(Photo by Vanessa S. Nelson)
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Matt Wiesenfarth got his second hat trick of the season and Sacramento Gold FC notched its first win in nearly two months, rolling Napa Valley 1839 4-0 at Capital Christian High School Saturday.
Danny Mititelu also got into the action with his first goal of the season. Meanwhile, Gold goalkeeper John Connolly and Sacramento’s defense tallied the third shutout of the season, the second both at home and against Napa.
The visitors, still looking for their first win of the season, came out and pushed the pace early. Their best chance during that period came in the 13th minute, when Francisco Mendoza played a through ball to Sebastian Bouchet. However, Connolly snuffed out the chance by snagging the ball.
Afterwards, the Gold offense began to take control. In the 16th minute, Sacramento had a free kick blocked, but a follow-up shot looked destined for the net. But, 1839 goalkeeper Javier Valdez-Raya was able to tip the ball over the bar.
Sacramento nearly got on the board in the 32nd minute, again off of a dangerous free kick chance. This time, the set piece wasn’t blocked, but it hit ricocheted off of the outside of the post.
The Gold finally broke through in the 38th minute thanks to a great pass and perhaps an even better shot. Just under midfield, Danny Cuevas jumped up to meet the ball and spotted Wiesenfarth making a run. Cuevas headed the ball right into Wiesenfarth’s path and set him up for a one-on-one. Wiesenfarth took a touch and fired a rocket that flew past Valdez-Raya and hit the post again, this time on the inside, the ball flying into the back of the net for a 1-0 Gold lead.
The lead was nearly doubled in the 43rd minute when the Gold somehow got an open look at a header in front of goal. However, the attempt sailed over the crossbar. Another good chance came after halftime, in the 52nd minute. But, Valdez-Raya was able to punch the ball away
Sacramento soon pulled away within an eight-minute span. In the 55th minute, the Gold played a through ball to a streaking Wiesenfarth down the middle of the Napa half. Wiesenfarth and Valdez-Raya went up for it, but Wiesenfarth got there first, collecting the ball and firing it into the net to make it 2-0.
(Photo by Vanessa S. Nelson)
Then, in the 63rd minute, another through ball put Wiesenfarth into another one-on-one, this time down the right side. Valdez-Raya cut off the angle, but Wiesenfarth was still able to angle a shot past the keeper and into the far side of the net to put the count at 3-0.
Wiesenfarth’s goals were his first since the Gold’s last match with Napa last month, and gave him a team-leading total of nine on the season. That number includes three goals scored in the first half against the Sonoma County Sol in April, a performance which earned Wiesenfarth the Mitre NPSL National Player of the Week award.
It appeared that Napa had broken through themselves in the 71st minute, when a leaping shot from the box found the back of the net. However, the referee waved the goal off and called a foul on the 1839 attacker for a high kick.
Not wanting to be left out, Mititelu put his name in the score sheet in the 80th minute, only four minutes after coming on as a substitute, his first appearance since missing a lengthy amount of time due to injury. Off a corner kick, Mititelu pounced on a loose ball that sailed across the face of goal, putting it in the back of the net and making it a 4-0 Gold advantage.
The 1839 nearly put one in in the 85th minute, when Adrian Maldonado sent an acrobatic attempt at goal. However, Connolly was up to the task, stopping the shot. The Gold defense saw the rest of the game out and preserved the win.
The result moves Sacramento into sole possession of second place in the Golden Gate Conference with 13 points, three points ahead of both the Sol and the East Bay Stompers. However, both the Sol and Stompers have one more game remaining than the Gold.
Sacramento Gold FC will face another challenge for three more crucial points next Sunday, June 18, when the squad travels to face the conference-leading CD Aguiluchos USA. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. at Burrell Field in San Leandro.