By Hayden Larsen/Napa Valley 1839 FC
In their final home game of the 2022 NPSL regular season, Napa Valley 1839 FC put on a goalscoring clinic much to the delight of a raucous crowd of supporters. Their pace was torrid, and 1839 were immediately more than their opponent – the visitors, FC Davis – could handle. With less than two minutes played, a handball penalty was conceded by Davis. Dario Pavon, Napa’s leading striker, stepped up and calmly chipped the ball in over the keeper who dove to the right. Napa Valley 1839 would go on to score three more goals in the first 20 minutes of the match.
The second goal was scored off of a free kick very close to the box. It was scored by the player that typically takes free kicks and corners for Napa, the eminently clinical Javier Alcarria.
Alcarria smashed the ball past the keeper just five minutes after Pavon’s successful penalty conversion. In the 10th minute, winger Miguel Galvan scored another really impressive goal from the right side of the box. Napa Valley scored three goals in the span of 10 minutes, and it was the first 10 minutes of the game when their opponent would ostensibly have been at their freshest.
The fourth goal in the first twenty minutes of the match came in the 19th minute. Napa right back Ian Reis made a forward run all the way into the box, forcing the FC Davis keeper to make a save. The ball took a bounce that proved to be unfortunate for Davis and landed at the feet of Marco Manzo, who coolly tapped the ball in to put Napa up 4-0. Napa scored one more goal in the first half. It was a great run of play for Napa, who were passing clinically between themselves and moving the ball forward. It was a run of play that began with Galvan and ended with Manzo getting his brace.
Napa are always keen to get off to a rapid start, and they did so once again with less than two minutes played in the second half. Manzo scored the sixth goal of the game and his third, earning the hat trick in the 47th minute. Galvan was involved once again, as it was Galvan who sent the ball in from the corner kick.
FC Davis managed to end the shutout a few minutes later with a goal of their own, but Napa were not done. There was a lull in scoring for around thirty minutes, but in the 80th minute, Napa’s Oscar Ortiz made it 7-1 in the favor of Napa Valley 1839.
Tensions boiled over by the 90th minute, and frustration got the better of Axel Ramirez from FC Davis as he earned a red card. Napa Valley 1839 were still not satisfied; they scored one final goal to make it 8-1 while Davis was playing with just 10 players on the field. Roughly a minute after Ramirez was sent off, Napa substitute Victor Llorens found himself on the receiving end of a great pass from Oscar Ortiz and scored a fantastic goal to serve as the evening’s finale.
With playoff seeding in everyone’s mind, both teams still had much to play for ahead of this one. Not many would have predicted that this game would be an 8-1 result, and Napa Valley 1839 FC are flying high as playoffs loom at the end of this month.
Napa’s Man of the Match Marco Manzo immediately and humbly thanked his teammates and said his hat trick was a result of him being in the right places at the right times. When asked about his opponent, he was respectful and echoed the words frequently spoken by his head coach, Mark Corbett, who consistently says that the most important thing his players can do is focus on themselves, not on who their opponent is.
FC Davis will be looking to end their regular season positively by earning a result at home against the Oakland Stompers. As for Napa Valley 1839, they are locked into at least one home playoff game – which bodes well for them as they are undefeated at home and actually have not even been held to a draw at home. With their most recent loss several weeks behind them, 1839 have to be thinking about a deep playoff run. This is a much different team than the 1839 team that lost to El Farolito at the beginning of the season.
Napa Valley 1839 FC are on the road next weekend for the final regular season game ahead of the playoffs, traveling to Oakland to take on Oakland SC. That club currently sits in sixth place with a 3-4-2 record.
Photo Credit: Miguel Garcia/MG Pro