Penalty kick in 2nd OT lifts Barons, who play D.C. United next
The Barons’ Karl Reddick, left, goes for a header against Real Maryland’s James Stevens on Tuesday in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open second-round game in Ocean City.

OCEAN CITY - Every person inside Carey Stadium knew what was on the line as J.T. Noone set up for his penalty kick. The soccer game was already in its second overtime and neither team had scored.

One goal could be all it took.

Noone took several seconds to compose himself. The Ocean City Barons' fans were on their feet and members of the Barons and Real Maryland crowded the line behind the box.

He took another breath and finally let the ball rip. It landed in the net for the only goal of the second-round game of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in the 108th minute.

Ocean City defeated Real Maryland, a United Soccer League second division team, 1-0 on Tuesday and earned the right to play Major League Soccer's D.C. United.

"We've played with so many talented players and this is for all of them," said Ocean City defender Joe Banks, who is in his sixth season with the club. "This is a tribute for all they have done here. This one of the best teams we have had."

The Barons will meet D.C. United on June 30 at 7:30 p.m. at the Soccerplex in Germantown, Md. However, Barons' officials are making a last attempt to get the D.C. United to Ocean City.

"If we make a proper bid, we feel we can get them to come here," Barons owner Giancarlo Granese said.

The U.S. Open Cup is the oldest elimination tournament in the country. It's open to teams from all over the country, and it gives amateur teams, such as the Barons, the chance to play against the best.

Most of the players have dreams of playing professional soccer. Not all of them are going to get there.

But for one night, Ocean City is going to play against some of the best players in this country. They will have the right to play with great players.

"This is going to be something I've never experienced before," said Noone. "This is going to be amazing. This is going to be the biggest game some of us will ever play in."

With an estimated 350 fans packing the stands at Carey Stadium, they each rose and fell with every missed Barons opportunity.

Ocean City missed three legitimate scoring opportunities in the first half. A Byron Carmichael ball went wide of the net. Maryland goalie Dave Kern jumped on a William Swetra header.

In the second half, Maryland applied a little more pressure. The Monarchs got more balls on Barons keeper Tunde Ogunbiyi, but the Boston College junior was all over the net.

"At times they were too excited and that's going to happen," Barons coach Neil Holloway said. "They're young kids playing one of the best teams around. They missed some chances to finish."

Regulation didn't yield any goals as both goalies held their ground. Kern finished with six saves and Ogunbiyi five.

Midway through the second overtime, Ocean City finally got on the board. The Barons' Jimmy Davis got the ball in the box on a corner kick, but a Maryland player hit the ball with his hand.

The crowd erupted and the referees, who didn't make many calls throughout the game, signaled for the penalty kick.

"I thought they did a good job with a lot of non-calls in the game," Holloway said. "However, that one was obvious. It had to be called."

Noone set up for this shot and blasted the ball to the left side of the net passed a diving Kern.

"I was trying not to think about what the goal means, but in the back of my mind I knew," Noone said. "I told myself it was just me and the keeper out there."

Notes: Real Maryland's Gary Brooks left the game in the second period after running into Ogunbiyi. Brooks was shaken up and walked off the field under his own power. However, an ambulance escorted the Monarch's striker to the hospital. His condition was unknown.

E-mail Susan Lulgjuraj:

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