BUENA VISTA — Vineland came into Friday night's game at LaRosa Field looking to prove it was up to the challenge of taking down undefeated St. Augustine Prep. It was, but the Hermits proved they are one of South Jersey's best teams by taking the Fighting Clan's best punch, and delivering a few of their own.
OCEAN CITY — In ancient times, out-numbered Spartan warriors employed a defensive formation called a phalanx, in which a group of warriors would gather together and allow their shields to form a defensive wall.
In the South Jersey Group 3 quarterfinals, eighth-seeded Hammonton employed a similar strategy after taking a 1-0 lead on No. 1 Ocean City early in the second half. The Blue Devils packed their defense in tight, clearing the ball as far as possible to make the Red Raiders go the length of the field for each of its offensive attacks.
OCEAN CITY — When Ocean City plays its brand of field hockey, the Red Raiders are virtually unstoppable. Seneca held the Red Raiders in check throughout the first half on Wednesday in the South Jersey Group 3 semifinals, but once Ocean City's passing game started clicking in the second half, there wasn't much the Golden Eagles could do.
EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP — Senior captain Connor Agostino — Egg Harbor Township's sturdiest and best player — went out in the first quarter of Friday night's matchup against visiting Hammonton with a shoulder injury and was in street clothes by halftime.
Still, the Eagles were down just 14-3 at the break and had stopped a long, time-consuming drive inside their own 5-yard line with a turnover in the waning seconds of the second quarter. But Hammonton put its foot on the gas pedal in the second half and never let up, cruising to a 42-3 victory that kept EHT winless at 0-7.
VINELAND — Vineland junior Tess Fisher and Egg Harbor Township senior Anne Mkrtchyan each won their third straight Cape-Atlantic League tennis championship on Wednesday, but the roads they took to the trophies couldn't have been more different.
LINWOOD — The last time Ocean City beat arch-rival Mainland Regional, senior offensive lineman Eric Levai was in kindergarten, learning his A-B-Cs and hoping for chocolate chip cookies and nap time.
The 12-year losing streak came to an emphatic end on Friday night, as the visiting Red Raiders dominated the second half and pulled away for a 30-7 victory. The win put Ocean City at 3-3 and kept their playoff hopes alive.
ABSECON — The Holy Spirit Spartans knew that if they beat undefeated St. Augustine Prep on Friday night it would be a statement win. But it was the Hermits who made an emphatic statement, scoring 20 points in the second quarter and 14 more in the third to cruise to a 41-0 victory in one of the week's most highly anticipated games.
MAYS LANDING — During Kelly Halliday's first two years as coach of the Ocean City girls soccer program, the Red Raiders won 26 games and a pair of Cape-Atlantic League American Conference championships. Two years later — and after a 6-10-2 season a year ago — Ocean City figures it will see how it feels to win a CAL National title.
LINWOOD — Alex Weidman's soccer style is to play possession, get the ball out to the wings and work the offense from the outside in. The Mainland girls soccer coach was pleased with the way his Mustangs executed that offensive plan against Millville on Tuesday in a fairly comfortable 3-1, Cape-Atlantic League American Conference win over the Thunderbolts.
OCEAN CITY — Ifreke Andy is a senior at Absegami, but he doesn't have a ton of football experience. He's a converted soccer player. Ocean City defenders are probably wishing he stuck to soccer.
Andy ran roughshod on Friday night in Ocean City, to the tune of more than 250 yards and two touchdowns, to lead the Braves to a 27-14 victory over the Red Raiders. The win put Absegami at 3-2 overall, and probably kept the Braves' playoff hopes alive.
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