By First State FC
First State FC lost their home opener 4-0 on Thursday in front of a wonderful home crowd. The game played out more evenly than the scoreline would indicate.
The match marked the return of First State FC back into the Keystone Conference, considered one of the toughest in the country. Delaware’s soccer team was in the Mid-Atlantic Conference last year, playing teams from Maryland and Virginia.
Now back in what is currently the Keystone East Conference, First State FC will square off against familiar foes this season.
“Atlantic City beat us in our first ever game 3-0,” First State FC GM Dave Holloway said. “So we knew that we would be in for a tough game. I thought that we played better tonight, although the result was much the same.”
The Midnight Riders opened up on the front foot with Alexis Garcia scoring a goal in the first minute that was ultimately ruled out as offsides. First State was forced to sub center forward Colby Raymond, after a collision in the Atlantic City penalty area left the East Stroudsburg player with a broken nose.
The goals for Atlantic City were spread evenly throughout the game. Sean Fatiga took advantage of an early opportunity in the 36th minute, chipping First State goalkeeper Valentino Kneis, who had come off his line. Eight minutes later, Atlantic City forward Colin Beasley added a second, created by a late run from deep which split the Midnight Rider center backs. The half finished 2-0 with First State FC still feeling very much in the game.
First State made a number of subs at halftime, bringing on Deshawn Bernard and Hakim Williams – both products of nearby Wilmington University. The second half began much like the first – with First State applying pressure and having dangerous possession in the Atlantic City final third – until two more ACFC goals later in the half put the game result beyond all doubt. Down a couple goals, First State was forced to commit more resources forward, which opened up space between the lines, which AC was able to exploit. The visitors’ third goal came from quick cross field movement which resulted in a nicely slotted in goal by Colin Beasley, his second of the day. The fourth goal was a laser beam of a strike from distance by Barragan.
The atmosphere was wonderful throughout the entire game, with hundreds turning out for a rare Thursday night game. Local youth side Guerreros FC were on hand to walk out with the teams before the opening kickoff. Local food truck “Omy Smoked BBQ” was on hand, serving Southeastern Asian barbecue to the fans on hand.
Next up for First State FC is another old rival, FC Monmouth, who comes to town on Friday, May 19.
Photo Credit: First State FC