While Sacramento Gold FC was on the bye week, the other results lined up to make Saturday's showdown as crucial as it gets. And that's just in the Golden Gate Conference. Here's a recap of last week's games, as well as a look at what's in store this week.
GOLDEN GATE CONFERENCE
PETALUMA, Calif. -- Exciting and dramatic describes the match fans witnessed between Sonoma County Sol and Napa Valley 1839 FC in the second edition of the Wine Country Derby, which concluded with a 1-1 result.
Napa's offense led by Gabriel Borges began the match pressuring last year's NPSL national finalists and it would pay off early on. Just 15 minutes in Borges would net his third goal of the season after taking on two Sol players and blasting a shot past the Sonoma goalkeeper, who would end the match with nine saves.
With the 1-0 lead Napa would control the game in the midfield and played solid defense which would frustrate both Sonoma players and fans, which were outnumbered by 1839ers who made the trek to Sonoma County’s Casa Grande High School.
Momentum would switch over to the Sol toward the end of the first half and in the 41st minute they would find the equalizer after a hard shot that hit Javier Valdez-Raya's crossbar and landed in front of Tyler Hurst for the easy tap-in. The last couple minutes of the half would be played very physically in the midfield and it would result in a Sol player being ejected.
HAYWARD, Calif. -- CD Aguiluchos USA was missing its leading scorer Saturday night, and it didn’t get a scoreboard contribution from its other star forward. But that didn’t slow down the Aguiluchos, and the Golden Gate Conference leaders showed why they’re atop the table for good in 2017.
Ricardo Guerra scored twice for the Aguiluchos in a 2-1 win over East Bay FC at Pioneer Stadium, ending the Stompers’ two-game win streak. His San Leandro-based team clinched the top spot in the Golden Gate Conference with the win, standing 16 points clear of second-place Sacramento Gold FC and Sonoma County Sol, and finished off a sweep of the Stompers in the 2017 Alameda County Derby.
Guerra put the Aguiluchos (8-1-0) on top for good in the 57th minute when he cleaned up a mess in front of the net by poking the ball in while lying on the ground. His two-goal performance made up for the absence of forward Simon Rawnsley, who was replaced in the starting lineup by Adan Martinez. The Stompers defense was able to keep Ross Middlemiss, the Aguiluchos’ other prolific scorer, off the board.
Guerra opened the scoring just before halftime. The aggressive right back stole the ball from the East Bay FC defense in the 41st minute, then drove the ball into the penalty area and fired into the top of the net from the goal line just right of the six-yard box.
MESA, Ariz. -- Southwest Conference leaders FC Arizona extended their undefeated streak to 11 matches following their impressive 7-0 win over City of Angels FC in front of 2,157 fans.
FC Arizona wasted no time on Saturday night scoring the first goal in the 5th minute when George Jermy tapped home the opening goal from an Ignacio Coba cross. Three minutes after this, Coba scored on a free kick from about 30-yards out. In the 11th minute, Alejandro Aguilar scored from a Cesar Mexia cross.
The early goals ignited City of Angels FC, who almost had a goal in the 20th minute, but an impressive heads up play by defender Dom Papa resulted in a kick-save clearance on the line. FC Arizona came right back, but the City of Angels FC goalkeeper answered the challenge and made three impressive saves within 90 seconds.
That didn't stop FC Arizona from pushing forward as Aguilar returned the favor in the 27th minute providing the assist for Mexia. Manuel Rivera jumped in on the scoring with a cheeky chip in the 29th minute and Jose Rodriguez scored his first on the season in the 33rd minute.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- No recap available at this time.
IRVINE, Calif. -- Orange County FC have given their fans a lot to cheer about in their inaugural season in the National Premier Soccer League. OCFC remain unbeaten but prior to their match against Oxnard they had tied three straight matches.
In simple English, the streak the of ties had to stop. Being unbeaten is fine and dandy but OCFC must earn three points every week from here on out if they want to give themselves the chance to host a playoff game.
OCFC met their objective with a convincing 5-1 victory over Oxnard Guerreros FC on Saturday.
“I felt the vibe the moment I walked into the locker room,” said midfielder Armando Flores. “We all had the winning spirt inside us and it showed right from the kickoff. We knew we had to win.”
CHINO, Calif. -- The Southern California Sports Club collected three more points on its National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) campaign last Saturday (May 27) on a very unusual way. SoCal SC headed to Chino High School to face Sports Club Corinthians USA, but as the hosts failed to comply with one of the most basic league regulations and did not provide a certified trainer on the venue, the visiting team was declared as the winner with a 3-0 score on a W.O. victory.