Ocean City Hockey Team Advances to South Jersey Finals

first_imgBy Lesley GrahamThe Ocean City High School field hockey team defeated Absegami, 4-0, Tuesday afternoon to advance to the finals of the South Jersey Group 3 playoffs.The Red Raiders will play Clearview, which defeated Mainland to also earn a bid in Thursday’s final.Ocean City’s Jaclyn Charbonneau had two goals against Absegami, while teammate Reese Bloomstead chipped in a goal and an assist. Sophia Gresham scored the remaining goal, while Nya Gilchrist and Chloe Prettyman each contributed an assist.  Suffocating defense and a no-lose attitude by Absegami kept the first half within reach. But thanks to a penalty stroke goal from Reese Bloomstead, Ocean City had a 1-0 lead going into halftime.“They came out determined and had a good game plan,” said Ocean City Head Coach Kelsey Mitchell of Absegami. Molly Reardon moves past an Absegami defender.After some halftime adjustments, the Red Raiders were moving the ball with more precision and working together more effectively, which allowed them to find the back of the cage three more times.“Rather than trying to individually create things, we were working off-ball for each other, so the passes were available and we had more options,” Mitchell said of the team’s approach in the second half.This was evident in the fact that all three goals in the second half were assisted — a sign of teamwork and communication.Ocean City’s showdown with Clearview on Thursday places the same two teams in the finals for the second year in a row. Last year, the Red Raiders fell to Clearview in the South Jersey Group 3 finals, ending their run for a state championship.But Mitchell isn’t letting the past affect their current goals. “Last year was last year. And this year is a whole new ball game,” she stated.Chloe Prettyman sets up a penalty corner.Although the Red Raiders didn’t have the opportunity to play Clearview in the regular season, they are ready for the challenge. With one day of practice to prepare for the final on Thursday, Mitchell said it’s more about us than them.“Sticking to our game plan and playing our game is the most critical thing,” she said.The Ocean City-Clearview game gets underway 2 p.m. Thursday at Ocean City’s Carey Stadium.Reese Bloomstead plays the ball. Ocean City’s Jaclyn Charbonneau takes a shot on goal in the 4-0 playoff win over Absegami. (Photos courtesy Lesley Graham)last_img read more

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