By Walter J. O’Neill, Jr
Thursday, September 15, was Ocean Soccer Alumni night at Ocean Township High School. Thomas Reilly who is in his 32nd year as head coach of the boys soccer program at the high school was happy that 30 former players were in attendance as his current squad hosted Manasquan in a B North divisional game.
“We had players from 1985 thru 2015 in attendance,” said Reilly. Those players were honored for their contributions to the program over the years during a brief halftime ceremony. “The game against Manasquan was played at a super-fast pace and saw plenty of attacking play.”
The first goal of the game was kicked in by Jordan Ornowski, senior midfielder, off an assist from Brandon Holland, senior, just two minutes into the game. “It was an extremely hard fought game and nail biter right till the end. We scored early on and looked to build on that lead with several more good chances before Squan equalized off a corner kick converted at the back post,” said Reilly.
That Manasquan goal came at 8:46 by Finn Couzza. And the first half ended with both teams deadlocked at one goal each.
“The winning goal came early in the second half. A long throw in on the right by sophomore Luke Yates was put on the net by Tom Amato. The Manasquan goalkeeper couldn’t get hold of the original ball and Ian Dwyer was on hand to convert the loose ball at the near post,” added Reilly.
Manasquan had an excellent chance to even the game late in the second half, however, Max Winters the Spartan goalkeeper made a great save. The Spartans had two goalkeepers in the game; Winters had three saves and Thomas Gleason had one.
Ocean had a 21-7 shot on goal advantage over Manasquan who is new to the B North division this season. “I hadn’t seen Manasquan play recently so it was difficult to prepare for them. I am friends with their coach Tom McGill, so I knew they would be fit, organized and tough to break down,” said Reilly.