By Sal Nicosia
The Ocean City Nor'easters won a nailbiter on the road with a 2-1 victory over the Lehigh Valley United Sonic. The game was a drama-filled, physical contest on Wednesday night that saw the Nor'easters score two goals in an eight minute span to win a second straight game.
Trailing 1-0 on a 4th minute goal by Lehigh Valley's Daniel Huertas, Ocean City found itself behind heading into the final 15 minutes, Martim Galvao (Pfeiffer / Lisbon, Portugal) tied the game in the 76th minute, and Miguel Jaime (FGCU / Denver, Colorado) converted a penalty kick in the 85th minute to put Ocean City ahead for good.
With the three points, the Nor'easters move into first place in the Mid-Atlantic Division with a 3-1-0 record.
In what seemed like a game what was slipping away after the early goal, the Nor’easters responded well. Galvao, Chevuaghn “Chevy” Walsh (Jefferson / Jamaica) and Nathan Regis (Pfeiffer / Arima, Trinidad & Tobago) barraged the Lehigh goalkeeper Kyle Morton after the goal was conceded but found no luck early as the Sonic defenders stood tall in front of their keeper. The physical level of the game didn’t take long to pick up to a fevered pitch as the contest continued on, most notably between Regis and the Sonic goalkeeper Morton in the early stages of the game.
In the 35th minute, tempers flared again as Daniel Nimmo (Campbellsville / Lithgow, Scotland) and Marcos Nunez Corona came together in a collision that would turn in to a scrum at the top of the Nor’easters box. Yellow cards being awarded to each player seemed to only aggravate the situation as the physicality would continue throughout the game. Set piece chances came late in the first half for Ocean City but they could not capitalize on multiple opportunities. With this the first half would come to an end but not before an uncalled hand to the face foul committed by the Sonic. The score at half was 1-0 and the Nor’easters would look to find fortune in the second half.
Two early corners started off the second half for the Nor’easters but came again with no result. On the counter Andrew Garcia (St. Francis / Sicklerville, NJ) would come up huge as he would multiple times in the second half to keep the score 1-0. With mostly midfield play and possession largely held by the Lehigh Sonic it was a sluggish half filled with physical battles along the benches and turnovers in midfield.
However, everything would change in the 71st minute. After a strong run by Regis into the box he would fire two shots that would be saved by Morton, but he would fail to stop a third shot as Galvao would hammer a shot in to draw the Nor’easters even with 14 minutes remaining in the match.
Strong offense would follow, as Regis sliced his way through two defenders but would only hit the side of the net. This offensive presence would rattle the home team Jaime streaked through the box and was taken down. Subsequently a penalty was called and Jaime stepped up to take the shot that would decide the game for the Nor’easters. An off speed shot that streaked down the middle threw off the keeper and sealed the game for the Nor’easters in the 85th minute. The Sonic would see chances turned away in the dying embers of the game with saves by Garcia.
Nor'easters head coach Tim Oswald was confident in Jaime to take the penalty kick that ultimately decided the game.
“He just stepped up, he was feeling it and came through with the huge goal to break the tie.” said Oswald with pride. “It was a hard game where we fought back, got the win and the three points.”
The Nor'easters will take their two-game winning streak into this Saturday's home opener when they host their long-time rival Reading United AC at Carey Stadium in Ocean City. This will be the first time the Nor’easters will play a regular season game at The Beach House and will look to snap a seven-game winless streak against a team the club has been battling since 1997. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
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.
For individual tickets, click HERE. For group tickets, email email@example.com, or call the ticket office at (609) 736-4849.
For more information on the Ocean City Nor'easters or to "Follow the Storm" on social media, go to www.oceancityfc.com/followthestorm or text "FOLLOWTHESTORM" to 22828 to join the "Storm Watch" e-newsletter.
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.