By Tyler Lewin
The Annapolis Blues continued its winning streak with a 1-0 win.
In their second encounter of the season, the Annapolis Blues dominated Northern Virginia United. Less goals needed to be accounted for than in Annapolis’ previous 4-3 victory on the road, but the Blues still won the game. In the first few minutes of the game, both teams had shots on goal, but neither side was able to produce any significant chances.
Matias De Jesus was pulled down 25 yards from goal in the 17th minute after outpacing his opponent, resulting in a free kick for the Blues. De Jesus took a step toward the ball and bent his shot around the wall, forcing Teddy Hutman to make a full-stretch stop.
Three minutes later, Blues forward Jacob Murrell gave his team the lead. Justin Harris swung the ball in from the right wing, landing at the feet of Toshi Davis who backheeled his initial pass to De Jesus. Then De Jesus continued, finding Murrell’s feet after a Northern Virginia defender blocked his initial shot. Hutman had no chance as Murrell came in from the left, turned his defender on the outside, and sent his first-time effort into the top corner of the near post.
Northern Virginia would create the game’s first meaningful opportunity in the 55th minute. Carter Berg, who was standing 25 yards away, took control away from De Jesus. Berg dribbled into the box and forced Griffin Hemmindinger to make a diving stop to his left. The Northern Virginia striker was forced to make a double save by Hemmindinger as a result of the ensuing rebound, maintaining the shutout.
In the 61st minute, Murrell had another opportunity to score. He was able to bring down the ball after a first errant touch after receiving a pass from the left side of the field. He then struck the ball, forcing Hutman to make a save in the low bottom right corner. In the 73rd minute, Annapolis second-half substitute Eric Gwadz was fouled while cutting inside from the left side of the field and being pressed by two defenders. However, the following free kick produced no noteworthy opportunities.
This win puts the Blues in prime position to host a first-round playoff game. For now, the focus is on their next match, a July 9th home game against the Alexandria Reds at 5:00 pm.
Photo Credit: Fincham Photography