OCHS First Decade Teams

Casey Beyel was top Raider girls lacrosse player in First Decade!

Gazette Staff Writer

Things were at their best for girls lacrosse at Ocean City High School as the First Decade of the 21st Century ended.

The Raiders, under Matt Lane, had compiled three straight winning seasons in what was the first decade ever for the sport at OCHS.

That string of three straight winning seasons, two Cape-Atlantic League championships and three straight opening round wins in the NJSIAA Tournament over the last three seasons of the decade was started by a team sparked by Casey Beyel, the OCHS Girls Lacrosse Player of the Decade.

Beyel scored 62 goals her senior year (2007), the second highest total in school history, after scoring 60 as a junior. She graduated with 162 career goals, a school record, and was named first team All-Group 3 and second team All-South Jersey.

The thing to remember about girls lacrosse is that Ocean City didn't start the sport until 1999 and because there were few CAL teams playing it then, the Raiders were forced to play in the Olympic Conference, which was filled with experienced programs.

Still, Ocean City won three division titles in its seven years in the Olympic Conference and has won the CAL title in two of the three years the sport has been a championship sport in the league.

Joining Beyel on the First Decade All Stars were the first two lacrosse stars at OCHS - Meredith Long and Julie Southard. Long scored 61 goals in 2001 and Southard added 36. They were both given honorable mention on the All-South Jersey team.

Jill Southard came along in 2002 with Maggie Long, who led the team in scoring in 2002 and 2003. A year later the 2004 team was led by Kelsey Nickles and Caitlin Dougherty.

The 2005 season produced Ocean City's first winner, led by Beyel as a sophomore. Nikki Patrizzi stepped up in 2006, scoring a school record 86 goals, and the Raiders notched their first-ever NJSIAA Tournament win.

Michelle McKinley was a big factor during those years at stopping the other team s offense. McKinley and Natalie Hunter, who is entering her senior year next week, were the most successful defensive specialist throughout the decade.

Joining Hunter on the 2009 team, which has to be considered the most successful team of the decade, were scoring leader Katie Feairheller and goalkeeper Bekka Olandt, who had a 70 percent save percentage.

Things are looking good for girls lacrosse at Ocean City High School as the program gets ready for another decade. There have been five straight winning seasons and four straight teams that won at least one NJSIAA game. That string all started in 2005 when our Player of the Decade, Casey Beyel, was a sophomore just beginning her highly successful career.

OCHS Girls Lacrosse in the First Decade
2000.....3-9-2......Gaile Rockey
2001.....7-10.......Gaile Rockey
2002.....5-11-1.....Susan Sanford
2003.....6-12.......Dianne Hickey
2004.....8-10.......Dianne Hickey
2005....13-6-2......Dianne Hickey
2006....14-6........Dianne Valeese
2007....14-4........Matt Lane
2008.....9-7........Matt Lane
2009....16-1........Matt Lane

The First Decade Raider Girls Lacrosse Team
Meredith Long (2001)
Julie Southard (2001)
Jill Southard (2002)
Maggie Long (2003)
Caitlin Dougherty (2004)
Kelsey Nickles (2004)
Nikki Patrizzi (2006)
Casey Beyel (2007)
Michelle McKinley (2007)
Katie Feairheller (2009)
Natalie Hunter (2009)
GK-Bekka Olandt (2009)