OCEAN CITY - The Ocean City Nor'easters men's soccer team turned it on offensively after a scoreless first half and beat the winless Baltimore Bohemians 3-1 at Carey Stadium on Sunday.
The Nor'easters improved to 5-2 and remained in second place in the USL Premier Development League's Mid-Atlantic Division. Baltimore, a new PDL franchise this season, is 0-4-2 and in last place in the 10-team division.
The Bohemians packed the defense around their goal in the first 45 minutes, plugging up Ocean City's throw-ins and other chances.
But the game's listless tempo changed in the 49th minute as alert O.C. goalie John McCarthy spotted teammate Frank Tweneboa breaking upfield and sent him a high-arching pass. Tweneboa ran under it 5 yards from the Baltimore goal and booted it past keeper Jordan Tatum for the first goal.
Tweneboa has four goals on the season.
"He (McCarthy) saw me running upfield and I knew he was going to send it to me," said Tweneboa, 20, a Mercer Community College player. "Then I watched the goalie to see which way he would lean. He went to my left and I sent it the other way."
Ocean City opened up from there and had several more scoring opportunities. The Nor'easters added goals by Markhus "Duke" Lacroix in the 65th minute and another from Blake Fink with five minutes left in the game.
"Both teams were pretty flat in the first half, but at halftime we changed up some things and got the guys motivated," Ocean City coach Tim Oswald said. "We had to keep pace with Reading (the first-place team that beat the Nor'easters 2-1 on Friday). There's a lot of season left and a lot left to do. If we want to make the playoffs, we have to win a game like this."
Oswald praised his team's defense, which has given up only five goals in seven games.
McCarthy (four saves) made a diving stop on Baltimore's Pete Caringi to keep it 1-0, and Lacroix scored the crucial second goal 15 seconds later.
Lacroix's goal was similar to Tweneboa's. Lacroix took a long pass from teammate Jason Plumhoff, went in alone on Tatum and kicked it past him for a 2-0 lead. It was Lacroix's first goal of the season.
"Jason sent me a pass that came down right in front of me and I beat him to the right," said Lacroix, 18, a New Egypt resident and University of Pennsylvania player. "In the second half, we got motivated and scored early and kept the pressure on them."
The Nor'easters got a bit careless in stoppage time, and Baltimore's Marquez Fernandez drilled one past McCarthy from 15 yards out with one minute left to play. It was only the third goal of the season for the new team.
"We played good defense, but we have trouble finishing (scoring goals)," said Bohemians center midfielder David Vaeth, 20, a University of Maryland-Baltimore County player. "When they scored their first goal we had to open up, and then they scored more on us."
The Nor'easters start a four-game road trip at 6 p.m. Friday at the Bermuda Hogges.
Contact Guy Gargan:
Baltimore 0 1-1
Ocean City 0 3-3
Goals-Fernandez B. Tweneboa, Lacroix, Fink OC.
Goalies-Tatum (4) B. McCarthy (4) OC.
Records-O.C. 5-2, Baltimore 0-4-2.