By Cedar Stars FC
On a rainy Saturday evening in the Hudson Valley, Cedar Stars FC kicked off their first home game of their inaugural season as part of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). Having brought home three points from their trip up I-87 to Schenectady, New York last weekend, taking down New York Shockers in a 2-1 match, the team was excited to welcome Hartford City FC to Faller Field in Middletown, New York.
In front of nearly 500 fans and a sea of green, Cedar Stars FC was prepared to play with a fast-paced, high pressure, direct game – and they did just that. With two forwards constantly pressing the Hartford City FC backline, those in attendance and watching online saw numerous chances for CSFC early on.
With a 70-yard pass from the CSFC defensive third by Sean Reilly to Gunnar Studenhofft just outside the penalty box, Studdenhofft gained possession amongst two Hartford defenders. Barely staying on his feet, he was able to put it on the far post and into the back of the net. Cedar Stars FC took the lead in the 25th minute of the match.
Hartford City FC was not about to sit back and let CSFC head into the locker room at halftime with the lead. As the first half neared an end, City had a quality passing sequence along the touchline that started with the goalkeeper. It led to a through ball to Alec Hughes who was able to beat CSFC goalkeeper Dylan McDermont. He had come off his line and out of the box, allowing Hughes to slot the ball into the net during the 45th minute.
Both teams came out in the second half battling for three points with both sides putting in a great effort. Despite some quality chances on each end of the pitch, CSFC and Hartford City had to settle for a point each, even with the match getting very chippy as the clock clicked through the 80th to 90th minutes.
“Would we have liked three points in our first home match?” Cedar Stars FC head coach Jim Lagarde following the match. “Of course, we would have. But we’re happy with the performance of the team, and we’re absolutely blown away by the support we received from the community in our first game at Faller Field.”
“This NPSL team is another big step forward for soccer in the Hudson Valley,” Lagarde added. “We are all honored to be a part of it.”
On Saturday, May 21, Cedar Stars FC will welcome Massachusetts side Valeo FC to the fantastic Faller Field in Orange County, New York with Faller Field being one of only seven turf fields in the United States that is recommended by FIFA.
Photos Courtesy of Cedar Stars FC