By Dominic José Bisogno/Duluth FC
Duluth FC remained on the road this weekend as they traveled to the Twin Cities to face Joy Athletic for the second time this regular season. It’s been about a month since Duluth opened their season against Joy Athletic, a match which saw James Westfield return to the score sheet for Duluth for the first time since 2019 before Sidney Warden and Dylan Sumner added their share of the eventual 4-3 scoreline. Joy’s goals that day came from Emanuel Iwe, Phillip Capudo, and an own goal.
It proved an eventful match as Duluth got to scoring right away when Warden earned and scored a penalty kick in the 12th minute, before club veteran Aidan Hill scored a long-range screamer in the 25th minute. It was Hill’s second goal for the club in his third season with the club and proved well worth the wait for the BlueGreens veteran, who managed to rocket the ball into the near corner of the net from the edge of the box while falling.
Joy would pull one back before half time through smart play from Iwe and Dennis Mensah but Duluth would still lead at the halftime whistle. Joy, it should be noted, would impressively score on their only shot on target in the first half. Duluth had six shots on target in the opening half and thirteen shots in total.
The second half would bring a storm of Duluth goals after just over twenty minutes of back-and- forth play as Warden beat the keeper with a chipped goal to make it twelve goals this year for the Englishman, making him the club’s second to top all-time goal scorer since joining the NPSL ahead of club legend Joe Watt and follow forward James Westfield, both on eleven goals. Warden is also just seven goals off of Kyle Farrar’s all-time club record of 19 goals across regular season, playoff, and U.S. Open Cup matches.
Gabriel Campora and Eric Watson would both earn their second goals of the season off the bench over the next 15 minutes as Duluth secured one of the biggest wins of the season thus far and reached the 18-point mark to stay tied with Med City FC. Campora’s goal would prove as impressive as his winner over Med City on June 16th, as he fired in a rocket from a tight angle on the right edge of the 18-yard box, while Watson outsmarted the keeper before slotting the ball into an empty net.
Aidan Hill would be named Man of the Match for a wonderful performance, both in terms of his goal and his general play in the midfield upon being handed a rare start this season.
The result leaves Duluth with eleven goals scored in their last three matches, with just three conceded along the way. The BlueGreens are truly on a run as the regular season heads to a close. Duluth will next play at home against Minneapolis City SC on June 30th.
Photo Credit: John and Emily Law