Playoffs on the line vs. Reading

Shorthanded rivals pay visit to Ocean City on Wednesday at 7:30

Following one of the more disappointing losses in team history on Sunday, the Ocean City Barons will look to bounce back on Wednesday when they host the Reading Rage. The Rage will enter the game without a number of key players, giving the Barons an advantage in a match that is a must-win if the club wants to sneak into the playoffs.

The Barons missed an opportunity to pull level with the Williamsburg Legacy for first place in the wild card standings, and could have remained in the running for the division title with a home win over Ottawa on Sunday. However, it wasn’t meant to be, as the division title hopes and the 27-game home unbeaten streak were lost in a 2-1 decision to the Fury.

The Rage have remained within range of a playoff spot most of the season, but when their playoff hopes faded last week, Barry Gorman, the head coach of Penn State University, called all of his players back to University Park, PA for preseason training. This leaves the Rage without the majority of their key players entering the home stretch of the season.

The last time these two teams met, it was a coming out party for the Ocean City Barons’ offense. In the first six games of the season, they hadn’t scored more than two goals in a game. In game number seven in Reading, Ocean City erupted with a 4-0 thrashing of the Rage with Adam Sternberger leading the way by scoring two goals and assisting on another.

The Barons will be without the services of two players on Wednesday. Player/coach Neil Holloway will be serving the second of a two-game suspension for yellow card accumulation, and Ruben Mingo will be serving his one-game suspension for the red card he received in the 81st minute of Sunday’s loss to Ottawa.

Playoff hopes will be on the line midweek with Ocean City needing a win to stay in the hunt. They trail the Williamsburg Legacy by three points with two games to play, and need to win their final two games combined with the Legacy losing one of their final two matches to qualify.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Carey Stadium and for fans not able to make it to Ocean City for the game, the live audio broadcast will begin shortly before kickoff.