EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — A charged-up Ocean City High School field hockey team romped over both Kingsway Regional and recent history Tuesday as the Red Raiders won their 11th South Jersey Group III championship.
Ocean City (19-1), ranked third in The Press Elite 11, beat Kingsway 6-0.
O.C. and Kingsway have met six other times for the South Jersey Group III title, starting in 2003, and each of the previous games were close and thrilling.
But not Tuesday as Ocean City forwards Jacquie Fenton, Paige Broadley and Kelly Hanna scored two goals apiece.
The game was played on Egg Harbor Township High School’s artificial turf football field because Ocean City’s field was unplayable after Hurricane Sandy and last week’s northeaster.
Last year’s South Jersey championship game between the two teams was a painful memory for the Red Raiders as Kingsway won in a penalty-strokes shootout.
“After last year we all wanted to win this game from the start of the year,” said senior Fenton, 17, of Seaville in Upper Township. “I can’t wait to text my old teammates and tell them. I think the reason why (it was such a big win) was because our passing was phenomenal. I think it’s the best we’ve done all year.”
Ocean City, the top-seed, advanced to play a Group III state semifinal game on Friday against the winner of today’s Central Jersey title game between Moorestown and Wall. The time and place of the state semifinal will be determined.
Fenton scored the first goal just 1 minute, 36 seconds into the game, and sent a perfect feed to Broadley for the second goal for a 2-0 halftime lead. Fenton dimmed the Dragons’ hopes for a comeback with a goal 2:41 into the second half.
“We didn’t really talk about getting an early goal. We just played our game and it happened,” said Fenton. “My teammates set me up very well.”
Ocean City dominated the game from the outset and never let up, defying the history of the two teams’ South Jersey championship rivalry. The first four games, in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2008, were each 1-0. Ocean City won 2-0 in 2009 on the way to its most recent state title. The Red Raiders also won against the Dragons in 2005 and 2008.
The win was Ocean City’s fourth South Jersey Group III title in the past five years, and the second for coach Cory Terry, who’s in her third year at the helm.
“I think our girls worried about themselves (instead of thinking about the opposition) and we played our game,” said Terry. “It’s unbelievable to have this win. Day in and day out, we’ve improved. There have been times when we’ve clicked for a while and then reverted back, but today they put it together for most of the game.”
Broadley scored her second goal to make it 4-0 with 16:14 left in the game. Kingsway goalie Carrie Stafford made a save on a shot by Fenton, and Broadley immediately knocked in the rebound.
“We were so ready for this game, and now we’re ready for it all,” said Broadley, a 16-year-old junior from Ocean City. “I definitely think this is the best we’ve played.”
Kelly Hanna, the player who inserted the ball on Ocean City’s 15 corners, scored the final two goals, one with 12:02 remaining and another on the team’s final corner with 4:45 left.
O.C. goalie Katie Johnson had to make three saves, all in the second half, for the shutout.
“We didn’t play well today,” said Kingsway coach Sarah Lewis. “Ocean City is a great team and you’ve got to play your best against them. There was a lot of stuff we were working on, but we didn’t do them today.”
Kingsway Regional 0 0—0
Ocean City 2 4—6
Goals—Fenton (2), Broadley (2), K. Hanna OC.
Goalies—Stafford (16) K. Johnson (3) OC.
Records—O.C. 19-1; Kingsway 14-6.
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