Nor'easters playoff hopes still alive heading into next weekend's season finale
The Nor'easters rallied from a first half deficit to defeat DC United
By: Christian Candeloro
The first time the Ocean City Nor’easters faced the DC United U-23s, the Nor’easters were a group of college players coming together to play for the
Khesanio Hall looks to add to his goal total against D.C United U23
Photo Credit: AC Press
first time. They were a group of individuals learning to play together as a team. It showed as DC United defeated Ocean City 3-1 to open the season.
On Sunday night, the transformation from where the Nor’easters started to the team they have grown into was evident. The Nor’easters defeated the DC United U-23s in a come from behind 2-1 victory at home.
The Nor’easters were powered by two goals from stud forward Khesanio Hall to erase an early 1-0 deficit. Hall is now tied for 7th in the PDL in goals scored with eight goals on the year for the Nor’easters.
Hall’s first goal came in the 26th minute on a ball sent to him from midfielder Matthew Vasquenza. The goal tied the game up at 1-1 and sent the crowd of 578 into a frenzy.
Hall’s second goal of the game, and the game winner, came after he had nearly deposited a goal just a minute earlier.After the Nor’easters earned a free kick from just outside the 18’, Hall bent the ball around the wall of defenders, forcing DC United goalkeeper Steffen Kraus to make a diving save to keep the ball out of the net.
Just one minute later, Hall found the back of the net off a cross from midfielder Harry Swartz to give the Nor’easters a 2-1 lead.
The Nor’easters had fallen behind in the 10th minute. After Nor’easters goaltender Borja Barbero had made two nice saves to keep the ball out of the net in the 2nd and 5th minutes, DC United struck on a scramble play in front of the net to take an early 1-0 lead.
DC United forward Colin Michael Bonner found the ball amidst the chaos in front of the net and knifed it home for the goal.
Barbero settled down and continued to make saves from there, finishing with four saves and not allowing another ball past him for the rest of the game. He earned his second consecutive win.
The game was a brutal affair, with the two teams racking up an astonishing 29 fouls between them. The two teams combined for six yellow cards and DC United midfielder Gils Harmouche was ejected in the 79th minute.
The Nor’easters weathered DC United’s chippy play with skillful soccer play to earn the victory to the delight of the crowd. You can watch the full match replay here.
The result was a huge one for the Ocean City Nor’easters, who with two wins this weekend now sit at 23 points in the PDL Mid-Atlantic Division, good for fourth place in the division. More importantly, the Nor’easters are only three points behind division leader Jersey Express with one game to play.
That last game is next Sunday against….Jersey Express in what could be the game of the year for the Nor’easters. A win and the Nor’easters could clinch their spot in the PDL playoffs, pending the results of the New York Red Bulls U-23’s and Long Island Rough Riders.
Either way, the result on Sunday could turn out to be the most important of the season.
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