Source: Albion Soccer Club
Photo courtesy asc-sandiego.com
April 29, 2019 (San Diego) - After a three week hiatus from NPSL regular season league play, ASC San Diego was back in action on Saturday on their home pitch at Mission Bay Stadium. The match against FC Golden State was an opportunity for the home side to secure an important 3 points in a highly contested race toward the postseason in the Southwest Conference. ASC San Diego was also seeking redemption after a 3-1 away loss to the Force earlier this season which was magnified by injuries to starting goalkeeper Jean Antoine and defender Khadim Seye.
Billed as a thriller coming in, the game lived up to all expectations coming down to the final touch. Early on, both sides struggled to find rhythm, though Golden State created the first scoring opportunity in the 6th minute with a shot that sailed over the bar. Much of the first half was an exchange of fouls and free kicks between the two sides, though the atmosphere was special as everyone knew the significance of the match.
ASC got more comfortable as the match went on though could not take advantage of their several promising goal-scoring opportunities in the first half. Winger Dallin Cutler created multiple chances alone in his matchup with Force’s Colin Liberty but was unable to find the back of the net. In addition, Mike Semenza created havek on the right wing though was unable to capitalize when it was needed.
Against the run of play, a 34th minute penalty was awarded to FCGS after a poor challenge by Sergio Enriquez tripped up Travis Bowen. While Antoine’s attempt to save the penalty was fingertips away, Bowen slipped in his kick to the left of the keeper and the visitors earned the first goal of the game.
Just before half, Semenza found himself on the end of a beautiful 40 yard diagonal ball from Chris Gardea that left him one-on-one with Force goalkeeper Luis Sosa. Semenza opted to try dribbling past the FC Golden State keeper only to be halted without getting off the shot. ASC went into the half trailing 0-1.
Throughout the night, ASC Goalkeeper Jean Antoine kept his side in the game by showcasing his athleticism and shot-stopping ability. While Golden State was aggressive in attempting to score throughout, Antoine batted several balls safely over the goal and provided the “Play of the Game” after an ASC turnover in the defensive half of the field forced Antoine’s athleticism to shine early in the second half.