Win 2-0 on Family Fun Night
Second-half goals from Shawn McLaws and Mitch Grotti cemented Ocean City’s home victory in front of more than 400 fans on Family Fun Night. Saturday’s win marked the Nor’easters second shutout of the season, and 4th win in their last 5 matches.
Monday, July 7, 2014
Ocean City, NJ – The Nor’easters looked cool, calm, and collected in their 2-0 Saturday night victory, earning their second win in a row, and fourth out of their last five matches. Ocean City captain and Man of the Match Shawn McLaws converted on a 74th minute penalty kick to put the Nor’easters on top and Mitch Grotti added an insurance goal in the 86th minute, assisted by Michele Pataia, to seal the win.
The Nor’easters were content to knock the ball around in the first half and play the possession game, patiently searching for the perfect moment to split the NJ-LUSO defense. The home side managed only one shot on goal in the first 45 compared to just two from the Parma. Despite the lack of a first-half attacking threat, the Nor’easters back line commanded this match from the opening whistle. Centerbacks Matt Taphorn and Jhamie Hyde forced NJ-LUSO into hurried, off-balanced shots, and made all of the right sliding challenges to keep the pressure off of Ocean City goalie Borja Angoitia. Outside backs Mitch Lurie and skipper Shawn McLaws, the Nor’easters most consistent player all season, struck the perfect balance between thwarting Parma counterattacks, and overlapping deep into the NJ-LUSO defensive third to provide offensive support.
Parma scoring opportunities were few and far between in the first half. A 9th minute free kick didn’t trouble Borja, but Ocean City’s veteran keeper made a sprawling punch-save ten minutes later, diverting a stinging shot from NJ-LUSO midfielder Sevag Kherlopian out of harm’s way. The Nor’easters began to gain their legs in the first half’s final 25 minutes, as a streaking Birnis Adames found his way behind the Parma defense but was just offside, and a free kick drawn by Frank Tweneboa, swung into the box by Mitch Lurie, sailed just out of reach of Leon Brown. The first half ended 0-0 but it was clear that a Nor’easter breakthrough was not far away.
The Storm hit the ground running in the second half, as Frank Tweneboa beat Parma keeper Rafal Krauze on a shot to the far post that spun just wide of frame. In the 60th minute, looking to spark the combination play necessary to find the back of the net, Coach Oz brought Glenroy “Junior” Chapman on for a banged-up Javoni Simms. Six minutes later eventual goal-scorer Mitch Grotti replaced hard-working Frank Tweneboa, and after three more minutes, Ambry Moss came on for Mitch Lurie.
The Nor’easters were poised for the home stretch and found the breakthrough five minutes later when Birnis Adames was taken down in the box. McLaws stepped up and smashed the 75th minute penalty kick into the back of the net giving Ocean City a 1-0 lead. Mitch Grotti looked hungry to score as soon as he stepped on the pitch, and darting down the right sideline in the 78th minute, took a touch inside and fired an absolute laser that hit the crossbar and bounced out of play.
NJ-LUSO’s most threatening second-half scoring chance came in the 84th minute on a powerful volley from Chris Kennedy that swerved wide of Borja’s net. Mitch Grotti responded for Ocean City in the 86th minute, this time dashing down the left sideline to connect on Michele Pataia’s through-ball. Grotti gathered the pass, looked up to find Rafal Krauze rushing at him, and chipped the ball over the keeper’s left shoulder into the net. Giancarlo Granese and Emmanuel Temeh came on for Michele Pataia and Birnis Adames in stoppage time to preserve Ocean City’s 2-nil victory.
The Nor’easters won the match 2-0 thanks to a fantastic effort from the back line who provided offensive support on the wings and kept the pressure off of keeper Borja Angoitia, who made three second-half saves to preserve his clean sheet. Man of the Match Shawn McLaws got Ocean City on the board with his 74th minute penalty shot, and Mitch Grotti left no doubt of the outcome by tallying his first goal of the season in the 85th minute, assisted by Michele Pataia.
The Nor’easters next match is this Wednesday night at 7pm at the Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn, NY against FA Euro.