June 11, 2012
Week in review: Sounders U23 move atop Northwest
TACOMA, Wash. – The Sounders FC U23 moved into first place in the PDL’s Northwest Division on Sunday afternoon as goals by Sean Morris, Aodhan Quinn and Sean Okoli gave their side a 3-0 victory against the North Sound SeaWolves at Franklin Pierce Stadium. The win was the Sounders U23’s third consecutive as they began the second half of their regular season.
All three goals came in the first half, with the Sounders taking the lead in only the third minute as Quinn’s cross came to Morris, who fired a volley home from 12 yards out. Quinn, who also plays at the University of Akron, then doubled the Sounders’ lead in the 21st minute. Collecting the ball, Quinn turned and fired a low shot into the left corner of the net.
The SeaWolves, who had won their previous two outings, had a chance to cut into their deficit as Abdul Aman hit the crossbar with an effort from range. His header on a subsequent chance created by Mark Conrad was then saved by Sounders goalkeeper Doug Herrick.
The Sounders put the game away five minutes before the break, however, as Okoli read a long ball from Herrick well and got in behind the SeaWolves’ defense. After pushing the ball past the advancing goalkeeper, the Wake Forest standout won the race to the ball ahead of his defender and tucked the finish home.
The Sounders face a pair of key games in the playoff race in their next two outings, as they host the Kitsap Pumas on Friday night at Cheney Stadium at 7:30 p.m. PT. They then visit the Portland Timbers U-23s on Friday, June 22.
READING UNITED 2, OCEAN CITY NOR’EASTERS 1: Reading United maintained its undefeated start to the season as goals by Deshorn Brown and Olutolani Ibikunle earned an important victory against the second-placed Ocean City Nor’easters in the Mid Atlantic Division at Carey Stadium.
United struck quickly, and Brown opened the scoring in the seventh minute, finishing off a chance created by Paul Wyatt’s free kick. The goal was Brown’s fourth in five games. Ocean City equalized in the 21st minute, however, as Frank Tweneboa was able to get on the end of Max Hamilton’s through-ball to get the Nor’easters back on even terms.
Another set piece proved crucial for Reading as it retook the lead in the 66th minute, as a free kick from 30 yards out found Ibikunle, who slid home his shot for a 2-1 United lead. Reading was reduced to 10 men with 15 minutes remaining when Ryan Finley was sent off, but Reading was able to hold on and claim all three points and keep its lead in the division.
IMG BRADENTON ACADEMICS 2, PANAMA CITY BEACH 1 PIRATES: The IMG Bradenton Academics got a goal and assist from Will Vitalis as they maintained their lead in the Southeast Division as they took victory against the Panama City Beach Pirates at IMG Soccer Academy.
Vitalis opened the scoring in the 27th minute as he was able to finish off a chance created by Milovan Kapor. Five minutes later, he turned provider as Jonny Campbell doubled the advantage. Vitalis now leads the Academics with eight points in nine games this season.
The Pirates pulled a goal back just before the halftime break as Drew Russell finished a chance created by David Malloy, but Panama City Beach wouldn’t get the chance to make a second-half comeback as torrential thunderstorms forced the game to be called at halftime, allowing Bradenton to take victory.
VENTURA COUNTY FUSION 2, ORANGE COUNTY 1 BLUE STAR: Travis Bowen scored a pair of goals as the Ventura County Fusion rallied from a halftime deficit to move back to the top of the Southwest Division standings with victory against the Orange County Blue Star at Concordia University.
Orange County had taken the lead in the 17th minute through Charlie Pettys, who put away a chance created by Kovi Konowiecki. The Fusion hit back in the final 20 minutes as Bowen tied the game in the 71st minute as he connected with Kennedy Chongo’s cross to fire home. Five minutes later, Bowen was in the right place to follow up Danny Barrera’s left-footed shot, which came back off the crossbar, and give his side the lead.
The Fusion’s victory sets up a contest with FC Tucson this weekend as the top two teams in the Southwest Division meet for the first time this season on Saturday night at Ventura College.
FREDERICKSBURG HOTSPUR 2, CAROLINA DYNAMO 2: A stoppage-time goal from Karel Manrau earned the Fredericksburg Hotspur a 2-2 draw against the Carolina Dynamo at the University of Mary Washington, keeping the Hotspur on top of the South Atlantic Division in a tight race for the playoffs.
After a scoreless first half, Fredericksburg was reduced to 10 men in the 48th minute as Josh West was sent off. Despite that, the Hotspur were still able to take the lead in the 59th minute as Nate Shiffman converted after his side was awarded a penalty.
The lead didn’t last long, with the Dynamo tying the game a minute later as Hakan Ilhan finished a chance created by Austin Dunker. Carolina then took the lead, and appeared to be set to gain ground on the Hotspur, in the 67th minute as Ilhan found Tom McCready for a 2-1 lead. But Manrau’s header from Shiffman’s free kick in stoppage time earned his side a point, and kept Fredericksburg on top of a division that now sees the top five teams separated by only three points.
MICHIGAN BUCKS 1, CHICAGO FIRE 0: The Michigan Bucks moved into sole possession of first place in the Great Lakes Division as Nate Boyden scored the only goal of the game against the Chicago Fire PDL at Catholic Central High School. The Bucks are three points ahead of four teams, with the Fire PDL, FC London, River City Rovers and Chicago Inferno all sitting with 10 points.
Boyden’s goal came in the 24th minute as he got on the end of a long throw-in by Stewart Givens. The Bucks had chances to extend their lead in the first half, Givens hitting the post while Stefan St. Louis and Anthony Grant both went close, but after the break the Fire put on the pressure, only for University of Michigan goalkeeper Adam Grinwis to deny them an equalizer.
LAREDO HEAT 2, AUSTIN AZTEX 0: The Laredo Heat handed the Austin Aztex their first home defeat of the season as Juan Ibarra and Irving Villanueva scored either side of halftime to take victory at House Park.
Austin had the early chances, with Kris Tyrpak having his effort saved by Laredo’s Emmanuel Frias and Kekuta Manneh hitting the crossbar. The Heat took the lead in the 38th minute as Ibarra stole possession in midfield and dribbled into the penalty area before finishing.
Laredo then sealed the victory with three minutes to play, as Villanueva capitalized on a short corner to give his side all three points. Laredo now sits four points behind the Aztex in the Mid South Division, but has played three fewer games than the division leader as the Aztex reached the midway point of their regular season.
THUNDER BAY CHILL 3, ST. LOUIS LIONS 0: Sullivan Silva had a goal and assist as the Thunder Bay Chill moved to the top of the Heartland Division standings with victory against the St. Louis Lions at Chapples Park. The victory was the Chill’s second of the weekend against the Lions, who now sit seven points behind the leaders.
The Chill didn’t open the scoring until five minutes before the halftime break, when Silva scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season after a strong run into the penalty area. Thunder Bay didn’t take long to double its lead after the break, though, as Silva drew a pair of defenders before releasing Abraham Villon to finish in the 47th minute. Dominic Roberts then completed the victory a minute from time, breaking from midfield for the Chill’s third.
SEACOAST UNITED PHANTOMS 1, OTTAWA FURY 1: Both sides scored in the first 10 minutes as the Seacoast United Phantoms and Ottawa Fury finished all square at Portsmouth High School.
The teams entered the contest sitting 1-2 in the Northeast Division standings, and the second-placed Fury got on the board in just the fourth minute as Will Beauge scored on a diving header from a cross by Alex Rodriguez. Ottawa had taken a 1-0 victory against the GPS Portland Phoenix on Saturday night, with Beauge the scorer in that contest as well, to move within two points of the Phantoms before their contest.
The Phantoms got back on even terms five minutes later as Miguel Carneiro drove in a shot from 22 yards out to get his side on the board. The two defenses held sway from then on, with both Ottawa’s Nils Carlson and Seacoast’s Colin O’Donnell only having to make four saves apiece as the two teams finished even.