By Nicky Wolcott/FC Frederick
FC Frederick (1-5-1) notched its first win of the season in a 3-1 victory over Northern Virginia United (3-3-1) at Utica Park.
FC Frederick rallied from a 1-0 deficit to end a winless streak of seven matches, which dated to FC Frederick’s last victory — a 2-1 decision over Northern Virginia United on June 26, 2019. The 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19.
FC Frederick’s head coach Bo Eskay was excited and relieved that the Blue could finally celebrate a victory.
“This is a very talented group, and it’s taken us a while to figure out a couple things,” Eskay said. “I’m excited for them and I just wish we had it come a little bit earlier because they definitely have the talent.”
Northern Virginia United was on the front foot at the beginning of the first half, and almost took the lead in the eighth minute after forward Bardia Kimiavi got in behind FC Frederick’s defense and hit the post before having his follow up saved by goalkeeper Gonzalo Bartoli.
Kimiavi continued to cause problems for FC Frederick’s defense and got in behind again in the 14th minute. He brought the ball down and calmly placed it past Bartoli to give Northern Virginia United the lead.
FC Frederick responded in the 26th minute after midfielder Uriel Zeitz found forward Elias Norris with a great through ball. Norris raced past a defender and finished past goalkeeper Chandler Gaunce to tie the match.
FC Frederick took the lead in the 32nd minute after a fantastic solo effort from forward Jerry Zouantcha.
Zouantcha latched onto a poor clearance and danced through multiple defenders before finding the bottom corner to make it 2-1. FC Frederick held the advantage at halftime despite being outshot 8-5 by Northern Virginia United. However, FC Frederick would carry the momentum from the end of the first half into the second half.
The Blue doubled their advantage in the 63rd minute after a great team move. Zouantcha found forward Yann Kouemi, who beat his defender to the endline and cut the ball back to the penalty spot for Zeitz.
Zeitz’s first-time finish found the bottom corner to make it 3-1 and all but secure the outcome.
Afterward, Eskay talked about using midfielder Cole Hellert in a new role as a center midfielder, as opposed to previously using him as a defender.
“[Hellert] made a big difference,” Eskay said. “He allowed some of our other guys to have a little bit more of a creative role while he buzzed around and got pressure on guys and won balls. If I had to pick a man of the match, it was him because that change changed the game for us.”
FC Frederick will look to make it two wins in a row June 30 when the Blue travel to Philadelphia to take on Philadelphia Lone Star FC.
Photo Credit: FC Frederick