Every week this season, Shore Conference lacrosse fans will have their chance to vote for the Shore Sports Network Boys Lacrosse Player of the Week on our website.

The Week 5 (April 29-May 5) winner is Shore Regional sophomore face-off specialist Sean O’Brien, who had two huge games at face-off X to help propel the Blue Devils into the Shore Conference Tournament quarterfinals. O’Brien and all Player of the Week recipients this season will receive a $25 Surf Taco gift card.

Photo by Richard O'Donnell.

With Shore looking to add a ranked win to its resume ahead of the Shore Conference Tournament seeding meeting, O’Brien won 18 of 25 face-offs to help the No. 3 Blue Devils to a 17-6 win over No. 9 Freehold Township. The victory stretched Shore’s record to 11-0 and was enough to convince the seeding committee to grant the Blue Devils the No. 3 seed in the SCT.

In the first round of the SCT, Shore cruised to an 18-5 win over Ocean due in large part to O’Brien’s dominance at face-off X. The sophomore they call “The Irish Muscle” went 23-for-26 on face-offs against the Spartans.

After playing sparingly as a freshman, O’Brien’s emergence has been a major addition to a veteran Shore team that entered the season with high expectations. Its high-scoring offense led by senior midfielders Gil Goldsmith and Jack McCrae and senior attackman Jake Turner is averaging 16.6 goals per game and has had plenty of possessions thanks to the work of O’Brien.

Through 13 games this season, O’Brien has won 73 percent of his face-offs and picked up 138 ground balls.

On Tuesday, Shore defeated Southern Regional, 13-6, to advance to the SCT semifinals for the first time in program history. The Blue Devils will play Christian Brothers Academy in the semifinals at 6 p.m. on Thursday night at Long Branch High School.

O’Brien won the poll with 36.58 percent of the votes, nearly double that of Southern’s Cade Johnson. Ocean’s Dale Alto was third.

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