Ocean City FC lose home opener to Rangers, 1-0

Nor'easters suffer first-ever loss to New Jersey

The Ocean City Nor’easters lost their home opener Sunday night to the New Jersey Rangers 1-0. The loss drops the Nor’easters to 0-2-0 to start the 2011 season.

Ocean City dominated the first half, but could not find the back of the net. They held the Rangers without a shot on goal, while accumulating 15 themselves. However, good defense by the Rangers at key junctures kept the Nor’easters off the scoreboard. Sal Pistone had a header opportunity with the right side of the goal open but it went off a defender.

The bounces did not go Ocean City’s way in the first half, and it started off that way in the second half as well. Just two minutes in, in the 47th minute, Lawrence Geraghty streaked down the right side and took a shot on goal. The ball sneaked through the outstretched arms of Nor’easters keeper John McCarthy and found the net to put the Rangers ahead 1-0.

It did not seem like the same aggressive Nor’easters squad after that as they accumulated just eight shots in the second half. However, they did have their opportunities. Jack Bailey put a shot off the cross bar for the second straight game and it bounced over the goal. Ocean City was unable to solve Rangers goalkeeper Grant Schonberg after that. Schonberg made ten saves for the shutout, while McCarthy finished with three.

The loss was the Nor’easter’s first ever to New Jersey since the Rangers joined the league in 2008. Ocean City had been 7-0-0 all-time entering the match. This also marks the first loss in a home opener for the Nor’easters since the 2003 season. The club now turns their attention to the Jersey Express, who they will face on the road on Friday, May 27 at 8 p.m. Ocean City’s next home game is Sunday, May 29 against the Long Island Rough Riders at 6 p.m.