At the home of the Nor'easters in Maine, goals by Walsh, Regis and Mwape lead the way
|The Ocean City Nor'easters celebrate a 3-1 win over GPS Portland Phoenix in the first round of the 2016 PDL Eastern Conference playoffs at the University of New England..
The Ocean City Nor’easters have advanced the 2016 PDL Eastern Conference Semifinals with a convincing 3-1 win over the GPS Portland Phoenix. Two goals in two minutes proved to be the difference as the Nor'easters picked up their first playoff win since 2013.
Ocean City moves on to the conference semifinals next weekend (July 23-24) where they will take on the Eastern Conference's top team, the Charlotte Eagles. The game will be hosted by Reading United in Reading, Pa. on Saturday, July 23 (5;30 p.m. kickoff). United will host the Carolina Dynamo in the other semifinal.
After an eight hour trip to the University of New England, the home of the Nor’easters, Ocean City got off to a hot start. While action was slow in the first ten minutes, it picked up in the 14th minute when Chevaughn “Chevy” Walsh (Jefferson / Spanish Town, Jamaica) received a lovely ball from Oscar Umar (Villanova / Accra, Ghana) and finished swiftly. It was the 15th goal of the season for Walsh, which ties him for the club record for goals in all competitions (Ruben Mingo, 2004).
Seconds later, Walsh put in a perfect cross that Nathan Regis (Pfieffer / Arima, Trinidad & Tobago) headed home with ease. There has been several matches this season that the Nor’easters have started slow. But, once they get going, they have been very tough to stop.
Ocean City had the majority of the chances in the first half, but could not add to the lead after the thrilling two minutes.
The GPS Portland Phoenix, who won the Northeast Division title, looked to climb back into the match after being awarded a penalty in the 67th minute. Fletcher Kern found the back of the net to cut the lead in half.
The Nor’easters dealt with a heavy attack in the final stages of the game. Goalkeeper Mike Kirk (La Salle / Mechanicsburg, PA) and his back four defenders, Fraser Colmer (Radford / Southampton, England), Daniel Nimmo (Campbellsville / Lithigow, Scotland), Andre Morrison (Hartford / Clarendon, Jamaica), and Ryan Howe (Loyola Chicago / Rockford, IL), dealt with several dangerous chances well.
The pressure was taken off the backline after a straight red card was shown to Portland in the 80th minute.
Ocean City took advantage of the extra man as Mutaya Mwape (UConn / Lusaka, Zambia) sealed the win with a curling shot into the far corner. Martim Galvao (Pfieffer / Lisbon, Portugal) assisted the goal.
For more information on the Ocean City Nor'easters or to "Follow the Storm" on social media, go to www.oceancityfc.com/followthestorm or text "FOLLOWTHESTORM" to 22828 to join the "Storm Watch" e-newsletter.
The Ocean City Nor’easters is a professionally run amateur soccer club with the focus of developing, educating and promoting soccer, health and leadership. Located in Ocean City, New Jersey, “America’s Greatest Family Resort”, the Nor’easters provide quality entertainment to families throughout the Tri-State area and the thousands of visitors every summer.
The Nor’easters organization was established in 1996 and made Carey Stadium, in Ocean City, NJ, its permanent home in 2005. Competing in North America’s top amateur league, the Premier Development League (PDL), the Nor’easters provide the highest level of soccer in Southern New Jersey. The 65-team PDL is the 4th level of soccer in the United States, below the professional leagues; Major League Soccer (MLS), North American Soccer League (NASL) and United Soccer League (USL). As part of the PDL, the Nor’easters’ have the sixth-best overall record since joining the league in 2003 and have upset five professional teams in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup, third-most of any amateur team in the country. Ocean City players have the ability to compete during the summer months in a professional environment while maintaining their collegiate eligibility and pursuing their academic goals.