By TOM WILLIAMS
The Ocean City girls soccer team will play for the state title on Saturday.
The Raiders (23-1-1) used a goal by sophomore Summer Reimet with just under 11 minutes left in the game to defeat Central Jersey champion Hopewell Valley, 1-0, in an NJSIAA state semi-final today at Hopewell Valley.
The game, along with three other public school semi-finals, was moved from Tuesday to Wednesday because of weather concerns and from a neutral site in Toms River to the home field of the Central Jersey champion. The changes created some controversy and complaints from South Jersey schools. But it didn’t bother these Raiders.
“Summer received a pass from Hope Slimmer,” OCHS coach Kelly Halliday said, “and she turned smoothly and struck a ball right into the corner of the net. It was a perfect pass combo with a terrific finish.” It was Reimet’s 33rd goal of the season, the second highest total in school history and the most ever by a sophomore. Hope Slimmer, also a sophomore, registered her 14th assist of the season.
The win put Ocean City in the state final in girls soccer for the first time. The Raiders will play Ramapo (19-1) on Saturday at Kean University. The Ramapo Raiders are ranked No. 5 overall in the state by NJ.com. The Ocean City Raiders are ranked No. 13.
“This game was surreal,” said Halliday. “I’m so proud of how the girls overcame the obstacles in front of them. We started out strong and had a great first half. I knew one goal would definitely be enough.”
Ocean City has a 20-game unbeaten streak since a loss to Rancocas Valley in mid-September. The Raiders have outscored five opponents, 21-0, in the Group 3 Tournament. And a big reason for that is senior Abbey Fenton, who stopped eight shots, including a couple of diving saves, for her 18th shutout of the season and the 42nd of her career.
“Hopewell Valley was a great opponent,” Halliday said. “I’m so happy with our fight in the second half. Abbey came up with key saves late in the game.”
There’s just one more game left for this record-setting team.