By Med City FC
Last Friday, Med City FC had arguably its best, most intense practice of the season. The team
carried that intensity over to their game Saturday night against Duluth FC and used it to drive
them to a 3-1 victory over the BlueGreens in a battle of unbeatens in Rochester, Minnesota.
Duluth FC had entered the game with a record of 6-0-2 and Med City FC sat two points behind
with a record of 5-0-3. The Mayhem were looking to overcome the disappointment of a 2-2
draw the weekend before that seemed to have left the team in a little bit of a funk at the
beginning of the week.
That funk was lifted on Saturday, as Med City FC came out firing, literally, from the opening
whistle. The Mayhem exerted a lot of early pressure on Duluth FC and only the goalkeeping
heroics of BlueGreens keeper Sullivan Lauderdale kept the hosts off the scoreboard. Med City
FC went on to dominate much of the first half but had nothing on the scoreboard to show for
their efforts and the game was tied at 0-0 at halftime.
Duluth FC came out with more intensity in the second half and could have taken the lead, but
Med City FC goalkeeper AJ Jarvis made a spectacular save, contorting his body to keep the ball
from crossing his goal line. Indeed, the BlueGreens looked the better side for the first fifteen
minutes of the second half, putting pressure on the Med City FC defense and creating a handful
of dangerous scoring opportunities. But, ultimately, Med City FC would strike first.
In the 71 st minute, the Mayhem’s Francisco Neto swung in a corner kick that was met by Man of
the Match Niklas Roessler. He drove the ball into the net to give Med City FC a 1-0 lead. Just
six minutes later, the Mayhem won a penalty kick after a Duluth FC defender was called for a
hand ball in the box. Neto stepped up and buried the penalty kick, scoring his eighth goal of the
season in the process. The goal marked the first time that either team had scored twice against
the other in what has historically been a tight, low-scoring series of matches between the two
Duluth FC was down but certainly not out and the Bluegreens got the hearts of the Mayhem fans
in attendance and watching via their Mycujoo livestream pounding when Duluth midfielder
Lucas Jacobs scored in the 86 th minute to cut the Med City lead to 2-1. But just a minute later the
Mayhem scored again, working a short corner into the area and across the box, where it was
tapped in by midfielder Jack Hilton-Jones. His third goal of the season reopened a two-goal
cushion for the home team.
Duluth FC would push for goals as the game wound down, and if not for more goalkeeping
wizardry from Jarvis, they would have closed the gap. The BlueGreens could not, however, and
the game finished with a 3-1 win for the Mayhem, handing Duluth FC their first loss of the
season and keeping Med City FC undefeated.
“This was a huge win for the team,” said Med City FC general manager Frank Spaeth. “We’ve
had some epic clashes with Duluth FC over the past few years and this is the first time we’ve
managed to beat them. It was good to finally get a win in the series.”
“It was a complete team effort tonight,” said Mayhem head coach Neil Cassidy. “This team has
really become a family and we all fought for each other tonight. It was good to see the intensity
of our training session on Friday carry over to our performance, and to get the win.”
Both Spaeth and Cassidy were also quick to praise the work of Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine and
Med City FC athletic trainer Kristen Greek Erredge. Several players have been fighting through
knocks picked up during the game-packed season and Erredge has been instrumental in helping
them manage and recover from the issues.
“She’s been amazing,” Spaeth said. “She should probably be on the short list for our MVP this
Med City FC has a busy week ahead. The team is participating in several activities related to
Rochester’s annual week-long Rochesterfest event, including a Sports Night on Wednesday,
June 26 and a parade on Saturday, June 29. The team welcomes Dakota Fusion FC to Rochester
on Sunday, June 30th.
Photo Credit: Med City FC