By Hayden Larsen/Napa Valley 1839 FC
Napa Valley 1839 FC made an emphatic statement in their thorough handling of Academica SC. For the second competitive match in a row, striker Dario Pavon let his unequivocal presence be known early on with two spectacular goals that left Academica in the unenviable position of chasing the game almost immediately. Even after going up two goals, 1839 put more pressure on Academica than Academica could manage to put on 1839.
Academica’s best chance of the first half came midway through, as it looked like they might pull a goal back, but the ball bounced off of the crossbar and behind for a Napa goal kick. It was after that Napa found themselves at the other end with a corner kick. The kick was dangerously sent into Academica’s penalty area by 1839’s Miguel Galvan Lara. The ball found the head of 1839 forward Joe Restani – who was making his 1839 club debut – and Restani calmly placed the ball in the back of Academica’s net, putting Napa ahead in a commanding 3-0 lead in the first half.
Academica SC were unable to meaningfully threaten Napa 1839’s lead in the second half. There were chances for both teams, and Napa 1839’s keeper – Carlos Ayala – had a strong save about 65 minutes into the match. Ayala was also lively off his line, coming out fast to knock away dangerous passes from his opponents. Napa 1839 ended up securing the shutout, finishing the game with their three goals. Midfielder Javier Alcarria was amongst several of the great performances for 1839, and he was selected by the team as their Man of the Match. He contributed to the suffocating ball control and possession by 1839 as a unit. It is also very worth mentioning Pavon, who scored the two goals early to put the opposition on the back foot.
In a second win to start the season, Napa 1839 indeed made an unmistakable statement by knocking off the team that beat them in the playoff semifinals less than one year ago – and 1839 did so in such a spectacular way.
“They’re a good side, they won the league last year, so it’s important we started fast, we didn’t do that in the two previous matches against them last year,” 1839 head coach Mark Corbett said in a postgame interview. Corbett went on to say that Alcarria played a brilliant game and helped his team control the midfield.
Napa is set to begin its first competitive road stretch of the season, playing on April 9th at El Farolito in San Francisco. One week later, they will play in Petaluma against the Sonoma County Sol. Napa’s next home game is three weeks away, scheduled for Saturday, April 30th, at Dodd Stadium against the Oakland Stompers.
Academica SC, meanwhile, have one win on the season so far – last week’s win against El Farolito – along with their fresh loss to Napa 1839. They return home to face FC Davis at home in Turlock on Saturday, April 9th.
Photo Credit: Miguel Garcia, MG Pro