OCEAN CITY - Ocean City High School's Steve Pashuck has played countless soccer games since he picked up the sport.
And he could play a million more without ever scoring another goal like the one he did on Wednesday at the Tennessee Avenue Soccer Complex.
Pashuck's goal less than 10 seconds into the second half propelled the Red Raiders to a 5-0 win against St. Augustine Prep in a Cape-Atlantic League American Conference showdown.
Ocean City (9-1) is the No. 11 team in The Press Elite 11. The Hermits (7-2) are No. 5.
Brandon MacFarlane tapped the ball off toward Pashuck at the second-half whistle with the Red Raiders leading 1-0.
Without hesitation, Pashuck blasted a ball from midfield toward Prep goalkeeper Dan Aucoin.
The ball bounced near the penalty mark and over Aucoin's head, tucking itself just underneath the crossbar.
"We had the wind so I just threw it up there," Pashuck said. "Right when I hit it I knew it was kind of short, but then it got that one bounce in a perfect spot and it ended up going in. … It was kind of lucky."
Pashuck's goal seemed to open up the floodgates for Ocean City.
"After that, things just started going right for us every time," said Pashuck, who is a defender but pushes forward on occasion to utilize his size and big leg.
"We were finishing opportunities. We may have missed one or two, but we capitalized on most of the chances we got. That was huge for us today."
Zack Sakena, Aaron King and Don VanMeter all found the net after Pashuck's goal to turn a close game into a surprisingly one-sided second half.
"That was the first time that ever worked," Ocean City coach Aaron Bogushefsky said with a laugh. "Give credit to Steve. He put the ball in the right spot and it went in the net.
"We usually try to come out and get ourselves up in their end right away, and I guess that's the best way to do it."
But even Bogushefsky was quick to point out the lopsided score wasn't indicative of the game.
The teams meet again under the lights on the turf at St. Augustine Prep in Buena Vista Township on Oct. 21.
"Next time we play them it's going to be a different game," Bogushefsky said. "It will be much closer next time."
Ocean City's Kyle Millar opened the scoring late in the first half with a rebound from inside the box.
Aucoin may have misjudged Pashuck's kick, but he also came up huge a number of times for the Hermits.
He blocked a point-blank shot in the moments before Millar's goal and turned away two separate breakaways in the second half. Aucoin (four shutouts this season) finished with seven saves.
The Prep had only allowed three goals prior to Wednesday's game and was playing without starting fullback Alex Clark, who was out with an injury.
"I don't think the 5-0 tally was really a true value of what kind of game was played here today," Prep coach Steve Rolando said. "It was a hard-fought match and we can only build on it and learn from it.
"My hats off to Aaron and his club. They just came out and they wanted it more."
Ocean City's Evan McCardell stopped five shots for his sixth shutout this season.
The Red Raiders are now in the driver's seat in the CAL American Division II race.
"We're just trying to get back to the Ocean City of old, of having a good reputation throughout the state," Pashuck said.
Contact John O’Kane:
St. Augustine Prep 0 0 – 0
Ocean City 1 4 – 5
Goals-Millar, Pashuck, Pashuck, King, VanMeter OC.
Goalies-Aucoin (7) SA; McCardell (5) OC.
Records-St. Augustine 7-2; Ocean City 9-1.