By Sheldon Shealer/FC Frederick
FC Frederick finally had a second half to match its first half and came away with a season-ending 2-0 victory over visiting Philadelphia Lone Star FC in sweltering heat on Tuesday night at Oakdale High School.
FC Frederick finishes the season 2-7-1 with both wins occurring in home matches on fields it had never before played in an NPSL contest.
The season was a tale of two halves for the Blue, which finished fifth in the Mid-Atlantic Conference. FC Frederick went into halftime either leading or tied in seven of nine matches before Tuesday, only to lose five of those seven contests and tie one. But on this night, the second-half woes never surfaced.
Spencer Shortt, a Millersville senior, staked FC Frederick to a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute, finishing a cross from John A. Eskay into an open net. The play started when Siena’s Cole Hellert played a long ball to the left wing that William & Mary senior Eskay gathered and outraced a defender. As Eskay angled toward the goal, pulling the keeper off the line, Eskay slid a pass to Shortt, who had no problem with the finish, marking his first NPSL goal.
FC Frederick keeper Billy Wood, who found himself under pressure often in the first half, recorded five first-half saves as the Blue went into the break with a 1-0 lead.
On this night, where the game-time temperature was in the low 90s, FC Frederick would not falter.
The Blue caught a break in the 62nd minute when Philadelphia keeper Prince Monyan was sent off with a straight red card after taking down an FC Frederick attacker outside the penalty box. Monyan received a yellow early in the match for handling a ball outside of the penalty box as well. The later infraction reduced Lone Star to 10 players on the field for a team that already was stretched thin.
FC Frederick sent wave after wave of 2-on-1 and 3-on-2 scoring chances at Philadelphia the rest of the night but couldn’t put the game away until the 90th minute when Michigan signee Uriel Zeitz got behind the Lone Star defense and kissed a shot off the far post for the 2-0 margin.
Before Zeitz’s clinching goal, Philadelphia mustered seven second-half corner kicks and eight shots, one that hit the outside side netting and five that required saves from FC Frederick’s second-half keeper Gonzalo Bartolo. With a minute left in regulation, and the contest still at 1-0, Bartolo made a crucial stop on Philadelphia’s Patrick Singbah to preserve FC Frederick’s first shutout of the season.
Although FC Frederick will finish last in the five-team conference, it had wins over the current second- and third-place teams. On the season, FC Frederick was 3-2-5 at halftime with nine goals scored and nine allowed. The team was outscored 18-8 in the second halves, leading to the 2-7-1 final record. In addition, two of its losses occurred when surrendering 90th-minute goals, and the team was 0-4 in one-goal contests.
Photo Credit: FC Frederick