By TOM WILLIAMS
The Ocean City High School field hockey team is in first place.
The Raiders have won 20 straight Cape-Atlantic League championships but entered tonight’s game against Mainland in second place. The Mustangs had beaten the Raiders in September, the first CAL team to do so in four years.
But the OCHS defense kept Mainland away from the goal and three different players scored in a 3-0 victory at Carey Stadium. The win moved the Raiders into first place in the CAL-American, past the Mustangs, whose record is marred by two ties.
Junior Reese Bloomstead (below) broke a scoreless tie with a slap shot off a corner with just over nine minutes left in the first half.
Ocean City took the 1-0 lead into the second half but senior Shannon O’Reilly scored with an elevated shot five minutes into the second half and freshman Tara McNally sealed the win when she scored off her own rebound with just 2:35 left.
The win lifted the OCHS record to 7-3 overall. The other two losses were to two of the top teams in New Jersey – No. 1 ranked West Essex and No. 3 Oak Knoll. The Raiders, who came into the week ranked No. 18 statewide, have plenty of challenges left – Sacred Heart of Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday at Eastern; Camden Catholic on Monday; and No. 13 Bishop Eustace and No. 2 Eastern just before the state tournament near the end of this month.
Ocean City will go to Atlantic City on Friday afterrnoon.