Match Recap: Men vs. OC Nor’Easters

Written by Michael Lewis

UNIONDALE, N.Y. – The Long Island Rough Riders’ sparkling season came to an end as they were eliminated from the USL League Two playoffs via a 2-1 decision to the Ocean City Nor’easters in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals at Mitchel Athletic Complex on Friday night.

Alessandro Arlotti scored in the 83rd minute to snap a 1-1 tie as Ocean City handed Long Island (12-2-1) only its second loss of the season. Arlotti chested down a pass, spun around and fired a 12-yard shot past goalkeeper Wessel Speel into the lower right corner for the deciding goal.

The Rough Riders had several opportunities to draw even, but goalkeeper Stefano Camerlengo made two big saves in the 90th minute. Long Island tried to level the score during seven minutes of stoppage time, but the Nor’easters held fast.  Ocean City’s win avenged a 3-1 defeat to the Rough Riders in last year’s conference quarterfinals.

The Nor’easters (9-1-5) will play the Hudson Valley Hammers in the conference semifinals here on Sunday at 7 p.m. Hudson Valley (11-3-1) recorded a 2-1 victory over the Seacoast United Phantoms (11-3-1) in the first game of a doubleheader.

Only four minutes after the opening kickoff, the Nor’easters grabbed a 1-0 lead on a scoring sequence that began with a corner kick from Nick Pariano. The ball eventually came to Josh Jones, who headed it past Speel into the net.

Long Island dominated a decent portion of the first half, but it took the hosts a while to get rewarded for their efforts.

The Rough Riders had a golden opportunity to tie the match in the 15th minute when Ryan Carmichael raced in 1 v 1 on the Ocean City goalkeeper. Camerlengo, however, knocked away the point-blank shot with both hands to keep the hosts off the scoreboard.

The Riders’ hard work and persistence finally paid off in the 21st minute.

Camerlengo, battling the sun, barely got a could not get a full clearance on the ball, which came to a Rough Rider on the left side of the penalty area. The ball was slotted to Barry Sharifi, who slipped it up for a 1-1 deadlock and his second goal in as many matches. Sharifi also scored in the regular season finale, a 3-1 win over NJ Copa FC last Sunday.

The second half was fairly even in possession, although neither could not the net until Arlotti’s winning goal.

In the opening game, Samuel Epitime (12th minute) and Ben Zakowski (header off a short corner kick in the 59th minute) scored for Hudson Valley. Seba Musu closed the gap for Seacoast with a 62nd-minute goal off a rebound.


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