|Chevaughn Walsh at Jefferson Co
By Sal Nicosia
By mileage, it was the longest road trip of the PDL season for the Ocean City Nor'easters, and they were without their leading scorer, but you wouldn't know it by the way they played.
The Nor'easters were firing on all cylinders as they came away with a 3-0 road win over the Evergreen FC Hammers at the Evergreen Sports Complex in Leesburg, Virginia.
Playing without Miguel Jaime, who was red carded in the last game and scored three goals in the team's first two games of the season, it was Chevaughn "Chevy" Walsh (Jefferson College / Jamaica) who picked up the slack. Walsh scored all three goals for Ocean City on Saturday night. It was the 10th hat trick in Ocean City's PDL team history (2003-present), and he becomes the 9th different player to accomplish the feat as the Nor'easters improve to 2-1-0 on the young season.
An early start would be all it took to spark a team that had a lot in store for the evening. The early stages of the game proved vital for the Nor’easters as they looked to find the holes in the Evergreen defense. This analytic tactic coupled with the speed and passing of the midfield and the vision of the back four would ultimately lead to the Walsh hat trick. He would find the net in the 15th, 50th, and 58th minutes of the match.
Success came quickly and after a fantastic goal line clearance by Perica Obradovic (Oklahoma Wesleyan / Snederevo, Serbia), the offense quickly found its rhythm and took off not long after. Walsh found a beautiful long ball toward the box, created space, passed the defender and chipped the keeper to put the Nor’easters up early 1-0.
Evergreen FC, who were known as the D.C. United Under-23s last year, would push back, but strong play by goalkeeper Andrew Garcia (St. Francis / Sicklerville, NJ) would hold the Hammers at bay.
The Nor’easters would find their offense again with close chances from Obradovic, Walsh and Nathan Regis (Pfeiffer Univ. / Arima, Trinidad & Tobago) in the latter stages of the first half. A strong connection was established early on in the midfield as the ball seemed to flow effortlessly from Martim Galvao (Pfeiffer Univ. / Lisbon, Portugal), Raheem Somersall (Appalachian State / Basseterre, St. Kitts) and Kyle Thompson (Loyola - Chicago / Park Ridge, IL).
The passing would lead to more opportunity in the second half and ultimately secure the hat trick for Walsh. Chevy’s hat-trick performance would continue as he would score in the 50th minute by rocketing in a pass from close range and ultimately again in the 58th minute with a header from a corner to secure all three points in the second road victory of the season for the Nor’easters.
The physical battles between PDL Team of the Week member Daniel Nimmo (Campbellsville / Lithigow, Scotland) and Evergreen's Aaron Hollins would prove vital in creating chances that would ultimately be capitalized on by Walsh on the counter attack, but did result in a yellow card in the 61st minute as the Hammers looked to make a comeback.
The fantastic play of Garcia, making his season debut in goal for the Nor'easters, would continue as he would ultimately collect hsi first career clean sheet in the match for his efforts. Support was prevalent in the box defensively as Fraser Colmer (Radford / Southampton, England) and Nolan Sherwood (Rocky Mountain College / Las Vegas, NV) would both provide pivotal clearances to ensure a Nor’easters win.
Frustration grew in the final ten minutes for the hometown Hammers as they committed multiple fouls which resulting in a yellow card for Evergreen forward Bryan Piriz. With a late corner opportunity, the Hammers were unable to ruint he shutout as the Nor’easters claimed the victory taking a win back to Ocean City and looking forward to their next PDL contest.
The Nor’easters will face off against the Lehigh Valley United Sonic on Wednesday, June 1 in the team's final road game before the home opener at Carey Stadium on June 4 against long-time rivals Reading United AC.
The Nor'easters home opener is scheduled for Saturday, June 4 against Reading United. It is scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Carey Stadium.
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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.