TOMS RIVER – The Ocean City boys soccer team found out how fast Toms River South senior forward Cameron Geerinck was on Friday afternoon at Detwiler Stadium.
Geerinck beat the Ocean City defense twice, with the second goal eventually becoming the game-winning strike as the No. 2 seed Indians held off No. 5 seed Ocean City, 2-1, in the NJSIAA South Group III final.
“Goal scorers in this sport are hard to come by and it takes a certain mentality and he has tremendous composure around the goal, which is something that all great goal scorers have,” Toms River South boys soccer coach Ron Laycock said. “He finishes with a great touch and he just has that knack for scoring, which is difficult to do.”
Geerinck made it look easy against Ocean City (11-9-2) as his first goal came 12:15 and his second goal came at 33:25 to give Toms River South (20-3) a commanding 2-0 lead at the time.
“The first goal was a great hustle play. It was a 50-50 ball and he beat the keeper to it. Then of course the ball bounced at his feet and he got in behind the keeper and tucked it away,” Laycock said. “The second goal was probably more his kind of goal where a kid headed the ball forward and he was able to get it and push it past the last defender and slide it past the keeper.”
Those two goals had historic relevance, as Geerinck now holds the school record for goals in a season, according to Laycock.
“The late Dave Mitchell, who was also a former head coach at Toms River North, previously had the boys soccer record of 25 goals in a season,” Laycock said. “So, Geerinck broke the record with goal No. 26 and of course No. 27.”
Geerinck helped the Indians secure the school’s third sectional title and first sectional title since 2009, when the Indians won the Group IV state title, according to Laycock.
Ocean City, which had a 9-6 advantage on shots, got the equalizing goal from Logan Bloomstead at 67:18, but the Toms River South defense, led by goalie Dom Pizzi (seven saves), didn’t let the Red Raiders get any closer.
“Our kids didn’t get discouraged by that Ocean City goal, which was a great job on our team’s part,” Laycock said. “They (Ocean City) never got dangerous again after that goal.”
With the victory, the Indians avenged a loss to Ocean City in last year’s NJSIAA tournament and advanced to Tuesday’s 7:30 p.m. Group III state semifinal game against Ocean, the Central Group III winner, at Toms River North.
Sherlon Christie: firstname.lastname@example.org