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Nor'easters exit US Open Cup in rainy PK shootout vs. Lansdowne Yonkers

Match finished 1-1 after 120 minutes with Pablo Marques scoring lone goal for Ocean City

Nor'easters exit US Open Cup in rainy PK shootout vs. Lansdowne Yonkers

On a rainy, windy night in Ocean City, N.J., the Ocean City Nor'easters were eliminated from the 2022 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. After 120 minutes, the Nor'easters finished in a 1-1 draw with Lansdowne Yonkers FC, sending the match into a penalty kick shootout. Lansdowne Yonkers prevailed in the shootout, 4-3 to advance to the Second Round off the 107th edition of the tournament. 

With Ocean City's exit from the US Open Cup, the team will now shift its focus to preparation for the 2022 USL League Two season. The season begins on Saturday, May 21 with a road game against Real Central New Jersey. The Storm's home opener is on Friday, May 27 at Carey Stadium ("The Beach House") in Ocean City, N.J., America's Greatest Family Resort.

The Nor'easters opened the scoring in the 8th minute when Jason Plumhoff played a ball from near the right corner to the edge of the penalty area where he found Pablo Marques. With a quick touch, Marques, cut back to his left foot and fired a shot on goal. The ball was struck well and it headed right at the goalkeeper Kabo Danso but it had a bend to it and it dipped to Danso's feet and got past him and into the back of the net.

Marques played for Nor'easters head coach Kevin Nuss at Indian Hills Community College (Iowa) and will be transferring to the University of Tampa in the fall. 

Four minutes later, a Lansdowne player played a long ball along the ground up the right wing into the offensive third. Shamir Mullings ran onto it, beat his defender to the ball, and dribbled into the penalty area. Mullings hit a well-struck ball and beat Nor'easters goalkeeper Keasel Broome to the far post from a tight angle.

The Nor'easters nearly regained the lead in the 20th minute when they took a free kick from the left wing in the offensive third. The ball was delivered into the center of the box and cleared out of the area, but it fell right to Frank Tucker (formerly Frank Tweneboa) who ran onto it and blasted a shot on goal that rang off the crossbar and went out of bounds.

The teams would cancel each other out for the rest of the first half. Neither team would score for the entire second half and through two periods of extra time. Marques would receive a second yellow card in the 116th minute, so the Storm had to play with 10 men for the final five minutes of the match, but they held on for the penalty kick shootout.

In the shootout, Adam Sternberger converted the first attempt, only to have Kevin Curran's attempt saved to give Yonkers a 2-1 lead after two rounds. Broome kept the Nor'easters in it with a save on Yohance Alexander's kick in Round 3, but Ocean City's Emanuel Teixeira hit the crossbar. Nico Tramontana answered Lansdowne's goal in Round 4. In the final round, Lansdowne's Johan Mauritzson had a chance to win it for the visitors, but he missed the target. Ocean City's Kyle Galloway, the only member of the 2021 team, who came on as a sub late in the first half, scored to send the shootout into extra frames. Lansdowne goalscorer Shamir Mullings scored his attempt, but Leandro Louro da Silva hit his penalty just over the bar to give Lansdowne a 4-3 win.

"The team performed well considering the circumstances," said Nor'easters head coach Kevin Nuss. "You could see that we were learning throughout the match but our legs weren't there to take advantage of our opportunities."

It marked just the second time that the Nor'easters had a match go to penalty kicks in US Open Cup play. Back in 2017, Ocean City nearly added to the club's resume of pro team upsets, falling to the Harrisburg City Islanders 6-5 in the shootout after a scoreless draw at the Beach House. The Storm's all-time record in America's oldest cup competition is now at 12-8-2 (0-2 in PKs). The 12 tournament wins are the third-most of all amateur teams in the country in the Modern Era (1995-present).

The Nor'easters will now shift their focus to preparing for the 2022 USL League Two campaign, the club's 25th season. The first game will be May 21, on the road against Real Central New Jersey, with the home opener scheduled for May 27 at the Beach House. The team's performance in the 2022 regular season will determine if they will qualify for the 2023 US Open Cup.

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