By Hannah Bernick/Florida Roots FC
The Florida Roots found themselves back on the pitch and hosting another fun day. While the Roots faced Southern States on the field, the fans partook in their own competition with a dizzy bat contest. The excitement on and off the field has been great for soccer lovers all around.
The Florida Roots and Southern States have both proven that they are successful teams with each holding three wins this season. The teams felt pressure to prove who truly was the better team because of this. The intensity came off strong at kickoff, and it did not lay up until the final whistle.
Southern States SC opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a goal from forward Sheldon Green. The Roots, still desperate to prove their talent, did not wane in their fight.
The Stars struck again with a goal from forward Mason Walsh in the 32nd minute, making it 2-0. Forward Jean Lucas Rivera Murillo scored seven minutes later, leaving the Roots with a 3-0 deficit.
Roots midfielder Davis Edwards earned a red card in the 44th minute. This would be the second red card for the Florida Roots in under a week.
Finally the Roots scored in the 58th minute. Gabriel Villafane Vidal broke past the defense and scored a much-needed goal for the Florida Roots. The cheers from the home crowd could be heard from well outside the stadium.
The Stars continued their pursuit of more goals and did not falter in their effort. Defender Josef Hefele scored in the 60th minute, while Murillo earned his brace just five minutes later. The Roots now found themselves down 5-1.
Although it looked bleak, the determination of the players continued with strong fight.
Southern States scored again in the 81st minute with a goal from forward Miller Hayden. The Florida Roots FC continued to fight hard until the last second. With only 10 men playing, they left everything on the pitch.
Roots head coach Richard Kinniburgh shared his thoughts on the loss.
“A very strong Southern States team showed up and showed us the difference between the top and middle of the table,” Kinniburgh said. “We’ve got some injuries and suspensions in key places, and unfortunately those that got their opportunity didn’t step up.”
The Roots find themselves with a record of 3-4-0 after the defeat, while Southern States SC now have a record of 4-2-0. The Florida Roots FC hit the pitch again next Sunday, June 12th at home at Tommy Oliver Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 pm CT. The Roots will also be hosting a fan appreciation night. All the fans in the Panama City area are invited, and there will be a contest on the Florida Roots Instagram page.
Please visit floridarootsfc.com for tickets and information on the Florida Roots 2022 season. Follow the team on Facebook (@floridarootsfutbolclub), Twitter (@FloridaRootsFC), and Instagram (@floridarootsfc).
Photo Credit: Dawson Miller/Florida Roots FC