While Sacramento Gold FC took care of business at home, the action elsewhere around the West Region was some of the most dramatic all season. Between a last-kick-of-the-game penalty save in one match, two stoppage time goals in a second, and a third finishing with only 15 players on the pitch, this past weekend certainly put the "wild" back in the "Wild West." 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. -- Diego Lopez stepped up to the penalty spot, ready to level the score in stoppage time and keep the Sonoma County Sol in sole possession of third place in the NPSL Golden Gate Conference.
But he was facing a goalkeeper who apparently has a knack for disappointing opponents.
Marcus Rojas saved Lopez's late PK and watched a rebound shot fly over the goal as the referee whistled full time, and the East Bay FC Stompers hung on for a 3-2 comeback win over Sonoma County on Saturday night that pulled them into a tie for third place with the Sol and kept them within three points of Sacramento Gold FC.
"I just let him make the first move and trusted my instincts," Rojas said. "It shouldn't have been a PK in the first place, but the ball never lies. Just glad to be a part of the win and keep the playoff race alive.".
SAN DIEGO, Calif. -- Albion SC PROS tied top-ranked FC Arizona 1-1 in front of a home crowd during Fan Appreciation Night on June 10.
“Player for player, all throughout, we showed very well tonight against a very talented Arizona team. I’m really proud of the guys for what they left on the field,” said Head Coach Ziggy Korytoski.
Action between the two teams began early as the midfield became a source of consistent pressure. Neither FC Arizona nor the PROS created scoring opportunities until almost 30 minutes in.
The first shot on goal came by PROS standout Felipe Liborio in minute 28. FC Arizona quickly answered with a goal by Cesar Mexia in minute 30 that tipped in behind keeper Jean Antoine off the right post.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- The Southern California Sports Club is yet to get its first win on the Inland Empire Clasico as the team was defeated by Riverside Coras 2-0 last Sunday (June 11) at the UC Riverside Soccer Stadium on the rivals’ fourth National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) meeting.
With the result, Coras remains undefeated against SoCal SC, having won all of the four matches between the clubs since SoCal SC joined the NPSL, in 2016.
This match was, undoubtedly, the most heated meeting the two parts as seven players were shown red cards by the referee. SoCal SC finished the match with seven players on the field after goalkeeper Tyler Wilson, defenders Max Rico and Jesus Soria and forward Roonie Moreno were sent off during the last 30 minutes of the match while Coras had eight athletes on the field when the final whistle was blown.
“It is ridiculous”, midfielder Bryan Orta said about the seven red cards. “You usually see a red or two at the most, but the referee just went over the top and did not know how to control the game, so he just started throwing out cards to regulate”.
TEMECULA, Calif. -- No recap available at this time.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- No recap available at this time.
LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- Kitsap Soccer Club got second-half goals from Tony Mota and Nico D’Amato en route to a 2-1 comeback victory over PDX FC on Thursday night at Lakeridge High School on Lake Oswego, Oregon.
The victory pushes Kitsap SC to seven points, putting it even with NPSL Northwest Division leaders PDX and OSA FC. Further congesting the table are FCM Portland and Spokane SC Shadow, each with six points.
PDX’s Erick Urzua gave the home side the lead in the second half, heading home a free kick from close range in the 62nd minute.
But Kitsap — which has done the bulk of its scoring in the second half this season — scored off corner kicks in the 64th minute and 72nd minute to take over in the final minutes.
PORTLAND, Ore. -- It was a beautiful evening in Portland for the kickoff between two of the Northwest Conference teams. Spokane took the kickoff on the grounds of Concordia University and quickly set the pace of the game with a high-pressure, attacking game in the danger zone for FCM Portland. Jesse Retan began to create problems for the FCM defense as he found his way through the final third. FCM found their response, doubling up on the midfielder to slow his attack. As FCM tried to find its rhythm of the game, they continued to readjust to the assault by Spokane. Both teams searched for breakdowns in each other’s system and drove to find the weakness in their opponent.
The pace of the counter attacks on both sides started to create a physical game and at the seventh minute Shadow’s Berrick Rastok received a yellow. Now FCM found its voice on defense and started to regain control of their own third and began to create their own counter attacks. FCM and Spokane found chances early on with no avail as the ball found the side net and post for both teams. At the 34th minute, FCM’s Geovanny Vazquez capitalized on a corner with a header to the far post, putting FCM up 1-0. The match continued to move quickly from end to end with the larger team, Spokane, trying to find space over the top but the FCM defense held them off.
BREMERTON, Wash. -- Tyler LaCourse headed in a free kick by Chuy Sanchez in the final moments of injury time, and Kitsap SC rescued a point at home with a 2-2 draw against winless, 10-man Pierce County FC.
LaCourse’s goal capped a wild final 11 minutes that saw three goals, any one of which could have been the game-decider.
“As soon as it found my head, it was right in the sweet spot, so I could go bottom corner,” said LaCourse, a rising sophomore at Oral Roberts University. “Everything kind of blurred after that. It was crazy and exhilarating.”
Kitsap SC coach Roy Lassiter said that earning the late point again showed the team’s ability to battle.
HILLSBORO, Ore. -- On the road, the Spokane Shadow Men’s First Team dropped their second contest in as many days in the greater-Portland area. The hosts held a one-goal advantage at the break, but a tally in the opening minute of the second half doubled the hole for the Shadow
.A penalty worsened matters for Spokane in the 63rd, but the Shadow responded with a goal in the 66th when youth product JD Hauenstein (MSU-Billings) found fellow Shadow youth alum Drew Williams (Whitworth) to get Spokane on the board. Despite PDX needing to put a centerback in goal after their keeper left the game with a serious injury, the Shadow were unable to rally further in the final 12 minutes and saw the hosts cap the game with another tally in stoppage time.