Chevy Walsh's record-breaking 13th goal seals Nor'easters' crucial win over Jersey Express
Ryan Howe assists on every goal in 3-1 win as Ocean City now controls its own playoff destiny ahead of Sunday's regular saeson finale
UPDATE (7/13): Reading United defeated Jersey Express 4-0 to clinch the Mid-Atlantic Division title. Updated standings and playoff scenarios are below.
The Ocean City Nor’easters rebounded from a tough loss on Friday night with a big win on Sunday night to keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Nor’easters took on a tough Jersey Express team who Ocean City loss to on the road win back on May 25. Ocean City got their revenge on the Express with a 3-1 win at the Tennessee Avenue Soccer Complex. The win brought the Nor’Easters within one point of first place Reading United in the Mid Atlantic Division with one game left to play in the regular season. The top two teams in the division are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs.
The win also snaps a six-game winless streak (0-5-1) against the Express. The last win against their division rival came on June 5, 2013. The last win in Ocean City against the Express came on June 3, 2012.
The first half of the match was pretty uneventful, as both sides played a hard-fouling, physical early start. Chevy Walsh had multiple attempts to score however, goalkeeper Brandon Barnes had many saves in the half to keep the game scoreless going into halftime.
But the second half for the Storm was a 180 degree turn from the first.
The Storm got on the scoreboard first when Nathan Regis received a thrown-in pass from Ryan Howe, and after a scramble in front of the goal, Regis put Ocean City in the lead in the 49th minute with his fifth goal of the year.
Seven minutes later, Miguel Jamie shot a blast off a volley from Rowe right past the keeper to double the Nor’easters' lead.
The Nor'easters would put the game away in the 87th minute when Walsh made history by scoring his 13th goal of the season, breaking the single-season club record originally set by Ruben Mingo in 2004. Walsh is now tied for the league lead in goals with the Fresno Duego's Christian Chaney. Chaney's regular season wrapped up this weekend, so Walsh has a chance to overtake him for the PDL scoring title next Sunday.
Howe also set up the final goal which ties the single-game club record with three assists. He joins Nathan Regis (June 25, 2016 vs. Reading), Byron Carmichael (May 14, 2005 at Westchester Flames) and Frank Tweneboa (July 8, 2012 vs. Westchester Flames) as the only players to dish out three assists in one game.
Jersey received a consolation goal with Claudio Paulo scoring to ruin Ocean City goalkeeper Michael Kirk's clean sheet in the 90th minute.
For Nor'easters head coach Tim Oswald, the win was a big step towards the getting the final playoff spot.
“It was our most complete game of the year,” Oswald said. “We woke up this morning, had a light training session to get ourselves focused and I think guys came to play today. They knew that they let one slip on Friday and they bounced back very well.”
All signs now go to next Sunday when the Nor’easters host a rematch with the Baltimore Bohemians with a playoff berth on the line. Kick off is at 5 pm. at the Tennessee Avenue Soccer Complex.
As Ocean City approaches the regular season finale next Sunday here are the playoff scenarios:
Ocean City can win the division IF ....
Reading United earn one point or less in their last two games of the season (at Jersey Express & home vs. Lehigh Valley) and the Nor'easters beat Baltimore in the regular season finale next Sunday (at Tennessee Avenue at 5 p.m.)
Ocean City can clinch a playoff spot IF ....
Nor'easters win their regular season finale at home against Baltimore next Sunday.
Baltimore loses their home game on Friday against Lehigh Valley United.
Baltimore wins on Friday and the Nor'easters either win or draw vs. Baltimore on Sunday.
Reading United finishes with the best record in the Eastern Conference, which earns them a spot in the Eastern Conference Final and the second and third place teams in the division would qualify for the postseason. Ocean City has already clinched at least a third place finish in the division regardless of Sunday's result.
(After Wednesday, July 13)
||1 (vs LVU on 7/17)
|OCEAN CITY NOR'EASTERS
||1 (vs BAL on 7/17)
||2 (vs LVU on 7/15, at OCN on 7/17)
|New York Red Bulls U23s
||1 (vs. EFC on 7/16)
||1 (vs EFC on 7/17)
|Lehigh Valley United Sonic
||2 (at BAL on 7/15, at REA on 7/17)
||2 (at NYRB on 7/16, at JER on 7/17)
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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.