The Albion PROS defeated Oxnard Guerreros FC 4-1 in the NPSL season opener on Mar. 11 at Mission Bay Stadium.
The PROS opener served as #OSTRONG night in honor of Albion SC homegrown player Oscar Ortega, who is battling a recent cancer diagnosis.
“[Ortega] is just a great individual … We love him. We support him and we want to make sure he knows we’re with him every step of the way,” said Head Coach Ziggy Korytoski.
All PROS players took to the pitch wearing yellow #OSTRONG bracelets to stand in solidarity with Ortega, who watched from the sidelines.
Five minutes into the game, the PROS opened with a David Luquen goal off an assist from Sergio Enriquez. Luquen is coming off a hot streak in preseason, having scored two goals in the PROS 3-1 victory over the Phoenix Rising on Feb. 25.
During the first half, the PROS controlled the ball in large part due to the eight fouls by the Guerreros. The limited number of PROS fouls kept them in possession and in scoring range.
““We had great energy tonight. We started the game really well, got into a good rhythm … showed a lot of poise and discipline,” said Korytoski.
In minute 25, Amani Walker scored on an empty net after Guerrero goalkeeper, Victor Gonzalez pursued too far out of the box. Luis Cardona had the assist.
Less than one minute later, the Guerreros pursued up the field and Raul Yepez scored off an assist from Tito Anguiano, bringing the score to 2-1. The goal by Yepez is the closest the Guerreros would come.
Once again, Luquen made a statement with another goal. This time from a penalty kick in minute 53, bringing the score to 3-1.
In minute 57, UC San Diego graduate Kuba Waligorski added to the tally and the PROS led 4-1. Cardona had the assist, his second of the game.
After Waligorski’s goal, Korytoski began subbing for the first time. Korytoski’s first substitution of the night came at minute 68, when former Sonoma State Seawolf Sean Callahan went in for midfielder Juliano Periera.
Callahan and fellow substitutes closed out the match and kept the Guerreros in check.
The Guerreros were unable to recover as the PROS defeated them 4-1.
“[We will] keep working, keep practicing together as a team. Protect and defend … The team is looking good,” said Man of the Match David Luquen.
The PROS are 1-0 in NPSL play and will be on the road next weekend to face Riverside Coras on Mar. 19 in Riverside, CA.
Content: Albion PROS
Photo Caption: Head Coach Ziggy Korytoski embraces PRO Oscar Ortega after Ortega addressed the crowd at Mission Bay Stadium in San Diego on March 11. Ortega’s teammates stood in support as he spoke briefly about the recent cancer diagnosis and #OSTRONG night. (Photo Credit: Nate Abaurrea, SoccerNation.com)