Undefeated Nor'easters enter match five points behind WCU with two games in hand
The Ocean CIty Nor'easters and West Chester United, the top two teams in the USL League Two Mid-Atlantic Division will square off for the second time on Wednesday night. West Chester United enters the match in first place with a 7-1-1 record, but the Nor'easters are five points behind with a 5-0-2 record, but they have played two fewer games.
The game will be played at Kildare's Turf Field in West Chester, Pa. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
For fans unable to make it up to West Chester, United will be offering a live video stream of the game. Click HERE to watch the game. The Nor'easters will also be providing live updates on the club's Twitter account (@OCNoreasters)
The last time these two teams met was back on May 23 at Carey Stadium ("The Beach House") in Ocean City, N.J., "America's Greatest Family Resort. The Nor'easters came away with a 2-1 win. After former Ocean City player Leon Maric scored the opening goal for United in the 1st minute, the Nor'easters responded with two goals in a three minute span in the second half. Ulrik Edvardsen (VCU / Bergen, Norway) equalized in the 63rd minute, followed by a fantastic game-winner by Theo Quartey (Villanova / Accra, Ghana) who chipped the goalkeeper from distance on the left wing. Jahmali Waite (UConn / Philadelphia, PA) and Yannik Oettl (Central Florida / Munich, Germany) split the goalkeeping duties with Waite starting and Oettl taking over at halftime.
HIGHLIGHTS: Ocean City 2:1 West Chester United (May 23, 2021)
The Nor'easters enter Wednesday's road game as one of three undefeated teams in the Eastern Conference (Long Island Rough Riders, Manhattan SC). Ocean City is currently riding a 14-game unbeaten streak dating back to the 2019 season, the second-longest streak in club history.
In their last game, the Storm finished with a 2-2 draw at home against Northern Virginia FC. Ocean City jumped out to a 2-0 halftime lead with goals from Simon Becher (St. Louis Univ. / Brooklyn, CT) and a penalty kick from Theo Quartey. But two second half goals from Northern Virginia tied the game up and the teams had to share the points. Despite letting the win slip away, the Nor'easters improved to 5-0-2 and are off to the best start to a campaign since the 2007 season.
With Becher's goal against Northern Virginia was his team-high seventh goal of the season, which is currently tied for second-most in the league. Quartey is second on the team in scoring with two goals and four assists. His four assists is tied for the league lead.
This game features two of the top three teams in the league in terms of goal difference. West Chester is second in USL2 with a +18 (22 GF, 4 GA) and Ocean City is ranked third with a +13 (19 GF, 6 GA). Both teams are ranked in the top 10 in USL League Two's latest power rankings with the Nor'easters sitting at No. 4 and West Chester at No. 9.
Since Ocean City handed West Chester their first loss back on May 23, United have been on fire. They have won four straight games, all of them on the road, and the last three without allowing a goal.
West Chester's last game was this past Saturday where they defeated Reading United AC, 2-0. Chris Donovan scored both goals in the second half and Dane Jacomen earned the shutout.
Donovan, a former Gatorade Player of the Year (PA) who plays his college ball at Drexel, is the club's leading scorer with five goals in five games. Former Ocean City player Leon Maric leads the team in assists with three.
West Chester United, which was founded in 1976, has quickly become one of the top amateur clubs in the region since their first season of their adult soccer program in 2008. They have racked up a long list of accomplishments including four straight United Soccer League of Pennsylvania titles (2015-19), 11 State EPSA titles (since 2013), the 2015 Werner Fricker Open Cup championship, and finishing as the 2018 USASA Amateur Cup runner-up.
West Chester has teams that compete in a variety of leagues such as the United Soccer League of Pennsylvania, and the NPSL. They had qualified (as a member of the NPSL) for the 2020 US Open Cup, but the tournament was canceled for the first time in its 106-year history. It would have been the club's third appearance in the national tournament.
Prior to this season, these two clubs have met one other time. On July 2, 2018, West Chester United visited the Beach House with the Nor'easters coming out on top, 1-0 on a late goal by Abdul Mansaray. Jimmy Slayton and Gus Valeriano shared the shutout in goal that day.
A win for the Nor'easters would give them their best start to a campaign since the club's undefeated 2004 season.