By Virginia Beach City FC
Virginia Beach City FC made it seven games unbeaten after their 2-1 victory Saturday night against FC Frederick. Virginia Beach City FC has already clinched their bid for the 2022 NPSL Mid-Atlantic Conference playoffs and are now vying for home-field advantage. The win currently puts them in place to do so. FC Frederick is still in the hunt for the last slot, competing against First State FC. The loss pushes their fate into the final week of the regular season.
Overall the first half was evenly fought as both sides created attacking opportunities. It was only after the water break in the 30th minute that Virginia Beach started to create more threatening chances.
FC Frederick started the events in the 11th minute as they found a smooth through ball past the VB defense, going 1v1 with 2019 NPSL Goalkeeper of the Year Christian “CJ’ Coulson. However, the attack was snuffed out by the longtime City netminder. In the 37th minute, Puerto Rican international Eli Carr was looking to inspire his side. He took the ball on his own near the edge of Virginia Beach’s final third and took it all the way down to the opposing touchline, beating multiple Frederick defenders in a foot race. In the end, Carr ran out of options as the away team got numbers back in time to snuff out the play.
At the end of the first half, Virginia Beach City FC dodged a bullet from a trick free kick. Luckily, the shot swerved away from goal. Coulson then chose to play short out of the back from the goal kick due to the wind. Captain Preston Bremus then unleashed a fifty-yard long ball over the top to forward Mikael Ndjoli who chipped it over the sliding goalkeeper near the top of the 18-yard box and tucked it away for the easy finish from just six yards out. This would give Virginia Beach City FC the 1-0 lead heading into the half.
To start the second half, academy product Arnold Rutkauskas slid a ball through for leading scorer Sheriff Secka down the right flank. Secka met the ball and took it towards goal and had the shot off but the FC Frederick goalkeeper came up huge with the point-blank save. Seventeen minutes later, it was Secka bagging his sixth goal of the season in the 68th minute of play. It was Rutkauskas and Secka linking up yet again. Rutkauskas’ long ball bent around the last defender perfectly to find Secka charging at goal. Secka turned his hips toward goal and slotted it near post for the 2-0 lead.
FC Frederick was awarded a penalty kick in the 75th minute. Coulson guessed the right way but the shot just had so much pace behind it that it was already in before Coulson had a chance to reach for it. The score line found itself at 2-1. Eventually, bad memories of last weekend’s match, in which VB City FC conceded a late draw, started to arise as FC Frederick’s desperation to clinch a playoff spot motivated the travelers to threaten a lot more. Virginia Beach City FC found themselves on their heels for much of the final 15 minutes. Ultimately, VB City FC weathered the storm and made it out with the full three points.
Photo Credit: Grace McGhee/Virginia Beach City FC