Ocean City Noreasters Top 11 Moments of 2012

It is customary for every big soccer club to produce a top 10 list of great moments throughout the previous calendar year, however, with the success we found in 2012 we found it too hard to only have 10 moments on the list… so we added an 11th!!

 
11 – Big Changes For The Nor’easters
 
After a winter and spring of change down by the shore, Tim Oswald was announced as the Nor’easters new Head Coach for the foreseeable future. Oswald brought Kevin Nuss with him as his assistant. The appointment saw a change in strategy for the Nor’easters as we went out looking to bring the best talent to the beach to mix them with our great local talent.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
10 – Spring Mini-Camp Brings Future Stars Together For First Time
 
In May the Nor’easters pre-season mini-camp was held. It was the first time we were able to put our top recruits onto the field together. There was immediate chemistry and camaraderie as the Nor’easters old boys Terry Gibbs and Kevin Curran welcomed in the new boys of Markhus Lacroix, Zoncher Dennis and the rest.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
9 – Weekly Celebrations At Reggae Night Became Team Bonding Sessions
 
For the players who are old enough they will all agree that the Sunday Night Reggae Night became a staple of live in Ocean City, NJ. The Nor’easters players and staff held many post-game celebrations at Baia taking in the live reggae music and fun on the bayside bar.
It is as important for top athletes to relax as to work hard so playing down by the shore allows a perfect combination for that. It is difficult to relax and have fun when you live and play in the middle of nowhere!!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
8 – Nor’easters Are A Full Part Of The Ocean City Community
 
The Ocean City Nor’easters joined in the old Ocean City, NJ tradition and took the plunge as we helped Mayor Gillian and other dignitaries open the City for the summer. The ocean temperature at the time of the Plunge at noon Friday was 66 degrees — still brisk by summer standards but much balmier than typical late-May temperatures.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
7 – Players Show Determination Alongside Talent To Get The Win
 
On one of the longest bus trips ever to Long Island, the traffic was ridiculous even by New York standards. The boys were able to grind out a win over the Long Island Rough Riders despite showing up 25 min before game time.

The Nor’easters were slow to get going in the game after being stuck in traffic on the way to the game which messed with Coach Oswald’s meticulous preparation. This was reflected in the game as Rough Riders forward Keith Detelj struck first for the home side on the 39th minute. However, the Nor’easters showed great resolve and it took something special from Ocean City’s
Emmanual Kollie to break the Long Island defense. A 30 yard screamer after some nice build up play bought the scores level on the 44th minute just before the half time break.
 
After half time the Nor’easters came out firing, the confidence gained from Kollie’s goal and the introduction of club captain Terry Gibbs helped them begin to control the game. Gibbs picked the ball up inside his own half beat a player and slid an inch perfect pass into top scorer Zoncher Dennis to round the keeper and score in the empty net. Attempts from Max Hamilton and Kollie could have finished it off but the Nor’easters had to sweat it out as Long Island continued to make chances of their own. The final whistle blew but not before incident as Nor’easters ever present defender Nick Bibbs was taken off injured (the extent of which is unknown) and in the last minute Rough Riders substitute Sean Sepe got himself sent off.
 
Total travel time was close to 9 hours. If there was a game that showed the grit and determination of the Nor’easters players it was this one, a real turning point for the team and a huge boost on the march to the title
 
 
 
 
 
6 – Gaining the respect of the soccer community
 
The Nor’easters have also been recognized by the USL for our players individual performances. We have seen our goalkeeper John McCarthy in the team of the week and Emmanual Kollie, Markhus Lacroix, Max Hamilton and Terry Gibbs all picking up honorable mentions throughout the season. We believe that we would have had more players picked up by USL but we performed so well as a team in 2012 that only a few times did individuals stand out above the rest.
These victories and high quality performances have also seen the media interest in our club pick up. NBC 40 are at the games with regularity now, soccer radio shows from Philadelphia are reaching out to us, covering us and inviting us to be on there show. Shows such as World Sports Show and KYW News radio as our friends at www.PhillySoccerPage.net.

A league table has been put together involving the United Soccer Leagues (USL) Premier Development League (PDL) teams and the clubs from the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). The Ocean City Nor’easters have been in the top 5 all season long and are currently sitting at the number 2 spot in the whole nation just behind Michigan Bucks who have torn apart their division going unbeaten so far. It can be found on twitter
@ussoccerreport or here – US SOCCER REPORT
 
At the end of the season goalkeeper John McCarthy was voted PDL All-Conference First Team and Head Coach Tim Oswald was nominated in the final 3 for USL PDL Coach of the Year. At the USL Awards in Florida in December the Ocean City Nor’easters organization were on the shortlist for the Progression Award.
 
 
 
 
5 – Nor’easters Annual Mascot Race
 
Half time during the 2-1 win over New Jersey Rangers, 7 wins in a row, saw the return of the third annual Nor’easters Mascot Race. The race saw some of the best mascots in the south Jersey region. Prune Dude from the Fractured Prune, SuperCan from ACUA, Wonder Bear from Gillian’s Wonderland, Mr Taffy from Shrivers Taffy and our very own Bobby the Storm Chaser amongst others from Air Circus, Pirates R’ Us and the City of Ocean City.
 
It is a surreal attraction that has to be seen to be believed. A dozen of the most colorful and exuberant characters in South Jersey fighting and scrapping to be number 1. This event has become a great tradition in Ocean City, NJ and hopes to build and grow in the years to come.
 
 
 
 
 
 
4 – Strong Mentality Against Adversity To Get 3 Points In Baltimore
 
For this one we head all the way back to the first game of the season.
 
Despite playing with 10 men for a large phase of the match in their season opener against Baltimore Bohemians, the Nor’easters were able to pull out a huge 2-0 win. It took until the 24th minute before the first real chance with Terry Gibbs dragging a shot just wide after good build up play. 37 minutes into the game and Max Hamilton headed home after a smart free kick routine straight from the training ground caught the Bohemians sleeping. Max Hamilton was very excited to get his first of the season “It’s always great to get a goal but to score the first for this year is a bit special”.
 
Baltimore Bohemians kept the ball well at the beginning of the second half, using their man advantage but struggled to break down a determined Nor’easters defensive line. The reorganization from Coach Oswald at half time worked wonders and Ocean City could relax a little bit after they scored their 2nd goal to make it 2-0 to the away team.
 
Zoncher Dennis scored the second of the night after great work from Sam Archer. Chants from the travelling Nor’easters fans “Feed the Zonch and he will score” rang out around Cedar Park Lane.
 
 
 
 
 
3 – No Vacation In The Sun Away To Bermuda But We Were Victorious
 
The paradise island of Bermuda almost turned into a nightmare as the game was under threat of being postponed after a week of torrential rain and storms has left the island battered and bruised. With the field under water in the morning it was only through the skill and hard work of the ground staff that the game was able to happen at all.
 
The Bermuda Hogges settled into the game scoring first against the high flying Nor’easters. The Ocean City boys struck back after a Scott Davis shot was saved and fell to the feet of Alec Golini on his debut to score his first goal for the franchise. A lifeline was thrown to the Nor’easters and Markhus Lacroix almost scored before half time but his chance went just wide. At half time the two teams went in to dry their feet from the sodden field at one goal a piece.
After the half time interval the Nor’easters winner arrived. Lacroix made up for his first half error after a great run and pass found Alec Golini who found the net for his second of the game. The match petered out as the condition of the field worsened.
 
President Giancarlo Granese told us from Bermuda “It was a difficult time here with the weather being so bad. The storm came before the Nor’easters did. It was just great to get the 3 points and take them back to Ocean City”
Thankfully, the day prior to boys had some time to have some fun in the sun before the weather gods stripped us of the sunshine and warm weather. The night was capped off with the boys hanging out downtown near the Grotto Bay Hotel.
 
 
 
 
2 – Playoff Loss Only Gives Experience To Players And Hunger To Achieve More
 
The runaway train that was the Ocean City Nor’easters during the 2012 USL PDL season was derailed by Ottawa Fury on Saturday night in the Eastern Conference Semi-Final played in Greensboro, NC. Despite leaving with a 1-0 loss in the PDL Sweet 16, the OC Nor’easters found themselves back on the PDL map with a tough loss to Ottawa Fury in the playoffs down at McPherson Stadium (home of Carolina Dynamo). With such a young team expected to come back and some new boys heading to the beach for 2013, the stakes have greatly increased.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1 – The Best In The East!!!
 
The Ocean City Nor’easters were just one point away from earning the best record in the Eastern Conference after hearing that Carolina Dynamo could only tie with Northern Virginia Royals 1-1 in the South Atlantic Division. A 1-0 win was enough to earn Ocean City the best record of the Eastern Conference regular season, two points better off than Carolina Dynamo in the South Atlantic Division.
 
With a win expected, the half time show was also in celebratory mood as the Ocean City FC youth teams were applauded by the Nor’easters fans and then they helped take part in the Zumba Fitness demonstration. It was a party from start to finish.
 
The Nor’easters gave the record crowd what they had waited for on 79 minutes as Duke Lacroix got onto a deflected Alexei Davies-Campbell pass and finish coolly past the keeper with his left foot. The celebratory mood had begun on and off the field but before they could get relax they had to play out the last 10 minutes or so but they clung on for the win to send the Nor’easters fans home happy. At the final whistle the players, staff and supporters exploded in happiness and pride at their accomplishment.
 
After a banging on the doorstep all night, Markhus Lacroix late winner against Brooklyn Knights secured a 1st round playoff bye and the Nor’easter’s 1st Mid-Atlantic Division championship and 1st Eastern Conference Regular Season Championship since 2004. Celebrations abound and a wonderful night for the players followed with an event held at El Presidente’s house for all the suitors.
 
 
 

After just a quick look back over an incredible 2012 it really gives us the hunger for more in 2013. The Nor’easters have so much to look forward to from defending their Mid-Atlantic Division title to seeing how far they can go in the US Open Cup. The number one aim for the Nor’easters must be a deep run into the playoffs and 2012 certainly gave them a great platform to make that happen.

Be the first to see the Nor’easters 2013 schedule and other news by "following" us on Twitter and "liking" us on Facebook - just search Ocean City FC

Field