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Raider boys soccer moves into South Jersey final against Mainland

Anthony Inserra, Trevor Paone, Hunter Paone and Josiah Nistorenko begin the celebratation as the game ends.


Another Ocean City High School team has reached the South Jersey final.

Aaron Bogushefsky’s boys soccer team (18-2-1) defeated Hammonton today, 3-1, in a constant rain at Carey Stadium to move into the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 3 championship game.

The Raiders will host Mainland (18-2-2) on Friday afternoon (2pm) at Carey Stadium. The Mustangs won the American Conference championship in the Cape-Atlantic League and the Raiders were National Conference champs. This will be their only meeting of the season.

Junior Luke Varallo opened the scoring against Hammonton with 13 minutes left in the first half in a goal originally credited to someone else. It was changed after the scorer viewed game video. It was Varallo’s 11th of the season, assisted by senior Josiah Nistorenko, who now has 23 assists this season, second most among South Jersey players.

Though both teams had scoring chances in the final 10 minutes of the first half, the teams went into intermission with OCHS leading, 1-0.

The Paone twins put the game away for Ocean City in the second half. Trevor Paone scored his 10th goal, assisted by Matt Brook, with 33 minutes left in the second half and Hunter Paone hit the nets for the 16th time with an assist from senior Bill Farnan with 26 minutes left to make it 3-0. Hunter Paone leads the Raiders in goals.

Hammonton’s Bryce Smith scored for the Blue Devils two minutes later but Ocean City was able to hold off any rally and run out the clock. Friday will mark the Raiders third appearance in the South Jersey final in the last four years and the program’s 16th appearance overall.

Bogushefsky talks about the game and Friday’s final with Mainland in an exclusive interview, below.

The Mustangs, who won 13 straight at one point this season, were beaten only by Atlantic City and Washington Township. Ocean City also lost to Washington Township in the Coaches Invitational Tournament. Mainland is led by junior Jack Sarkos with 25 goals. Senior Keegan Ford has a team-high 14 assists for the Mustangs and senior keeper Matt Stellitano has made 131 saves.

NJSIAA Championship Week 2 continues Thursday when Kelly Halliday’s girls soccer team plays Cherry Hill West (2pm) at Carey Stadium seeking the second South Jersey championship in school history. Tom Miller’s Raiders won South Jersey Group 3 in 2000.

Cherry Hill West is 9-7-5 this year and defeated No. 3 seed Delsea, 1-0, in the semifinal. The Lions, seeded 10th in South Jersey Group 3, upset No. 2 seed Mainland, 2-1, in overtime in the quarterfinals. They finished third behind Bishop Eustace and Paul VI in the National Division of the Olympic Conference. Like Ocean City, they have key freshmen in their lineup, including keeper Michela Auguadro, who has 180 saves this year. West’s leading scorer, sophomore Katrina Vyzaniaris, has six goals this year.

In addition to the boys soccer final on Friday afternoon, the OCHS football team (6-2) will travel to Delsea (6-3) for a first round game in the NJSIAA South Jersey Group 3 playoffs. The game in Franklinville will kick off at 7 p.m. Delsea lost to Timber Creek, the No. 1 ranked team in South Jersey, by three points and to Holy Spirit in overtime. The Crusaders other loss came by forfeit to Cedar Creek, whom they defeated on the field. Delsea had used a player who had been required to sit out the first four games after transferring. Junior running back Aidan Borguet (5-9, 192) has more than 1600 rushing yards and 19 touchdowns running behind a very strong line. Delsea has won five straight since starting the season 1-3, scoring at least 40 points in all five starts.

Then, on Saturday, Ocean City’s cross country teams will run in the NJSIAA State Group 3 Meet in Holmdel Park. The girls won their ninth South Jersey title over the weekend and the boys finished fourth. The top five teams in each section qualify for the state meet. Ocean City’s girls have won one state championship – in 1988. The boys have never won a state title.

If the Ocean City soccer teams are winners Thursday and Friday they will advance to the state semifinal doubleheader at Toms River North next Tuesday. The girls state semifinal will start at 5 p.m. with the boys game to follow.

If the football team upsets Delsea on Friday it will advance to the South Jersey semifinals against either Timber Creek or Seneca.

And if the cross country teams finish in the top three in Saturday’s state meets they will advance to the Meet of Champions on Nov. 18.