Virginia Beach City FC Falls 3-0 to Grove Soccer United in Home Opener

By Carter Atherton

On a rainy night at Powhatan Field in Norfolk, Virginia, the home squad, Virginia Beach City FC, fell 3-0 to the visiting Grove Soccer United.

The game was even through the first 15 minutes, as the Virginia Beach City 4-4-2 formation lined up well with Grove United’s 4-3-3 attacking formation.  The tension rose as Grove United thought they had scored the opening goal early on.  In the 17th minute forward Dylan Matheny flicked a cross into the back of the net, but the goal was called offsides by the assistant referee.

Virginia Beach City FC bounced back in the 19th minute when forward Ryan Mahon missed just wide off the volley after a flick pass from midfielder Ryan Taing.

Grove United had all the momentum from that play on.  Matheny got revenge for his previous chance in the 24th minute.  The forward volleyed one on the left side of the box past the outstretched hands of goalkeeper Jack Desroches to open the scoring. 

The goals then came in bunches for Grove United.  In the 32nd minute, Grove United’s Onesime Muepu shot a ball from the top of the box that was pushed out by Desroches on to the feet of the outside back Arfenne Senior who tapped it into the back of the net.  

Just three minutes later, Muepu dribbled from around 40 yards out through the Virginia Beach City defense to slot one home, making it 3-0. 

Virginia Beach City came out with much more energy in the second half.  Mahon found the ball on the top of Grove United’s box and smashed a shot with his right foot just over the bar in the 50th minute.  In the 66th minute, again, Mahon had a chance on goal that was shoved away by Grove United goalkeeper Will Howard. 

The first and only booking of the game came from Grove United defender Camden Stallings due to a missed timed challenge on Virginia Beach City midfielder Joel Albritton in the 66th minute.

Grove United had their final chance on goal in the 79th minute when a square ball was played across the six-yard box, but the goal hungry forward could not tap it home.  

Virginia Beach City had two late chances as well.  The first chance came from solid linkup play between substitutes Ryan Rodriguez and Matthew Brown.  The second came after a cross by Arnold Rutkauskas was deflected off of a Grove United defender into the hands of the goalkeeper on the line.

Desroches kept Virginia Beach City alive at points in the game.  The Virginia Beach native had 11 saves in the match.  On the other end, Howard got his hands on four shots in the victory and was eventually substituted to give way for James DiMaggio.

Virginia Beach City FC looks to bounce back on Sunday, May 26th as they head to Alexandria to face the Reds at 2:30 pm.  On the other hand, Grove Soccer United look to keep to their winning ways as they play DMV Elite FC on Monday, May 27th in Richmond. 

 

Photo Credit: James Hill

 

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