The Ocean City Nor’easters won 3-2 over Lehigh Valley United in a United Soccer League Premier Development League game Wedenesday at home. The win improved the Nor’easter’s chances of qualifying for the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
Alex Rose scored the game winner, his seventh of the season, assisted by Fredlin Mompremier. Max Hemmings scored the first goal of the game in the ninth minute followed by Finn Reese, who scored in the 25th minute. Goalkeeper Todd Morton had seven saves.
Lehigh’s Eddy Enowbi scored one goal and assisted a header by Cole Kropnick for a goal in the second half.
“Once again we created many clear-cut opportunities, and we finished some of them, but we need to be more clinical in the next two matches to get the wins we need to qualify for the U.S. Open Cup,” Nor’easters coach John Thompson said.
While the format for the U.S. Open cup has not been announed, the win over Lehigh helped the Nor’easters improve to 8-5 with 24 points. In 2018, the 20th team qualified for the U.S. Open Cup with 26 points while in 2017 the 21st team qualified with 23 points.
Over the past five years, a minimum of 19 PDL teams have qualified for the Open Cup. Entering Wednesay’s game, the Nor’easters were positioned No. 19.
The Nor’easters will play two home games this weekend to close out its 2018 season taking on DC United U-23s at 6 p.m. Friday and the New York Red Bulls U-23s at 7 p.m. Sunday.