The Ocean City Nor'easters men's soccer team beat the Brooklyn Knights 1-0 on Sunday to earn a bye into the semifinals of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League Eastern Conference playoffs.

O.C.'s Markhus "Duke" Lacroix scored the only goal of the game unassisted in the 79th minute. A pass from O.C.'s Alexei Davies-Campbell was deflected and came to Lacroix, who beat the goalie with a left-footed kick.

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The Nor'easters' John McCarthy earned the shutout, his fifth of the season.

"When I took the position in September the first things we wanted to do was recruite the best players possible," Ocean City first-year coach Tim Oswald said. "The management and the coaching staff worked hard and the kids accomplished a lot. But we have a lot left to do.

"We had a lot of chances to put the game away today, and we finally got one."

Ocean City (13-3 for 39 points) will play a PDL Eastern Conference semifinal game Saturday at a time and site to be determined. The opponent will be the winner of Tuesday's quarterfinal game between the Ottawa Fury (10-3-3) and GPS Portland Phoenix (10-4-2).

The Nor'easters topped the Eastern Conference in the regular season. The Carolina Dynamo, Ocean City's nearest rival in the conference, finished at 11-1-4 for 37 points. O.C. topped the 10-team Mid-Atlantic Division. Reading United AC, which beat the Nor'easters twice, were second with a mark of 11-2-3 for 36 points.


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