OCEAN CITY - The post-game celebration by the Ocean City High School field hockey team at Trish LeFever Field on Friday was similar to when the Red Raiders have won South Jersey championships.
Ocean City beat rival Mainland Regional 6-0, completely dominating the game the way the Red Raiders have in past seasons. O.C. junior Kelly Hanna led the way with two goals, and assists on each of the other four. Freshman Rialee Allen and senior Leah Davies also scored two goals apiece.
The Red Raiders, who won their eighth state Group III title last year, have struggled at times this season to maintain their usual stature.
Ocean City, No. 8 in The Press Elite 11, is 10-4 overall, losing to Mainland 2-1 and to Egg Harbor Township 2-0 earlier this season in the Cape-Atlantic League American Conference.
But the rematch with Mainland, No. 6 in the Elite 11, looked like old times.
Hanna leads the Red Raiders with 14 goals.
"We are certainly back," said Hanna, 16, of Upper Township. "We've been trying to get our intensity back. The team was passing right today and working together. Everything was flowing perfectly."
Ocean City is 8-2 in the American Conference. Mainland, 13-3 overall, is 10-2 in the conference. EHT is 11-1 overall and 8-1 in the conference.
"We didn't watch the other team today and hesitate, but stuck to our game plan," Ocean City coach Cory Terry said. "We're still Ocean City. We just had to find ourselves, and today we more or less played how we're capable of playing."
Allen, the younger sister of graduated star Courtney Allen, scored the winning goal in front near the stroke line at 6 minutes, 27 seconds into the game.
Allen has scored two goals in three of the Red Raiders' last four games.
"We came out really intense and ready today," said Allen, 15, of Upper Township. "I knew we could do it."
O.C. goalie Sarita Charap had four saves for her seventh shutout of the year.
Mainland goalie Natalie Geary played most of the game and had 12 saves. Mimi McCabe came in for part of the second half and made two stops.
"We just didn't have it today, and they did," Mainland coach Jill Hatz said. "Ocean City was more intense than we were today."
Contact Guy Gargan:
Mainland Regional 0 0-0
Ocean City 3 3-6
Goals-Allen (2), Davies (2), Hanna (2) OC.
Goalies-Geary (12), McCabe (2) M. Charap (4) OC.
Records-Mainland 13-3, O.C. 10-4.