Nor'easters clinch playoff spot on final day with 3-2 win over Baltimore Bohemians
Walsh, Regis each have goal and assist to likely win PDL scoring, assist titles respectively
UPDATED (7/18): The schedule for the opening round of the playoffs is included below
The Ocean City Nor’easters played to a thrilling 3-2 win over the Baltimore Bohemians on Sunday. With the win, the Nor’easters officially qualified for the 2016 Premier Development League Eastern Conference Playoffs for the first time since 2013.
Chevaughn "Chevy" Walsh (Jefferson College / Spanish Town, Jamaica) and Nathan Regis (Pfeiffer/ Arima, Trinidad & Tobago,) each scored a goal and dished out an assist to lead the way as both players appear on the brink of making Ocean City history. Walsh finishes the season with 14 goals and when the PDL's final stats are announced on Monday, he is expected to be crowned the league's scoring champion. After Sunday's win, Regis has nine assists which ties the Ocean City single-season club record (Ruben Mingo - 2005) and could be enough to finish at the top of the league table.
In the 20-year history of the Nor'easters, the club has never had a player lead the league in a major statistical category.
(UPDATED) The Nor'easters will move on to play against the Portland Phoenix, the champions of the Northeast Division in the opening round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. The game will be played on Tuesday, July 19 at the University of New England (home of the Nor'easters!) in Biddeford, Maine. Kickoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.
The game began has a wild sprint race for the beginning part of the first half. Both teams played a very physical style that saw the midfield as the battleground. There was some hard fouling as both teams knew that a win from either side would qualify their team for the playoffs (although Ocean City had the safety net of only needing a draw to qualify). Both sides had multiple corner attempts and shot attempts in the opening half.
In the 38th minute, the Storm got on the board first when Walsh scored a goal to give them an early 1-0 lead. It came from assist from Regis continuing the pairs contention that has been highly successful. Walsh's goal gave him 14 goals in as many games this year. The Jamaican has played a huge role in the club's big finish, winning six of the last eight games. During that span, Walsh scored 10 goals in those final eight games.
Two minutes later Miguel Jamie (Florida Gulf Coast/Denver, CO) extended the lead to 2-0. He received a drop back pass from Walsh and put it past the keeper. It was Jamie’s seventh goal of the season which puts him second behind Walsh for the team lead. For Walsh, it was his third assist which, if you combine it with his 14 goals, gives him 31 points, which ties Ruben Mingo's 2005 club record for points in season.
Right after halftime, Ocean City found the back of the net once again. This time Regis had a beautiful shot find the top of the Baltimore goal. He received a pass from Martim Galvoa (Pfieffer/Lisbon, Portugal) dribbled around two defenders and had a beautiful shot that went in. Regis finishes the regular season with six goals and nine assists which is second on the team with 21 points.
Baltimore soon started playing with some confidence as Jamie Merriam scored a goal in the 72nd minute. Then in the 89th minute, Baltimore received a penalty after a foul in the box. Merriam took the penalty that was originally saved by OC keeper Mike Kirk. However the line judge ruled that Kirk had moved off his line and the penalty had to be retaken. Merriam retook the attempt and it went in making the score 3-2.
The final would end with a score 3-2 officially confirming the Nor’easters are in the playoffs.
“We hadn’t been in the playoff in two years, and the goal all along was to try to accomplish that goal, and we did and we’re pretty proud of the guys,” said Ocean City head coach Tim Oswald. “We'll enjoy it as an organization and start preparing for our playoff game.”
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|OCEAN CITY NOR'EASTERS
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The Ocean City Nor’easters is a professionally run amateur soccer club with the focus of developing, educating and promoting soccer, health and leadership. Located in Ocean City, New Jersey, “America’s Greatest Family Resort”, the Nor’easters provide quality entertainment to families throughout the Tri-State area and the thousands of visitors every summer.
The Nor’easters organization was established in 1996 and made Carey Stadium, in Ocean City, NJ, its permanent home in 2005. Competing in North America’s top amateur league, the Premier Development League (PDL), the Nor’easters provide the highest level of soccer in Southern New Jersey. The 65-team PDL is the 4th level of soccer in the United States, below the professional leagues; Major League Soccer (MLS), North American Soccer League (NASL) and United Soccer League (USL). As part of the PDL, the Nor’easters’ have the sixth-best overall record since joining the league in 2003 and have upset five professional teams in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, third-most of any amateur team in the country. Ocean City players have the ability to compete during the summer months in a professional environment while maintaining their collegiate eligibility and pursuing their academic goals.