For the 20th time in club history, the Ocean City Nor'easters treated their fans to a home opener. On Saturday night, the Premier Development League team headlined a triple header at Carey Stadium but ultimately fell short to long-time rival Reading United, 2-0.
The two clubs, who have been playing each other nearly every year since 1997 were meeting for the 40th time and the Reading continued to have the Nor'easters' number. Ocean City has won just one match in the last 14 meetings (1-9-4).
Earlier in the day, The Beach House played host to a pair of successful youth games. The Nor'easters Under-20s began the day with a 3-1 win over Manalapan Fusion with Matthew Hendrickson scoring a pair of goals and Mohrmann adding another. After that, the Under-23 team earned a point with a 1-1 draw with the Reading United Under-23s with Wheeling Jesuit product Shaan Stuart scoring the lone goal for Ocean City.
Then the main event arrived as the Nor'easters PDL team came into the match on top of the Mid-Atlantic standings after a 2-1 win over the Leigh Valley Sonic on Wednesday night that included Chevaughn “Chevy” Walsh scoring the 10th hat trick in club history. Forward Miguel Jaime has four goals, tying him for second in the league.
The game started out very with both teams playing very physical, feeling each other out. Both teams had many attempts on goal. Ocean City used crossing attempts to get into scoring positions but unfortunately could not capitalize on those chances. Meanwhile, Reading had multiple shots on goal that were stopped by Ocean City goalkeeper Andrew Garcia.
There was a bit of controversy in the 12th minute when Reading’s Paul Marie was shown a yellow card for diving. After a bad pass back to Garcia, Marie continued forward and collided with Garcia, but was shown the yellow by the referee.
Reading got on the score board first when Zach Zandi caught Garcia out of the net and he tapped it in to give Reading a 1-0 lead that they kept going into halftime.
The second half opened with Zandi giving Reading a 2-0 lead with goal from 20 yards out. After that, the game become even more physical, with Ocean City picking up the aggressive tempo to make try and get the goals to get back into the match. The team continued using crosses and aggressive attacks to get on the scoreboard. The best opportunity came in the 76th minute when Marie fouled Ocean City's Jaime in the box, with the ref awarding a penalty kick to Ocean City. Midfielder Kyle Thomson took the penalty but was saved by the Reading goalkeeper.
The rest of the half saw the Nor’easters try to continue to score the goals to win the match but as time ran out the goals did not happen. Reading defeated Ocean City 2-0. Even with the loss, the Nor'easters continue to hold the edge in the all-time series with an 18-15-7 in one of the longest-running rivalries in the PDL. The loss also snaps a four-game unbeaten streak at home dating back to last season.
The Nor'easters will head back out on the road next Wednesday, June 8 as they will travel to play the New York Red Bulls U23s at 7 p.m.
Nor'easters U-23s open season with draw vs. Reading United
The Ocean City Nor’easters Under-23 team opened the 2016 season with a match against Reading United. Coached by Chris Econmopoulous the team played their opening match at Carey Stadium prior to the senior team's home opener on Saturday night.
The two teams played an up-tempo first half that saw physical play out of both teams. The Nor’easters had multiple attempts to get on the scoreboard early. Forward Anthony Colofranson had three attempts, including a bicycle kick that went over the goal.
The Nor’easters scored first when centerback Shaan Stuart collected an assist from Mutaya Mwape on the left side and slid it past the keeper in the 21st minute. The score would remain 1-0 until halftime.
The second half consisted of battles between players for ball possession with both teams creating multiple opportunities. Eventually, Reading would find the breakthrough with an equalizer in the 79th minute when Nathan Delgado collected a pass and shot it past the keeper. The match would end in an 1-1 draw.
The Under-23 team is expecting to play a major role in player development and to add depth to the senior team.
“It’s a great opportunity for guys to get minutes and to play in front of the entire staff and fans," said Nor'easters general manager Kevin Nuss. "We showed last year with Matt Hendrickson and Nick Hanuscin the step to the top can be made.”
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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.