OCEAN CITY - The Ocean City Nor'easters men's soccer team's goals came in a variety of ways as it looked every bit like the leading team in the USL Premier Development League's Mid-Atlantic Division on Sunday night.
The Nor'easters beat the Bermuda Hogges 4-0 at Carey Stadium to improve to 10-2. Ocean City is one of two teams nationally with 10 wins in the 73-team PDL.
The Nor'easters lead the Mid-Atlantic with 30 points. The Jersey Express is second with 26 points (8-2-2).
Zoncher Dennis and Tapiwa Machingauta scored in the first half, and Jason Plumhoff and Terry Gibbs added a goal apiece in the second half. Goalie John McCarthy made four saves for his fourth shutout of the season.
"We played well with a solid offense," Nor'easters coach Tim Oswald said. "We have to keep playing well in order to be the No. 1 seed in the playoffs. We've had a few injuries, and we had some reserves come in and do a good job. The team is playing well and has good chemistry."
Bermuda played better than its record of 1-10-2 for much of the first half, but Ocean City began to dominate once Frank Tweneboa hooked up with Dennis for a goal late in the 32nd minute. Tweneboa sent a pass from the left wing in front to Dennis, who beat Bermuda goalie Tahj Bell to the right corner.
Tweneboa started the next scoring play 10 minutes later with a throw-in right in front of the Bermuda goal. Machingauta was standing in front of Bell, who leaped and misplayed the ball. Machingauta fired the loose ball into the net at the right post to make it 2-0.
"That's a play our team has been practicing," said Machingauta, who is a 23-year-old rising senior at Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., and a resident of Zimbabwe. "You stand in front of the goalie and he can't go through you, so he has to go around you, and the ball got away from him.
"We knew Bermuda is a good team and we couldn't let up just because we beat them at their place(2-1 on June 15). We're a good team and we have to play every game like it's the last game for the championship."
Former Ocean City High School standout Kevin Curran broke upfield with the ball on the left wing in the 60th minute and sent a perfect pass to Plumhoff, who scored near the right post.
Gibbs entered the game midway through the second half and blasted in the fourth goal on a free kick in the 71st minute.
"Ocean City fought well. They're a very consistent team," Bermuda coach Maurice Lowe said. "We competed well in periods, but not in consistency. Ocean City is very good in set pieces (designed plays), and their running off the ball presented a challenge for us."
The Nor'easters play three of their final four regular-season games at home, starting with Friday's 7 p.m. contest against the New Jersey Rangers. O.C. also hosts the Westchester (N.Y.) Flames next Sunday.
Contact Guy Gargan:
Bermuda 0 0-0
Ocean City 2 2-4
Goals-Dennis, Machingauta, Plumhoff, Gibbs OC.
Goalies-Bell (8) B. McCarthy (4).
Records-O.C. 10-2, Bermuda 1-10-2.