Deri Corfe shares USL League Two scoring title as Nor'easters draw 3-3 with Long Island Rough Riders
Corfe scores two goals in season finale to become second Ocean City player to lead the league in scoring
The Ocean City Nor'easters wrapped up the 2019 USL League Two season, the club's 23rd campaign (17th in the league), in front of their home fans Sunday night at Carey Stadium ("The Beach House") with a 3-3 draw with the Long Island Rough Riders. While the playoffs were out of reach for both clubs, they were both attempting to end the season on a positive note and possibly make some history.
And Nor'easters midfielder Deri Corfe (Wright State / Chester, England) did just that.
Corfe scored two first half goals to bring his team-leading total to 14. With that total, the Wright State midfielder finished the season tied for the league lead with Kyle Edwards of Brazos Valley Cavalry FC. He becomes just the second Ocean City player in history to lead the league in scoring, joining Chevaughn "Chevy" Walsh, who won the league MVP with his 14 goals in 2016.
Corfe's 14 goals also ties with Walsh for the Nor'easters single-season goalscoring record and matches the single-season points record of 31 (14 goals, 3 assists), set by Walsh (14 goals, 3 assists) in 2016, and Ruben Mingo (11 goals, 9 assists) in 2005.
"Deri had a special year," said Nor'easters head coach Kevin Nuss. "He has scored some great goals and pushed the team through when we needed it."
The Nor'easters finish the 2019 season in second place in the Mid-Atlantic Division with a 6-3-5 record in the first season under Nuss' leadership.
The Nor’easters finish the 2019 season on a seven-game unbeaten streak overall (3-0-4), as well as a nine-game home unbeaten streak that dates back to last season. The multitude of home games to close out the season really paid off for the club.
The Nor’easters would once again get off to a fast start as Corfe would open the scoring in the 3rd minute of the match. Matteo Bennati (Ohio State / Genova, Italy) collected a Long Island clearance and dribbled into the attacking third where he found Corfe on the wing. Corfe took on his defender one-on-one, beat him and slotted the ball inside the far post to put the Nor'easters up 1-0. It was the fifth time this year that Ocean City scored a goal within the opening five minutes of the match.
Gabe Fernandes and Manu Ferriol would each score a goal within three minutes of each other to give Long Island the lead (37th and 40th minute). Jason Ramirez assisted on both goals.
However, just before the halftime break, Ocean City would snatch the lead back.
Ocean City defender Daniel Kozma, the club's 2017 MVP, pounced on a loose ball in the box to tie the game in the 45th minute. It was his first goal of the year and the third of his Nor'easters career.
In first half stoppage time, Corfe would score hit record-tying second goal of the night on an assist by Brandon Smalley (Florida Tech / Bridlington, England). For Smalley, it was his team-leading fourth assist of the season. For Corfe, his 14th goal of the season would give him 20 for his Ocean City career, which leaves him alone in third place on the Nor'easters' all-time goalscoring chart, breaking a tie with Jeremy Ortiz (2006-08).
Ferriol's second goal of the game for Long Island would come in the 70th minute and would prove to be the game-tying goal as the score would remain 3-3 despite a late push by the Nor'easters to secure three points.
Jan Hoffelner (St. John's / Frankfurt, Germany) made five saves on the night, picked up a yellow card, and while allowing three goals, managed to make history. The goalkeeper, who will transfer to St. John's University in the fall, started and played 90 minutes and became the first player in Ocean City's 23-year club history to start every regular season game of the season.
Unfortunately for the Nor'easters, the club finished the season 25th in the USL League Two overall standings, which will likely leave them on the outside looking in for the field of the 2020 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
One more milestone was reached on Sunday night as Corfe's two goals made him and teammate Claudio Repetto tied another Ocean City record. Between the two players, they finish the season with 22 goals (Corfe with 14, Repetto with 8), which ties them with the 2004 duo of Byron Carmichael (10) and Ruben Mingo (12, who won the league MVP award that year) as the highest-scoring pair of teammates in club history.