Barons to host conference playoffs

Semifinals on Friday night feature Hampton Roads vs. Brooklyn at 5pm, Barons vs. Cape Cod at 7:30

For the second time in three years, Carey Stadium has been chosen as the site for the Premier Development League Eastern Conference playoffs.

2007 Eastern Conference
Semifinals
Friday, July 27th

Hampton Roads Piranhas
vs.
Brooklyn Knights
5:00 p.m.

Ocean City Barons
vs.
Cape Cod Crusaders
7:30 p.m.

PDL Eastern Conference Final
Saturday, July 28th - 7:30 p.m.

Carey Stadium - Ocean City, NJ

Tickets: $10 adults, $6 kids
(good for all three games)

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On Friday, July 27, the conference semifinals will begin at 5:00 p.m. with the Mid-Atlantic Division champion Hampton Roads Piranhas taking on the Brooklyn Knights, the second place team from the Northeast Division.

At 7:30 p.m. the Ocean City Barons will play the Northeast Division champion Cape Cod Crusaders for the right to play in the conference championship, which will take place on Saturday night at the same time.

Tickets are available at the Carey Stadium ticket gate. $10 for adults, $6 for kids. A ticket is good for both semifinal games, as well as Saturday’s final. There is plenty of city parking available near the stadium. Visit the city’s website for information on city lots. For directions to Carey Stadium, visit the Barons’ website.

For the second time in three years, Carey Stadium has been chosen as the site for the Premier Development League Eastern Conference playoffs. On Friday, July 27, the conference semifinals will begin at 5:00 p.m. with the Mid-Atlantic Division champion Hampton Roads Piranhas taking on the Brooklyn Knights, the second place team from the Northeast Division.

2007 Eastern Conference
Semifinals
Friday, July 27th

Hampton Roads Piranhas
vs.
Brooklyn Knights
5:00 p.m.

Ocean City Barons
vs.
Cape Cod Crusaders
7:30 p.m.

PDL Eastern Conference Final
Saturday, July 28th - 7:30 p.m.

Carey Stadium - Ocean City, NJ

Tickets: $10 adults, $6 kids
(good for all three games)

At 7:30 p.m. the Ocean City Barons will play the Northeast Division champion Cape Cod Crusaders for the right to play in the conference championship, which will take place on Saturday night at the same time.

Tickets are available at the Carey Stadium ticket gate. $10 for adults, $6 for kids. A ticket is good for both semifinal games, as well as Saturday’s final. There is plenty of city parking available near the stadium. Visit the city’s website for information on city lots. For directions to Carey Stadium, visit the Barons’ website.

The Barons have qualified for the playoffs for the third time in the last four years. Their first trip to the post-season as a PDL franchise came in 2004 when they finished the regular season unbeaten with a 14-0-4 record. They eliminated the Williamsburg Legacy (now called the Virginia Legacy) in the semifinals 2-1, but would eventually fall in the conference final 3-2 to the Carolina Dynamo.

The following year, the Barons franchise moved to Ocean City and were back in the post-season with a 12-3-1 record and this time they would host the conference playoffs for the first time at Carey Stadium. The first place Cape Cod Crusaders were upset in the first semifinal game, leaving a slightly easier path to the national final four if the Barons could win their own semifinal game. However, it would be a heartbreaking defeat as the Barons held a late 4-3 lead against the Richmond Kickers Future, only to see current Fredericksburg Gunners player/coach Cristian Neagu and current FC Dallas (MLS) striker Dominic Oduro lead the Kickers back to score two goals in the final five minutes to shock the Barons.

After narrowly missing the playoffs in 2006, the Barons are back this year with first-year head coach Mike Pellegrino leading the way with a young team that has an average age of about 20 years old. The veterans the club does have come through in a big way for the club. Byron Carmichael lead the team in scoring with nine goals, four assists, with last year’s team MVP Jeremy Ortiz right behind him with eight goals and two assists. The club entered the season lacking help on the back line, but attacking players Ryan Heins and Jim Davis filled the void, playing every single game. Adam Edwards played 15 of Ocean City’s 16 games and broke the club’s single-season record for shutouts with six. He also finished tied for third in the PDL in wins (8) and shutouts. Two of the team’s three losses came at the hands of the Hampton Roads Piranhas. A 2-0 road decision on June 20 and a 4-1 loss in the season finale at Carey Stadium last Sunday on July 22.

Fans unable to attend the Eastern Conference playoffs can follow the action live from anywhere in the world as the Barons will be broadcasting the tournament through Teamline. Check www.ocbarons.com for a link to the broadcast.

2007 Eastern Conference Semifinals

Hampton Roads Piranhas (14-0-2) vs. Brooklyn Knights (9-4-3)
5:00 p.m.

Ocean City Barons (9-3-4) vs. Cape Cod Crusaders (9-1-6)
7:30 p.m.

Team Profiles:The image http://www.uslsoccer.com/imgs/home/Hampton%20Roads%20Piranhas%202007%20fish%20red.jpg cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Hampton Roads Piranhas
2007 Record: 14-0-2 (44 points)
Mid-Atlantic Division champions
PDL Regular Season champions
Established: 2007
Playoff history: First appearance
Head Coach: Jon Hall 

In their first year as a PDL franchise, the Piranhas made history by becoming only the eighth team in league history to finish unbeaten. Two other teams in this year’s conference tournament have achieved that feat as well (2006 Cape Cod Crusaders, 2004 South Jersey Barons). The Piranhas are hoping to be the first team to break the “unbeaten curse.” None of the previous seven unbeaten teams have ever advanced beyond the conference playoffs.

The league’s third best offense (42 goals in 16 games, 2.63 goals per game) is led by Andrew Wheeler (York College / Baltimore, MD) who ranks third in the PDL in goals (14) and points (33). Also contributing to the attack are midfielders Josh Nolz (six goals) and playmaker KK Lima (3 goals, 5 assists).

However, it was the Hampton Roads defense that made headlines in the regular season. They broke the PDL record for consecutive shutouts when they earned clean sheets in their first 10 matches of the season. In 16 games this year, they only allowed six goals. Goalkeeper Evan Newton (Old Dominion University / Virginia Beach, VA) is the front runner for PDL Goalkeeper of the Year having led the PDL in wins (11), shutouts (8), goals allowed (3 in 14 games), and goals against average (0.22). The backline is led by David Horst (Old Dominion University / Pine Grove, PA) and John Gilkerson (Winthrop University / Winchester, VA) who played every minute of every game for the club. 


Brooklyn Knights The image http://www.uslsoccer.com/images/logos/2230222302.jpg cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
2007 Record:
9-4-3 (30 points)
Northeast Division runner-up
Established: 1999
Playoff history: 2nd appearance, Last qualified in 2001 (Lost in the conference semifinals)
Head Coach: Joe Balsamo

A change of scenery seems to have done the trick for the Brooklyn Knights. After spending several seasons at the Metropolitan Oval in the borough of Queens, the club moved to Aviator Field in Marine Park, and they qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2001. The Knights used an eight-game unbeaten streak to tie the Cape Cod Crusaders for first place heading into the final match of the season against the Crusaders. While both teams had clinched a playoff spot already, Cape Cod won the Northeast Division outright with a convincing 5-0 win.

The club’s offense runs through Ricky Charles (7 goals, 3 assists) and Jamaican forward Tarik Smith (6 goals, 3 assists) who spent time playing in the Jamaican National Premier League.

While three goalkeepers saw time for the Knights this season, their top netminder is Steven Diaz who held a 1.09 goals against average in 11 matches. Diaz was in goal for eight of Brooklyn’s nine wins, and earned four shutouts. The biggest game, was a 3-2 win over the Cape Cod Crusaders at home on June 30.


Cape Cod Crusaders
Record: 9-1-6 (33 points)
Northeast Division champions
Established: 1994 (PDL since 2001)
Playoff history: 6th straight appearance Last qualified in 2006 (Lost in the conference finals)
2002, 2003 PDL National Champions.
Head Coach: Paul Baber

The two-time PDL champions are poised for another run at the title this year, having qualified for the postseason for the sixth straight season. Last year may have been one of their best chances at a championship as they finished the season as the seventh team in league history to finish unbeaten. However, they were nipped by the “unbeaten curse,” losing 2-1 to current U.S. National Team member Charlie Davies and the Westchester Flames in the conference finals.

Dwight Barnett (Jamaica, NY) from has been drawing attention from professional teams with his 16-goal performance this season. His scoring total ranked second in the PDL this year, also finishing second in points scored (34). While at Lynn University, Barnett won the 2005 National Junior College Athletic Association Player of the Year and has been training with the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer.

The club’s second leading scorer (6 goals) Ricardo Pierre-Louis has international experience. He helped the Haitian National Team win the Caribbean title for the first time and he represented his country at the 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup. West Virginia University’s Dan Stratford leads the club with six assists to go along with four goals of his own.

James Thorpe is the man between the sticks for Crusaders, holding a 0.92 goals against average in 13 games. He was responsible for seven of the Crusaders nine wins, to go along with four clean sheets. Thorpe is a two-time All-American at Franklin Pierce University.

 

 

 

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