By TOM WILLIAMS
Ocean City High School boys lacrosse made history today.
The Raiders scored three minutes into overtime and defeated St. Augustine Prep, 11-10, to become the first Cape-Atlantic League school to ever defeat The Prep. St. Augustine had won 56 straight games against CAL teams.
The game doesn’t count in the CAL standings because St. Augustine, even though a member of the league, has not competed for the Cape-Atlantic championship in lacrosse since 2012. The Hermits play an independent schedule that includes some CAL teams.
After an exchange of shots and a penalty on each side during the extra time, the Raiders used a turnover to win the sudden death overtime. With Ocean City a man down because of the penalty, sophomore Ted Grimley picked off a St. Augustine pass and took off downfield. He advanced the ball to junior Christian Kuhn, who beat his defender and headed toward the goal. When he drew extra defense, he passed to senior Joe Lloyd on the other side of the goal and Lloyd buried it for the game-winner.
“It was a great game,” said Ocean City coach Joe Latorre. “Beating St. Augustine is a terrific accomplishment and I am very proud of the victory. But the greatest thing was the way it affected the kids. That was the greatest bus ride I’ve ever experienced. Everybody was just so happy. A couple guys said it was the greatest moment in their lives. We’ve had some big wins before but the way this one impacted our team was something special.”
For St. Augustine, ranked No. 15 in the state at the end of last week by NJ.com, it was a second straight loss. They were beaten by Ridge on Monday and are now 6-3. Ocean City, which has now won seven straight, improved to 9-2. The Raiders are 7-0 in the league. OCHS leads the CAL by half a game over Mainland.
The Prep held a narrow, 2-1, lead after one period but the Raiders outscored them. 5-0, in the second period for a 6-2 halftime lead. St. Augustine rallied with an 8-4 advantage in the second half and had a 10-8 lead with about four minutes left. But Grimley and sophomore Noam Levy-Smith scored to send the contest into overtime.
“Charlie Dahl (a junior) made four huge saves in the final four minutes of regulation,” said LaTorre, “and any one of those shots could have won the game for them.”
Levy-Smith finished with three goals today with Lloyd (above, in file photo) scoring twice. Kuhn, Grimley, junior Trent Laveson, senior Chris Raniszewski and junior Anthony Inserra all scored once. Dahl finished with 11 saves.
The Raiders played the game without junior defenseman Kyle Saul, who has been ill, and lost all star junior Marty Cattie to an injury on the first faceoff of the game, less than 30 seconds after it started. Cattie leads the team with 43 offensive points (24 goals, 19 assists) and he and Saul have combined for 44 ground balls this year.
“We had four freshmen on the field most of the game,” LaTorre said, “and they got the job done. That probably makes the win all the more remarkable.”
Ocean City will host Cherry Hill East (5-2) on Saturday (11am) at Carey Stadium. On Monday, LaTorre takes his team on the ferry to Delaware to face Cape Henlopen (6-3). The Raiders return to the CAL on Tuesday with a game at Vineland.
Follow OCHS spring sports day-by-day at the Raider Sports Diary – http://www.oceancitysports.com/OCDiary.html.
Ocean City will take each of the next seven games one at a time but in the back of their minds is that date with Mainland in Linwood on May 11.
“We’ve had that circled on our calendar since the schedule was announced,” LaTorre said.
But April 26 also became a pretty important date for these Raiders – the day that they made history.