By Michael Rocha/Academica SC
A nearly three-hour commute started the day off for the Valley’s team, as they hit the road to face an always strong Sonoma County Sol team. As the match kicked off, the home side quickly showed why they are constantly in the playoff race at the season’s end with a pair of chances early in the game. A couple of giveaways from the Academica backline lead to goalkeeper Alonso Lara having to come up big for the away side within the first five minutes. Sonoma County would go on to control and dictate the first half, only allowing one shot on goal from Academica within the first 45 minutes.
As the first half was coming to a close, Manny Viegas collided with the Sol’s keeper on a ball that was sent into the box. The collision left Viegas with a nasty cut on his head that required medical treatment from the athletic trainer prior to being cleared to go back in the game. The injury would signal the end of the first half shortly after.
The second half started off with a collision between the Academica goalkeeper and an opposing player from Sonoma. No foul was called on the collision in the six-yard box and Sonoma capitalized and put the first goal of the contest into the back of the net. This seemed to awaken the visitors as the game began to slowly shift in their favor.
As the momentum began to swing in their favor, Academica capitalized and saw their first goal of the season. A bouncing ball on top of the six-yard box saw midfielder Marco Torralva blast one past the outstretched keeper’s hands, equalizing the match at 1-1. As both sides exchanged set pieces and opportunities, the game was decided in the 78th minute as Fermin Chaidez was able to beat the Sonoma goalkeeper and put one away from a difficult angle, giving Academica the 2-1 lead.
Last time Academica held a lead in Sonoma, the home side was able to pull together a momentous comeback and finish the game with one point a piece. History would not repeat itself this time though. The game finished with a final score of Academica SC 2, Sonoma County Sol 1.
Academica next hosts Sacramento Gold FC, who just beat El Farolito, the defending Golden Gate Conference champions. The Sol will now hit the road to take on FC Davis.
Photo Credit: Michael Rocha/Academica SC