Oceanside Collegiate continues to develop its overall athletic program in just its second year of existence. The latest to make the big jump is the boys lacrosse team, which advanced to the Class AAAA state championship with a 15-5 win over Academic Magnet on Tuesday night.
The Landsharks, now 12-2, will play the winner of Wednesday night’s Upper State final between Eastside and Greenville. The championship will be played at Irmo High School at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Oceanside Collegiate never trailed in the Lower State final, breaking a 1-1 tie in the first quarter. The Landsharks led, 5-2, after one period and out-scored the Raptors (12-4) 5-0 in the decisive second period.
Junior Colin Reich tallied four goals and junior Chase Meilan added three scores for Oceanside.
“We came in with a plan to try to neutralize their top guys and we executed the game plan very well,” Oceanside coach Tom Harris said. “I thought the key to the win was the way we played defensively, which allowed us to get things going on the offensive end. We played very well. I am very pleased.”
This is Oceanside’s first official season as a varsity team. Harris gathered 18 freshmen and a few sophomores on what amounted to a junior varsity season in 2017.
The program received a major influx of transfers for this year, led by senior Riley Seay, who was a star performer on Wando’s Class AAAAA state title team last spring. Meilan also transferred from Wando while Reich came from Bishop England. Reich and Seay have combined for 103 goals this season.
“We felt we had a good base with all of the young guys but certainly getting those transfers helped us grow a lot,” Harris said. “We brought in guys who were championship level players. They added a lot of experience to our young team.
“As good as they have been on the field for us, they also have brought a lot of leadership. It has been a very good thing. They didn’t come in here with egos. They came here to win and they’ve been great for our program.”
As for the finals, Harris admits to knowing very little about either of the Upper State finalists. In the end, he says how his team plays will determine the outcome.
“It really is us,” the coach said. “We focus on us and concentrate on what we have to do. I’m certain whichever team ends up against us on Saturday will be a quality team. We just have to make sure we are ready.”