By Dominic José Bisogno/Duluth FC
Duluth entered Wednesday looking to recover from their 6-1 loss to Minneapolis City, while also aiming to stay in the playoff race. With the safety of the head-to-head tiebreaker over Med City FC, it remained in Duluth’s hands whether or not they got the job done against Aris, along with their other two remaining matches.
The BlueGreens started fast with two goals from Sidney Warden in the 12th and 26th minutes, volleying in his first before running into a tap-in. James Westfield added a third soon after with a skillful finish from the right side of the 18-yard box.
Warden’s goals now make him the record holder at Duluth for most regular season goals in one season, a record previously held by Kyle Farrar, who scored 13 regular season goals in 2017. Farrar also holds the all-time tally at 19 goals. Westfield also made some history, scoring his twelfth goal for the club, surpassing Joe Watt’s mark and firmly taking third place in the all-time goal rankings.
The first half, ending 3-0, was dominated by the BlueGreens, who surrendered only minor chances to La Crosse. A partially rotated backline showed well against the visitors, and goalkeeper Wayne Davis looked right at home commanding the squad in just his second start for the club.
Dylan Somner, Danny Torres, and Rui Vale would add goals in the second half to wrap up a big 6-0 win for Duluth FC. Somner and Vale would make the best of two defensive errors from La Crosse, while Torres would arch in a long-range shot.
It would be Torres and Vales’ first goals for the side and Somner’s second. Duluth would make all available substitutions in the second half, only leaving goalkeeper Brendan Dally on the bench. Duluth’s various substitutes, including those with limited game time this season, would do well on the night, showing they have plenty to bring to the table.
Duluth now has twelve goal scorers for this season, adding up to 32 goals. In comparison, Duluth had thirteen goal scorers in all of 2019, not accounting for two own goals, adding up to 38 regular season goals.
Duluth FC head coach Sean Morgan would nominate Danny Torres as Man of the Match, the second such honor given to the Colombian midfielder. Torres impressed as a commanding presence in the midfield, fighting box to box to keep the BlueGreens ahead. Torres also scored his first goal for the club in shining style, managing a long-range strike in a match otherwise largely characterized by tight chances in crowded boxes. Torres was also Man of the Match in Duluth’s first win against La Crosse Aris this season, which resulted in a 3-0 win.
The convincing win leaves Duluth with 21 points as they continue to battle for second place with Med City. Duluth play Dakota Fusion FC on the road this Saturday, July 10th. It will be their last road match and second to last regular season match.
Photo Credit: Holden Law