Ocean City boys soccer falls to Allentown in state Group III semifinal - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Sports

Ocean City boys soccer falls to Allentown in state Group III semifinal - pressofAtlanticCity.com: Sports

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Ocean City boys soccer falls to Allentown in state Group III semifinal

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Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2013 10:45 pm

TOMS RIVER - Zack Sakena and the Ocean City High School soccer team refused to hang their heads on Tuesday.

Kevin Prinich scored from point-blank range with less than 10 seconds left in the first overtime as Allentown beat the Red Raiders 2-1 in a state Group III semifinal at Toms River North High School.

"It was a great showing for us in the state tournament," Sakena said. "I think we brought Ocean City's name back to the top of New Jersey."

Ocean City, No. 1 in The Press Elite 11, finishes the season 19-5-1.

Ocean City trailed Allentown 1-0 with time winding down in regulation. But the Red Raiders weren't done.

Sakena beat his defender off the dribble, carried to the end line and played a perfect cross to Noah Spear for the one-timer and a 1-1 tie.

Sakena nearly ended the game in regulation with some nice individual play, but Allentown goalie Josh Samuels came up with a pair of big saves in the closing moments of the game.

Allentown nearly ended the game in the first minute of overtime, but Ocean City goalkeeper Evan McCardell came up with a one-handed diving save to keep the Red Raiders alive.

But there was nothing McCardell could do later in the first overtime as Prinich beat the senior goalie from inside of 10 yards.

McCardell didn't allow a goal in four playoff games and had six straight shutouts entering Tuesday's game.

His teammates were quick to comfort the goalie after the game.

"You can't expect Evan to stop that," Sakena said. "He saved plenty of games for us this year."

Ocean City had outscored opponents 21-0 since its last loss to Timber Creek in the South Jersey Coaches Tournament on Oct. 27 (Ocean City beat Timber Creek in the South Jersey Group III final).

McCardell finished the season with 14 shutouts. The assist was Sakena's 20th this season to go with his team-high 15 goals. The goal was Spears' ninth this season.

Ocean City, which has won five state group III titles, hadn't reached the state semifinals since 2007.

Tuesday was Ocean City's 86th state playoff game in school history. The Red Raiders are now 55-27-4 all-time.

Ocean City 0 1 (0)-1

Allentown 0 1 (1)-2

Goals- Spear OC; Prinich, Zauner AT.

Goalies- Samuels (5) AT; McCardell (6) OC.

Records- Ocean City 19-5-1; Allentown 17-3.

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