By FC Frederick
A rare positive result against Virginia Beach City FC literally floated away as FC Frederick lost its NPSL opener 2-1 Saturday night at Urbana High School.
Virginia Beach City’s Jesse Miralrio caught FC Frederick keeper Gonzalo Bartoli off his line, and launched a 40-yard shot that found the net in the 63rd minute for what proved to be the winning goal.
Virginia Beach City improved to 1-1-1 on the season while FC Frederick is 0-1.
Since joining the NPSL in 2015, FC Frederick has managed only one win and one tie against Virginia Beach City, a perennial NPSL Mid-Atlantic Conference title contender.
Saturday’s contest, which was played before a crowd of 250, was shaping up for a more positive outcome for the Blue, which hadn’t played since 2019.
FC Frederick took a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute when Yann Kouemi finished a pass from John A. Eskay. Virginia Beach City tied the score at 1 in the 40th minute when Trevor Knight’s shot found the upper right corner of the goal for a tying score.
Despite the match being tied, FC Frederick had the better of play, more shots and more scoring chances. Then, the Blue received an additional bonus when Virginia Beach City’s starting goalkeeper Christian Coulson was sent off for a red card in the 45th minute. FC Frederick now faced their backup keeper and had a man-advantage for the final 46 minutes.
But all of the good fortune was for naught when Miralrio’s chip from distance found the goal.
FC Frederick had scoring chances in the 73rd minute when a shot by Owen Smith was deflected by the Virginia Beach keeper and Ander Etxaniz’s follow-up sailed over the goal. Etxaniz had another scoring chance in the 82nd minute, but his shot was cleared off the goal line by a Virginia Beach City defender. A minute later, Vaughn Phillips pushed a shot just wide of the goal in what proved to be FC Frederick’s final strong scoring chance.
“Despite tonight’s result, I’m very excited about this group,” FC Frederick coach Bo Eskay said.
The team had been selected only days before the match and had only one team practice prior to the contest. In addition, a few projected starters were missing from Saturday’s match, giving Eskay reason for high hopes in future outings.
The loss, however, dropped FC Frederick’s all-time record to 1-9-1 against Virginia Beach City, 0-5-1 at home.
Saturday’s contest was FC Frederick’s first NPSL match since the end of the 2019 season as the 2020 season was canceled.
“Tonight was about more than just a game,” Eskay said. “I saw joy. I saw cheering. I saw people enjoying themselves. This is a small part of getting them through COVID. It was great to see Frederick County supporting this after being cooped up for so long. It’s feeling like we’re turning the corner on COVID.”
FC Frederick held a 10-9 advantage in shots and a 4-2 edge in corner kicks. Bartoli, who played 77 minutes, had one save while giving up both goals. Billy Wood, making his NPSL debut, played the final 13 minutes and made a pair of saves. Coulson had two saves before exiting the match, and both came in the first seven minutes as FC Frederick dominated early play. William DeLoatche played the rest of the match in goal for Virginia Beach City and had two saves.
FC Frederick returns to action May 30 at Philadelphia Lone Star FC. The team’s next home match is June 5 against Northern Virginia United at Urbana High School.
Photo Credit: Nicholas Wolcott/FC Frederick and Scott Mohler/FC Frederick