Last week’s game was a success for Academica SC. They played an outstanding game as a team and were able to dominate most of the match, which resulted in a victory. In the opening game of the NPSL season Academica SC faced Napa Valley at Napa and fell 3-0. Academica had several opportunities to score, but they couldn’t put them away.
This time Academica would host them at their home field. After a successful home game last week, Academica was determined to get a win by bringing the same mentality as last week. In this week’s game Academica SC faced Napa Valley at their home field for the second time and once again suffered a tough loss.
Although it was a cold night, fans were committed to supporting their Central Valley home team. Napa also had a crowd of their own to show their support. After the opening whistle, the players showed extreme excitement in the combative game. As the game continued, the players of both teams showed aggressiveness in their desire to win. To the fans the game began to heat up as players started playing too physical. This resulted in numerous yellow cards for the Académica and Napa teams.
There were numerous intense plays and in the 23rd minute Napa was granted a corner kick which resulted in a handball by player Jose Barriga inside the Academica goalie box, favoring Napa Valley. Goalkeeper Martin Sanchez positioned himself on the line and focused on the target. Napa’s player shot the ball to the center of the goal and the keeper launched himself to the left, but was able to block it with his foot and caused the ball to go loose. Shortly after a Napa player rebounded and hit the right goal post. Sanchez struggled to get up and another Napa player ran in to kick the ball in the net. Napa Valley was up 1-0.
The Napa defense was able to successfully stop plays at the midfield by pressuring the Academica players. In one play Jorge Carmona attempted to make a run towards the goal as one of the midfielders sent a cross ball, but was unsuccessful.
The second half began and Napa brought strong pressure. They were able to attack the first few minutes and were given a free kick in the 53th minute near the left corner. The ball was centered and hit an Academica player causing the ball to go loose once again. A Napa player followed the ball and shot to the right corner of the goal making it challenging for Sanchez to block. This was Napa’s second goal of the match.
Academica did not give up and attempted to score. Academica’s Jesus Catracho took the ball up and looked to his teammate. The ball was sent to Manny Villegas for a header, but he hit the ball out of bounds. The game continued to get physical and both teams were working hard.
In the 85th minute there was a challenging play. Jose Barriga attempted to get in front of his opponent to get the ball, but he struck the Napa player with a kick and the whistle was blown. Barriga was given a direct red card and was taken off the field. Academica was now playing one man down for the rest of the match.
Napa was given the free kick in the 87th minute which resulted in their third and final goal. In the 91st minute Academica SC had an opportunity to score as John Pato dribbled the ball towards the goal passing the Napa players. The last defender slid into Pato inside the box and Academica was granted a penalty kick. José Luis shot the ball hard past the Napa keeper, which resulted in Academica’s first goal. The game wrapped up with a final score of 3-1.
In the end, Academica fell in their third match of the NPSL and will have their next game away Saturday, April 7th against Sacramento Gold FC at 7:00 pm.