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Barons beat Long Island, first playoff win since '04

J.T. Noone's two assists, Tunde Ogunbiyi's six saves send Ocean City to Ottawa on Saturday at 7 p.m. to face unbeaten Fury


For the first time since the 2004 season, the Ocean City Barons have won a PDL playoff game, eliminating the Long Island Rough Riders 2-0 on Wednesday night at St. Anthony’s High School in Melville, NY. The victory snaps a three-game playoff losing streak for the Barons, who have enjoyed much regular season and Open Cup success, but have historically fallen short in the playoffs.

Barons Lineup School / Hometown
GK - Tunde Ogunbiyi Boston College / Gwynedd, PA
DEF - Jamal Neptune Hofstra / East Windsor, NJ
DEF - John Fletcher Eckherd College (’09) / Uxbridge, ENG
DEF - Joe Banks Drexel (’07) / Sicklerville, NJ
DEF - Tyler Bellamy St. Bonaventure / Hammonton, NJ
MID - Ryan Richter LaSalle / Southampton, PA
MID - Leon Brown Wheeling Jesuit (’04) / Siparia, Trinidad
MID - Rory McCrea Hofstra / Leeds, England
MID - Neal Melchionni Lehigh / Marmora, NJ
FWD - JT Noone Temple / Harrisburg, PA
FWD - Byron Carmichael Marshall (’03) / Lumberton, NJ
Dwayne Dove Vermont / Turnersville, NJ
Steve Miller Colgate / Ivyland, PA
Junior Chapman LaSalle / Winslow, NJ
Billy Pinto Hofstra / Audubon, NJ
William Swetra James Madison / Egg Harbor, NJ
Scoring Summary
23rd (OCEAN CITY) Byron Carmichael (JT Noone)
73rd (OCEAN CITY) Rory McCrea (JT Noone)

 Game Stats


















J.T. Noone (Temple / Harrisburg, PA) assisted on both Ocean City goals by Byron Carmichael (Marshall / Lumberton, NJ) and Rory McCrea (Hofstra / Leeds, England). The goal by McCrea was his first as a member of the Barons, while Tunde Ogunbiyi (Boston College / Gwynedd, PA ) earned the shutout by making six saves in his first career PDL playoff game.

The Barons will move on to the next round where they will hit the road to face the Ottawa Fury on Saturday night at 7 p.m. The Fury are the lastest team to attempt to break the curse of the unbeatens. In the history of the PDL, only eight teams, including the 2004 Barons, have finished the regular season without a loss. None of those teams have managed to advance beyond the conference championship game.The Fury, with a 12-0-4 record are the 9th team to accomplish the feat, while the New Orleans Jesters are the 10th, finishing 5-0-11 in 2009. 

The game was a situation where the home team dominated the possession and took the most shots (Long Island outshot Ocean City 18-7), but it was the quality of the chances that made the difference in this PDL Divisional Playoff game.






The Rough Riders nearly struck first in the opening 15 minutes when the Barons defense gave the ball away at the back, leaving Tadeu Terra with space for a shot on the edge of the box. Terra tried to chip the ball over Ogunbiyi, but the Boston College keeper backpedaled and kept the ball out of his net.

The first breakthrough came in the 23rd minute when Carmichael continued his impressive second half of the season with the opening goal. Noone took a free kick from about 45 yards out, bending it into the box where he found Carmichael at the far post. The Barons leading scorer volleyed the ball toward goal which was stopped momentarily by goalkeeper Hasely Thorne Holder, but eventually crossed the line on a second attempt. Carmichael ended the regular season with a career high 11 goals, with eight of them coming in the last seven games.

John Fletcher (Eckherd / Uxbridge, ENG) nearly added another in first half stoppage time, but his header off a corner was deflected out of bounds.

A halftime change saw the return of William Swetra (James Madison / Egg Harbor, NJ), who made his first appearance since suffering an ankle injury on July 11 against New Hampshire. At the time of the injury, Swetra was leading the team in assists with five.

The second half saw the Riders continue to hold the majority of possession, but there were few dangerous chances on either side until the 73rd minute when the Barons added another. A ball was played from midfield up to Carmichael, who sent it down to the right wing where McCrea and Noone used some nice combination play to earn the penalty area. Noone would drop a ball back to McCrea just out of the box who drove a low shot past the goalkeeper to his left to make it 2-0.

Long Island entered the game boasting the second best defense in the PDL, only allowing 10 goals in 16 league games. Only two games saw them allow more than one goal in a game, June 20 in a 2-2 draw against Ottawa and 2-0 loss at Ocean City on May 17.

Trailing by two, Long Island cranked up the pressure, but were still unable to put the ball into the back of the net. 
Former Baron Michael Todd had a couple of late chances that were thwarted by the Barons defense. 

"They were hitting everything long, causing some problems in the air" said Barons head coach Neil Holloway. "Tunde did a really good job of coming off his line to intercept the ball when needed tonight."

By the end, the Barons were able to kill off the game to send them to the Divisional Final against the Ottawa Fury. In the two meetings this year, the Barons lost 2-0 at Ottawa on June 5, but managed a 1-1 draw at home on the 4th of July.

We’re looking forward to going back up there to rectify what happened last time," said Holloway. "We know that they will be confident, an undefeated season is no small feat, but we also know that an impressive regular season doesn’t mean much in the playoffs. We proved earlier this year in the Open Cup that anything can happen."

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