PDL News Release
Monday, July 22, 2013
TAMPA, Fla. – The field for the 2013 PDL Playoffs was set on Sunday night as a dramatic night of action saw the final berths in the postseason claimed, and the Thunder Bay Chill claim the regular-season championship for the first time in their history. The Chill will also be one of four hosts for the PDL Conference Championships, also announced on Monday, with Thunder Bay’s Chapples Park the location for the Central Conference Championship.
Also hosting conference championships this weekend are the Austin Aztex, who will host the Southern Conference Championship, the Ocean City Nor’easters, who will host the Eastern Conference Championship, and the Ventura County Fusion, who will host the Western Conference Championship.
The Chill had entered the weekend in control of first place overall in the PDL, but a draw on Friday night against WSA Winnipeg opened up the opportunity for the Fresno Fuego to move ahead with a victory in the final game of the regular season on Sunday night against the LA Misioneros. Needing the win to clinch the title and seal an undefeated regular season, the Fuego were unable to come through as the Misioneros took a 1-0 victory to finish third in the Southwest Division.
The most dramatic game of the night took place in Ocean City, N.J., however, as the Baltimore Bohemians vaulted into second place in the Mid Atlantic Division to secure the club’s first playoff place after rallying from a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 against the Ocean City Nor’easters.
Ocean City had taken a 2-0 lead through goals by Ken Tribbett and Frank Tweneboa, but the Bohemians roared back in the final 15 minutes as Pete Caringi tied the game with goals in the 78th and 88th minutes before goalkeeper Zach Kane scored in the fourth minute of stoppage time from a corner to give his side victory and not only a place in the playoffs, but also home-field advantage against Reading United in Tuesday night’s divisional playoff.
The Chicago Fire PDL also claimed their berth on the final day of the season as they took a 4-1 victory against the Chicago Inferno before K-W United defeated the Toronto Lynx 3-1 to hand the Fire third place in the Great Lakes Division. Luis Medina and Brian Ciesulka each scored twice for the Fire as they moved past the Lynx, who would have gone through with a win against United.
Also decided on Sunday night was the Southeast Division title, which was claimed for the second consecutive season by the Ocala Stampede with a little help from VSI Tampa Bay FC. Ocala held a two-point lead against the Panama City Beach Pirates entering the final day of the season, and having completed their schedule had to look on as the Pirates visited Tampa Bay. VSI’s Andres Navas and Josey Portillo each scored to deny the Pirates the win they needed, however, allowing Ocala to finish atop the standings.
The PDL Playoffs begin on Tuesday night with five divisional playoff games, three of which are set for the Eastern Conference. In addition to Baltimore’s contest with Reading, the Northeast Division’s Ottawa Fury will host the GPS Portland Phoenix, while the Carolina Dynamo will host the Virginia Beach Piranhas.
The other two contests are set for the Great Lakes Division, where the Chicago Fire PDL will visit the Michigan Bucks, and the Northwest Division, where the Portland Timbers U-23s will host the Vancouver Whitecaps U-23. The winners of each of those contests will move on to their respective conference championships this weekend.