Nor'easters stay perfect in the 2013 PDL season
It was a beautiful evening for soccer at Loyola University that saw the Ocean City Nor’easters beat their hosts Baltimore Bohemians 3-1 to top the Mid-Atlantic Division, for at least 24 hours.
The boys of Ocean City managed to extend their perfect record to 3-0 against the Bohs since the Maryland team came into the Premier Development League. The Nor’easters also went to 4-0 in the PDL this season (all away games and one of only five teams in the country to be unblemished). For stats fans out there, this takes Ocean City to 6-1 overall including the 2 wins in the US Open Cup and the stoppage time lose to the Union at PPL Park.
Early on in the encounter, the Nor’easters established themselves in transition and JP Correa found a wide ball for Kevin Curran to serve in perfectly to Zoncher Dennis at the far post. The goal poacher found the back of the net in the 7th minute and adds to his fantastic record of 13 goals in 18 career PDL games. Just a few minutes later, after a Bohemians foul, JP Correa crossed a ball in from the flank that Ken Tribbett attacked fiercely in traffic to make it 2-0 and give Ocean City a cushion. As has become a regular occurrence for the team from the Jersey Shore, for the 3rd straight game, the Nor’easters started with a bang, bounced out to an early lead in the 1st 10 min, but then conceded before the halftime interval. Baltimore managed to battle back and grab a goal before halftime to cut the difference to 2-1.
Leaving the halftime discussion, the Ocean City boys absorbed the pressure from the home side as they chased the game and almost managed to find the equalizer if not for the fingertips of Bradley University goalkeeper Brian Billings. The Nor’easters continued to counter attack against the Bohs pressure but found a way to grab an insurance goal from another dangerous set pieces that was executed to perfection. Tribbett flicked a Sean McLaws throw across the face of the goal for Anthony Asante to power home to make it 3-1 to the visitors. This was Asante’s 3rd goal in 2 games, giving Head Coach Tim Oswald a selection headache up top, but his signature dance goal celebration is becoming a common sight. Baltimore showed their commitment and desire by continuing to attack but the Nor’easters kept them at bay until the final whistle.
Coach Oswald gave his views after the game, “This was another big road win for usm our 4th straight. It has been an awesome experience to see this team evolve over the course of the last 4 weeks since we started camp. We couldn’t have scripted a better PDL start or US Open Cup run. The confidence is definitely there for our team right now and there is a bit of swagger in our step at the moment. All of that needs to be channeled in a positive direction, however, as each game is so important in the division. In a week that we sought to get 2 road wins, we found 2 road wins and 6 points to go with it.”
Coach Oswald then spoke on the performance on the field, "Our boys have bought in to our style and we have gotten some tremendous individual performances out of a few of them. Regardless of being possession oriented at times, direct, or slightly indirect, they are finding the measures needed to win games and precisely following our game plans and scouting reports. We could be better at times in small moments of the game, but we have gotten away with those small moments so far in our 1st four games. We have to be a bit sharper for sure moving forward.”
Going forward Coach Oswald had this to say, "We will have to be flawless Saturday night against Reading United as we chase a team that has had our number recently. There is such a rich and respected history among the 2 clubs as well as a positive relationship that has grown between our coaching staffs. Being that both of us are heading into the match early on in the season as undefeated teams makes this game all that more meaningful. Even though we are 17-3 in our last 20 PDL regular season games and Reading is 14-2-4 in that same frame, they beat us twice last year and everyone in our camp that was here in 2012 remembers that. Collectively, we are all looking forward to next week’s match and we hope to have a great week of training to prepare. Its pretty awesome for four PDL teams to have advanced to the US Open Cup 3rd round in one season. The fact that it was us and Reading, from the same division, to pull off that feat is all the more interesting and shows the depth of quality in the Mid-Atlantic Division. Saturday night will surely be a playoff atmosphere and equally serve as one of the higher quality PDL games that you will find in the country at this stage of the season and we have to be prepared".
The Ocean City Nor’easters will now prepare behind a week’s rest for the away game against Reading United on Saturday June 15th.