OCEAN CITY - Several new players had an impact for the remodeled Ocean City Nor'easters men's soccer team in its home opener Sunday night.
Fortunately, the fans were given rosters as they entered Carey Stadium.
The Nor'easters scored two first-half goals and controlled most of the action as they beat the Central Jersey Spartans 2-0 in a USL Premier Development League game.
Ocean City's Jonny Dolezal, one of the team's highly regarded newcomers, scored the winning goal on a header from about 8 yards away in the 24th minute after a throw-in from Frank Tweneboa, another new player.
The insurance goal was booted in mid-air by Kevin Curran, a former Ocean City High School standout and one of the team's seven returnees. Curran took a crossfield pass from Zoncher Dennis, yet another quick and talented new player.
Perhaps the most important newcomer is first-year coach Tim Oswald, and he was mostly upbeat about the victory.
"The holiday crowd came out and the kids were excited to play in front of 500 people," Oswald said. "We had two quality goals and that gave us a bit of a cushion."
The victory put Ocean City at 2-1; the Spartans dropped to 1-2.
Ocean City goalie John McCarthy made seven saves for his second shutout of the year.
"I thought we should have closed the game out sooner, but we had a great result," Oswald said. "We missed some opportunities. We have some great players, but we'd like to score more goals in transition."
Several O.C. players making their Carey Stadium debut showed their skill early, including Tweneboa, who made some nifty cutbacks and back-passes. The announced crowd of 428 seemed to relax following Dolezal's goal.
Dolezal, a right back, is a University of Pennsylvania junior and a Lower Merion, Pa., resident.
"Frank and I made eye contact and he sent the throw-in to the near post," said Dolezal, 20. "I got a good flick on it.
"I'm having a great time here. We have great team chemistry and we're improving every game. I couldn't be happier about the situation."
The goal was a designed play.
"I tried to get pace on the ball," said Tweneboa, a 20-year-old resident of Ghana who also is a Mercer Community College player. "Jonny always makes a move to the near post and that's where I knew he was going to be."
Curran was at the 18-yard line on the left and booted a pass from Dennis into the far-right corner past goalie Alexander Blackburn. Curran had entered the game just two minutes earlier.
"I had fresh legs," said Curran, 20, an Ocean City resident who will play his senior year for Loyola University in the fall. "I was trying to send it to the far post and put the ball in the mix. I was thinking maybe we might get a rebound off a save, or maybe it would go off someone. Luckily it went in."
Central Jersey's lineup had only two returnees. The visitors had little hope for a comeback in the 80th minute when Jonathan Louisignau picked up his second yellow card and the Spartans played the rest of the game one man short.
"We started very well but then gave up a sloppy goal," Central Jersey coach John Newman said. "That set us back. Then we gave up another and we were chasing the game."
Contact Guy Gargan:
Central Jersey 0 0-0
Ocean City 2 0-2
Goals-Dolezal, Curran OC.
Goalies-Blackburn (6) CJ. McCarthy (7).
Records-O.C. 2-1, C.J. 1-2