|South Jersey Soccer:
Barons' Offense Explodes Against the Rage
Adam Sternberger Scores Two, Assists on Another in 4-0 Win at Reading
Sunday, June 11, 2006
By Josh Hakala
Ocean City Barons Director of Public Relations
READING, PA (June 11, 2006) - The Ocean City Barons finally found their offensive stride with a 4-0 win at the Reading Rage (2-4-1, 7 points) on Sunday night. Adam Sternberger (Mays Landing, NJ) scored two goals and set up Byron Carmichael's (Lumberton, NJ) second goal of the year to lead the Barons to their first-ever victory in Reading. Second half substitute Richard Baker (Ocean City, NJ) added the fourth and final goal of the match. Issey Mahalo (Brighton, MA) made seven saves, three of them in a frantic 20-second sequence in the second half, on his way to his second clean sheet of the season.
The Barons (3-1-3, 12 points) are now unbeaten in their last four matches, and find themselves one point behind the first place Westchester Flames in the Northeast Division.
Much like his first goal in the season opener, Sternberger struck early. In the 8th minute, he fired a low line drive shot through traffic and the ball found it's way just inside the post for the opening score.
14 minutes later, Sternberger led a counter attack with options to either side of the field. He decided to feed a through ball to Carmichael on the right wing, who blasted a second ball past Rage goalkeeper Charlie Sales.
The Barons nearly added a third goal when defender Andy Tait (Mercyhurst College) joined the attack on a corner kick and was left with plenty of space to flick a header on goal, but Sales made an impressive save in close range.
Ocean City wouldn't have to wait long for goal number three. Sternberger struck again in the 38th when his blast toward goal took a deflection and ended up in the back of the net.
"Adam (Sternberger) has been on fire," said player/coach John Thompson. "He has great composure. He's so relaxed on the ball and has the ability to see the field and slow the game down when we need him to."
The Rage emerged from halftime with more energy in their attack, creating a number of opportunities, but it was the Barons who found the back of the net for their season-high fourth goal of the game. Carmichael found some space on the right side of the box again and launched a shot on goal, which deflected out to the top of the "D" where Baker buried the ball into the top of the goal.
The home side were desperate to break the shutout, but were unable to capitalize on four chances late in the second half. Rage forward Jason Yeisley, Penn State's leading scorer last season, broke into the box and hit the crossbar.
The defensive highlight of the evening came from Ocean City goalkeeper Issey Mahalo. With the game nearing the end, the Boston College product sprinted to his left to make a diving save on a header at point blank range. The rebound fell to the top of the box where it was fired back on goal, forcing Mahalo to make another diving save. He wasn't able to control the rebound as the ball bounced around the box and fell to the feet of another Rage player at six yard box, but Mahalo came all the way back to make yet another diving save, but this time, the rebound was cleared by the backline.
When the final whistle blew, the Barons had doubled their previous season high for goals in a game. "We've been threatening to break out like this for a long time," said Thompson.
OCEAN CITY: Adam Sternberger (unassisted) - 8th
OCEAN CITY: Byron Carmichael (Adam Sternberger) - 22th
OCEAN CITY: Adam Sternberger (unassisted) - 38th
OCEAN CITY: Richard Baker - 61th
Ocean City: 22 shots, 7 saves, 13 fouls, 9 corner kicks, 1 offsides
Brooklyn: 18 shots, 9 saves, 13 fouls, 5 corner kicks, 1 offsides