means so much for all our hard work to pay off, and I think we can definitely do it again this year."
The Mustangs are 9-1, with its only loss to Oakcrest.
The Red Raiders fell to Mainland (their only loss in the league) 8-7 in overtime earlier this season.
"We're using all the things that we did wrong in our last game against them and fixing it," Solazzo said. "We can't wait to see them again and on our home field."
Two of their final three games are in the CAL. If Ocean City wins its remaining games in the league they are guaranteed a least a share of the title with Mainland.
"We take it one game at a time and focus on us," Preis said. "It's been one of those years where there are so many crazy scores and upsets. We try to go into every game not expecting things to happen for us."
Ocean City shared the title in 2011 with Millville and last year won it outright for the first time since 2009.
"Ending this year with the title, especially with such a strong senior class really means a lot to the girls," Preis said. "I think the loss to Mainland really shook them up a little and now they won't stop at anything to make sure that doesn't happen again."
Senior Casey Hanna has also contributed offensively and reached her 100th career goal this season.
One senior, defenseman Sarah Dalsey, unfortunately suffered a injury and hasn't been able to be on the field helping her teammates. However, Preis is thankful for the extra set of eyes and says Dalsey is still helping the team immensely from the sidelines.
"She is very vocal and still vocal on the sidelines," Preis said. "She helps them see things and tells them this happened and this is what needs to happen."
Ocean City seems more than ready and very excited to take on the challenges before them and accomplish its goals.
"They look great and they are playing really well together," Preis said. "They have more confidence in their team since the beginning of the season and they are using each other and working together more and more with each game."
"We can't wait," Solazzo said. "I loving having such a close-knit team and it's really important to all our success. Hopefully our hard work will pay off and we'll win another title."
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