By BRIAN CUNNIFF
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — The Ocean City High School girls soccer team took advantage of a pair of set-piece opportunities en route to a championship Monday afternoon.
The Raiders turned a pair of precise Faith Slimmer corner kicks into goals early in each half and defended beautifully throughout in a 2-0 victory over Millville in the title game of the four-team Cape-Atlantic League Tournament. The contest was played on a turf pitch at Egg Harbor Township High School.
Delaney Lappin bolted to the far post only three minutes into the match and headed home Slimmer’s corner kick from the right side as Ocean City took the early lead.
Lappin also provided the defensive play of the game midway through the first half. After a long ball bounced over the outstretched arms of Ocean City goalkeeper Abbey Fenton, Lappin alertly cleared the ball off the line just before Millville’s Kelsey Andres moved into position to capitalize.
Ocean City (15-1) doubled its lead five minutes after the interval when Carly Reighard rose above all challengers to meet Slimmer’s corner kick, blasting her header through the Millville defense and into goal.
The win represented some revenge of sorts for Ocean City, which lost the inaugural CAL title game last season to Mainland on penalties.
Millville (14-1) suffered its first loss of the season.
Slimmer’s assists were her 16th and 17th on the season, tops on the team and a new program record. Reighard also has 15 assists this season. Both totals have surpassed the previous record of 13 set by Kim Treen in 2000. Slimmer also has a team-high 25 goals, which has already surpassed the previous school record for a season of 23 set by Christine Jack in 2000.
Fenton recorded her seventh straight clean sheet and her 13th of the season in the win, tying the program record she matched as a sophomore in 2017. Brittany Cates also posted 13 shutouts in 1995. Fenton already holds the program’s career shutout record. She now has 35.
Ocean City has won 12 straight games since its lone loss, a 2-1 decision against Rancocas Valley on Sept. 16.
The Raiders will participate in the South Jersey Soccer Coaches Association Tournament. They’ve been seeded third and will play No. 14 Egg Harbor Township in the opening round later this week. Ocean City beat EHT, 6-0, in the CAL Tournament semifinal on Saturday.