By Dominic José Bisogno/Duluth FC
Duluth’s trip to La Crosse, WI on Wednesday, May 24 proved to be anything but easy. The BlueGreens, however, got the job done in an important 1-0 win against LC Aris FC, maintaining their perfect record against the club in the NPSL.
It was also a night of adjustments for Duluth with Alex Paredes leading the team in goal for his debut, while club captain Jake Starling stepped aside for a backline of Cian Gantley, Ken Pryde, Santiago Erazo, and Stefan Roeb.
Aris came to play, going at every chance with vigor and intensity and forcing big moments from Paredes throughout the first half. Duluth had chances of their own, led by Tyler Limmer in his return to the starting eleven. Neither team, however, could find that opening goal in the first 45, and it was 0-0 at halftime.
Sean Morgan’s BlueGreens adjusted at halftime, bringing on Tom Akinola and Colin O’Mahoney immediately. The changes affected the game, but still no goal came for some time. It was only in the 77th minute, after both sides had made countless adjustments while the match increased ever more in intensity, that a goal arrived. It was Kostya Domaratskyy with the goal, running on to a looped cross as it fell on the left side of the six-yard box. Domaratskyy arched a shot toward the far side of the net and found the corner to make it 1-0. It was his third goal of the season.
The remaining 20 minutes saw both teams try to score, Duluth looking for support for their lead and Aris looking for an equalizer. Each side’s goalkeepers stood tall to prevent chances from open play. The game ended at 1-0, marking a notably tight contest between the two clubs.
The result means Duluth stayed top of the table with nine points. Minnesota TwinStars FC beat Sioux Falls Thunder FC 4-2, while Med City FC beat Joy Athletic 3-2.
Photo Credit: Holden Law/Duluth FC