Ryan Richter scores fifth goal of the season, but Knights too much for shorthanded Barons
The Ocean City Barons dropped a 3-1 decision to the Brooklyn Knights on Wednesday night at the Metropolitan Oval to create a dramatic final day of the PDL season. On Sunday, the Barons (8-4-3) host the New Jersey Rangers (2-11-2) at Carey Stadium and can clinch a playoff spot with a win or a tie. The only way the Knights (7-5-3) can overtake Ocean City is if the Rangers upset the Barons and Brooklyn can travel north to Ottawa and hand the unbeaten Fury their first loss of the season.
|PDL NORTHEAST DIVISION||Record||Pts|
|x-Long Island Rough Riders||11-2-2||35|
|OCEAN CITY BARONS||8-4-3||27|
|(Top 3 qualify for playoffs)
x - clinched playoff berth
|Barons’ remaining schedule|
|7/19 - home vs. New Jersey Rangers (2-11-2)|
|Brooklyn’s remaining schedule|
|7/19 - at Ottawa Fury (11-0-4)|
After a 5th minute penalty kick put the Barons behind 1-0, they received another blow just after halftime when Tyler Bellamy was shown a red card after fouling a Knights player as the last defender.
With Ocean City down to 10 men, Brooklyn capitalized five minutes later off a corner kick. The ball was driven in, but a poor clearance by the Barons defense put the ball in front of the net and the Knights’ Dan Belke was at the right place at the right time to put the home team up 2-0. The Men In Red continued to push, pulling one back in the 72nd minute when Steve Miller, who came on at halftime to replace Barons debutant Dwayne Dove, led Ryan Richter on the right wing. Richter dibbled down the right side and sidefooted a shot past Knights goalkeeper Chris Antonino to cut the lead in half.
With 10 minutes left to play the Barons thought they had scored the equalizer, but it was called back for offside. J.T. Noone put Byron Carmichael through with a pass and the Barons’ leading scorer chipped the ball over goalkeeper for what appeared to be the tying goal, but the referee’s assistant raised the flag for offside.
With Ocean City pushing everyone forward, Brooklyn caught them on a counter attack and put the game away in stoppage time. With the help of a two-on-one break, Hemir Niebles passed to the PDL’s leading assist man Frank Alesci who beat Jordan Bar to make it 3-1.
Bar replaced Tunde Ogunbiyi at halftime, with each goalkeeper making two saves. Head Coach Neil Holloway was also sent off in second half stoppage time for arguing with the officials.
The win pulls the Knights within three points of the Barons with one match to play. Both teams play on Sunday with Brooklyn traveling to undefeated (11-0-4) Ottawa at 3 p.m. and Ocean City will host the New Jersey Rangers (2-11-2) at Carey Stadium at 7 p.m. The Barons need either a win or a tie against New Jersey or a Brooklyn loss or a tie against Ottawa to advance to the post-season. The advantage falls with the Barons because by the time they kick off on Sunday at The Beach House, they will know exactly what they need to do.
Tickets for Sunday’s regular season finale are $6 for adults, $4 for kids. Check out the Barons’ Twitter account (@oceancitybarons) on Sunday afternoon for updates of the Ottawa Fury / Brooklyn Knights game.