By Ricky LaBlue/Virginia Beach City FC
Needing a win to stay in the hunt for the top spot in the NPSL’s Mid-Atlantic Conference, Virginia Beach City FC held on to a 2-0 win over Northern Virginia United on Saturday night.
The win pushes VB City FC back into a first-place tie with FC Baltimore, who owns the tiebreaker over VB City FC. Each team has two matches left in the regular season.
“I think psychologically, coming into this game, Northern Virginia, they’re on the outside looking in,” VB City FC head coach Brian Hinkey said. “So if we could get at them early, I thought we could put the game out of reach, which we did. I still think we should have played a bit better.”
Virginia Beach City FC put two scores on the board early, thanks to a third-minute goal by Preston Bremus and an eighth-minute goal by Trevor Knight. Virginia Beach City FC generated eight shots on goal, but the two early scores were all they’d need.
VB City FC’s defense was the unit of the day, specifically center back Shane Wiedt. The backline kept keeper CJ Coulson clean for most of the evening, allowing just four shots on goal. Wiedt’s performance earned him Man of the Match.
“I think (Wiedt) and Ryan (McLaughlin) have really formed a good relationship as the four and the five,” Hinkey said. “Our backfield is pretty solid. Northern Virginia likes to play a lot of balls behind the center backs. I thought we absorbed that well and didn’t really give anything away in the counterattack.”
When shots did get through, Coulson took care of them. His four saves included two one-on-one saves, in which Coulson made two spectacular and ultimately necessary saves.
“I think CJ has been outstanding this year,” Hinkey said. “He’s come in ready, he’s come in fit and he’s much better at playing on his front foot and playing more attack-minded. He’s done well, in terms of attacking the ball, cutting down angles and making himself big.”
Virginia Beach City FC improved to 6-1-1 with the win, including a season sweep over Northern Virginia United. VB City FC and FC Baltimore each have 19 points and have two matches to play.
Photo Credit: Ciara Strickland Photography