The Regiment closed out their road schedule at Syracuse on Friday evening with a 2-0 win. Their first road win of the year and also the second consecutive win of the season lifted them out of the basement of the Midwest Region’s Eastern Conference.
The Pittsburgh side dominated possession for spells throughout the match resulting in a number of scoring opportunities but it wasn’t until the 29th minute when Nick Kolarac fired a shot past Syracuse goalkeeper Pat Castle that FPR was able to solve the SFC defense. The Regiment used a good buildup that ended with Andres Vega finding Kolarac after he found a void in the defense at the top of the Syracuse area.
In the 41st minute, FPR set up for a second corner after the SFC defense easily dealt with the first. The service was punched by Castle to clear, but weak contact saw the ball go right to the nearby Lamine Balde, who headed it past the Syracuse keeper for the game’s second goal.
Despite the possession and goal advantage in the first half Syracuse FC generated a couple of prime chances. SFC looked to have taken the lead in the 14th minute when they thought they scored on an Adnan Bakalovic feed into the middle of the box that was fired past Scott Rissler by Callum Donnelly. However, Bakalovic was ruled to have dribbled over the endline just before hitting his pass.
Bakalovic almost equalized on a restart from directly in front of the goal about 25-30 yards from goal. His shot just missed the upper 90 to the keeper’s right. Bakalovic set up the opportunity by drawing a foul during a run with the ball into the FPR defensive zone.
FPR’s Rissler had to make a quick save on a Donnelly save in the 40th minute to keep Syracuse off the board.
The second half was just as eventful with both teams generating chances despite failing to produce any goals.
FPR picked up where it left off before the break. Their pressure forced Castle to make an error when playing a backpass and his pass went to Kolarac, who just missed his second tally with a whistling shot that was about a foot too high two minutes into the second stanza.
A few minutes later Balde took advantage of space on the SFC right to get to the end and turn to goal. Castle defended well, forcing Balde to pass instead of shoot. The FPR forward’s pass found Renan Fuentes, whose shot was palmed away.
SFC provided some fireworks in the 57th minute when they took advantage of a miscue in the FPR defense. Logan Roberts fired a shot off the post that skittered across the face of goal. Vega was able to clear it off the line before a pair of on-rushing Syracuse attackers could put it in the net.
Fuentes had a pair of shots five minutes later that forced Castle to make a pair of saves to keep FPR from adding a third score.
In the 75th minute Brenden Alfery, who replaced Rissler at halftime, was forced to scramble when a backpass ricocheted off of him and then a couple of other legs before he could dive on it just before Nathan Bourdeau could convert the chance.
Less than ten minutes later Alfery found himself diving on a loose ball amidst a forest of Syracuse FC legs to prevent a score.
Both teams had one last scoring opportunity during stoppage time with SFC’s Ryan Matthews just missing the far post on a driven restart from about 20 yards. Fausto Ordenana forced Castle to make the last of his nine saves just seconds before the final whistle.
The win lifts the Regiment to 3-7-0. Syracuse FC slips to 2-7-1.
The Redcoats host FC Buffalo on Sunday, July 9 at 2:00 pm. The game will be played at Highmark Stadium.