In fourth meeting of the campaign, WCU advances to the Eastern Conference Final
Photo: Sean Maslin (Full photo gallery)
The Ocean City Nor'easters' 2021 season came to a close on Sunday night with a narrow 1-0 loss to West Chester United at the Evergreen Sportsplex in Leesburg, Va.
Spencer Burkhardt scored the lone goal of the game in the 39th minute. After a long throw was headed into the box by Conor Bradley. The ball was brought down by Burkhardt with his back to the goal. He created just enough space as he turned and fired a low shot that got through the defense and past Jahmali Waite in goal and into the back of the net.
Despite creating numerous chances, and controlling the run of play for large stretches of the game, the Nor'easters offense was unable to find an equalizer.
"We defended poorly from a simple throw-in for the only goal and in these games it costs you," said Nor'easters head coach Alan McCann. "Our focus now is helping these lads get into professional ranks. For some that is immediate and for others that is in the future. This is the main reason we do what we do and this league has proven year after year that professionals are made through these experiences."
Jahmali Waite (UConn / Philadelphia, PA) played all 90 minutes in goal for Ocean City, allowing just the single goal in his 10th start of the season. Waite finished the season with a 0.74 goals against average in all competitions, breaking the single-season team record. The previous record of 0.82 was held by Tunde Ogunbiyi during the 2009 season.
It was the fourth time the Nor'easters and Predators met this year. Ocean City won the first meeting 2-1 back on May 23 with Theo Quartey (Villanova / Accra, Ghana) scoring the game-winning goal. After a scoreless draw in the second meeting, the two teams got together for a third time in the regular season on July 9 with West Chester winning 2-1 to clinch the Mid-Atlantic Division title.
West Chester advances to the Eastern Conference Final next weekend against the Western Mass Pioneers.
With the loss, the Ocean City Nor'easters close the books on the club's 24th season, 18 of those seasons as a member of USL League Two.
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