Toms River, NJ - On Friday (5/3), OCC Vikings Men's Lacrosse defeated Brookdale Community College by a 13-1 final score in the 2019 NJCAA Region XIX Semifinals.
The game began as a defensive battle with neither team giving up a goal in the first 15 minutes of play. The stalemate was broken by Ocean sophomore James Manzo, whose goal sparked a run that sent the Vikings into halftime with a 5-1 lead. The team returned from the intermission determined, outscoring the Jersey Blues 8-0 in the 2nd half to cement the win.
The Vikings' defense played outstandingly, allowing a season-best 1 goal. Hunter Vojtko (9GB, 3CT) and Colby Dineen (3GB, 4CT) made it tough for Brookdale to get quality shots on goal, and Ocean goaltender Tyler Palmer continued his excellence between the pipes, making 14 saves on 15 shots.
On Saturday (5/4), the Vikings found themselves in familiar territory, returning to the Region XIX Championship for the 4th straight year. The (Ocean) Vikings would fight hard, but eventually fall to nationally-ranked Mercer County Community College by a final score of 11-10.
As in the Semifinal, Ocean's James Manzo struck first with a goal at the game's 9:45 mark, but the early lead would not last long, with Mercer County going on a 6-goal run before Gavin Murphy would score for Ocean, to end the 1st quarter with Mercer ahead, 6-2.
The 2nd quarter was a back and forth battle, and Ocean would head into halftime trailing 8-4.
In the second half, Ocean began to slowly chip away the deficit, winning the second half 6-3, but falling just short, hitting Mercer's goal post twice with shots in the game's closing minutes.
Tyler Palmer was solid in net once more, making 17 saves on Mercer's 28 shots.
The OCC Vikings end the season with a 6-6 record overall, ranked 2nd in the NJCAA's Region XIX.