Barons on brink of playoffs after scoreless draw

Ocean City leads Brooklyn by six points with two games to go - will play at Brooklyn on Wednesday night

Needing just a win to qualify for the PDL playoffs, the Ocean City Barons (8-3-3) only managed a scoreless draw against the New Hampshire Phantoms (2-8-3) on Saturday night at Carey Stadium. The Brooklyn Knights (6-5-3), who are the only team who can catch Ocean City in the battle for the third and final playoff spot, lost 1-0 earlier in the evening to the Westchester Flames. With the Barons’ draw, combined with the Knights’ loss, the Barons are six points ahead of Brooklyn with two games remaining in the 2009 campaign.

Barons Lineup School / Hometown
GK - Tunde Ogunbiyi Boston College / Gwynedd, PA
DEF - Jamal Neptune Hofstra / East Windsor, NJ
DEF - Neal Melchionni Lehigh / Marmora, NJ
DEF - Tyler Bellamy St. Bonaventure / Hammonton, NJ
DEF - Joe Banks Drexel (’07) / Sicklerville, NJ
MID - Ryan Richter LaSalle / Southampton, PA
MID - Junior Chapman LaSalle / Winslow, NJ
MID - Rory McCrea Hofstra / Leeds, England
MID - William Swetra James Madison / Egg Harbor, NJ
FWD - J.T. Noone Temple / Harrisburg, PA
FWD - Byron Carmichael Marshall (’03) / Lumberton, NJ
Substitutes  
Leon Brown Wheeling Jesuit (’04) / Sicklerville, NJ
Steve Miller Colgate / Ivyland, PA
Dan Korenyi LaSalle / Cinneminson, NJ
Billy Pinto Hofstra / Audubon, NJ
Giancarlo Granese Hofstra / Ocean City, NJ
Scoring Summary
None  

 Game Stats

OCEAN CITY

NEW HAMP.

Shots

4

5

Saves

5

3

Fouls

7

6

Offsides

4

2

Corners

4

1

Needing just a win to qualify for the PDL playoffs, the Ocean City Barons (8-3-3) only managed a scoreless draw against the New Hampshire Phantoms (2-8-3) on Saturday night at Carey Stadium. The Brooklyn Knights (6-5-3), who are the only team who can catch Ocean City in the battle for the third and final playoff spot, lost 1-0 earlier in the evening to the Westchester Flames. With the Barons’ draw, combined with the Knights’ loss, the Barons are six points ahead of Brooklyn with two games to play.
PDL NORTHEAST DIVISION Record Pts
x-Long Island Rough Riders 11-2-1 34
x-Ottawa Fury 10-0-4 34
OCEAN CITY BARONS 8-3-3 27
Brooklyn Knights 6-4-3 21
(Top 3 qualify for playoffs)
x - clinched playoff berth
Barons’ remaining schedule
7/15 at Brooklyn Knights (6-5-3)
7/19 - home vs. New Jersey Rangers (2-10-2)
Brooklyn’s remaining schedule
7/15 home vs. Ocean City Barons (8-3-3)
7/19 - at Ottawa Fury (10-0-4)

Brooklyn and Ocean City will square off on Wednesday night at the Metropolitan Oval in New York City. If the Barons win or draw against the Knights, they will clinch a playoff spot. The only way Brooklyn can overtake the Barons is if they defeat Ocean City on Wednesday night, win their season finale on the road against first place Ottawa and hope that the Men In Red lose to last place New Jersey at home next weekend. To put it simply, the Barons only need one point in their last two games to clinch a playoff berth.

Ocean City is unbeaten in their last five games (3-0-2) and haven’t lost at home in their last four games (2-0-2).

Tunde Ogunbiyi (Boston College / Gwynedd, PA) made five saves to earn his fourth shutout of the season. The clean sheet also brings the team’s goals against average down to 0.81 for the season, which is just shy of the club’s all-time record of 0.79, set in 2004.

This evening’s first half of play seemed to be a back and forth game. The Barons sent a lot of long balls up field that just fell into the possession of New Hampshire. When the Barons did get an opportune look at goal the shot was high, there was an offside call, or New Hampshire goalkeeper Tim Murray had scooped it up.

Ryan Richter (LaSalle / Southampton, PA) was involved in a lot of plays for Ocean City tonight, though none were able to be converted. At 32 minutes, Jamal Neptune (Hofstra / East Windsor, NJ)  chipped the ball inside to Richter who kicked it from mid-air looking to put the Barons ahead on the scoreboard. On another occasion, Neptune found Richter but the LaSalle player took a shot that was just high over the bar.

Captain Joe Banks (Drexel / Sicklerville, NJ) injured his hamstring in the 42nd minute. He had to sit for the remainder of the game trying to help his teammates from the sideline. Replacing Banks was Leon Brown (Wheeling Jesuit / Siparia, Trinidad).

The second half still remained scoreless for the two teams, but the Barons were successful in maintaining control with Ocean City holding possession for majority of the half.

Richter had the first attempt for the Barons in the second forty five minutes with a one on one in front of the net. Ocean City then began substituting players throughout the half, trying to put different players together to get a score. Billy Pinto (Hofstra / Audubon, NJ) came in for Junior Chapman (LaSalle / Winslow, NJ) and Steve Miller (Colgate / Ivyland, PA) took Richter out of the game all by the 62nd minute. Miller was making his first appearance since June 13.

Shortly after the changes, Byron Carmichael (Marshall / Lumberton, NJ) fired a shot high and to the right.

Barons GAA History (Season)
Season Games Goals Against GAA
2004 18 15 0.79
2009 14 11 0.81
J.T. Noone (Temple / Harrisburg, PA) used his footwork in the left corner of New Hampshire’s defensive end to circle around Phantoms players. He managed to work his way towards goal, but his shot was saved by Murray. In another attempt, Noone dribbled inside from the left around defenders, but held on for too long. Murray watched him all the way in and made the save.

Closer to the end of the half, the crowd could feel the urgency from the payers as the intensity seemed to rise in hopes of ending the goose egg score on the board.

"Unfortunately we could not get a goal tonight but we are looking forward to the game this Wednesday in Brooklyn,” Barons head coach Neil Holloway said.

The Barons have two regular season games remaining, with the Brooklyn game on Wednesday (8 p.m.) and then the Men In Red return to The Beach House for the season finale on Sunday at 7 p.m.

Field