Coming into Wednesday night, FC Baltimore sat in third place on points per game in the Mid-Atlantic Conference. But a convincing 6-1 victory over Legacy 76 helped secure a second place spot heading into Friday against leader Northern Virginia United.
FC Baltimore traveled to Williamsburg, Virginia to take on the Mid-Atlantic Conference Playoffs champion from last year in Legacy 76. Legacy came off of a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Northern Virginia but had created some chances late and were feeling good headed into Wednesday night’s match. Whatever good feelings Legacy may have had, they were quickly erased. In fact, quickly is an understatement. Only 21 seconds into the match, Tre Pulliam took advantage of a Legacy mistake and put FC Baltimore ahead.
As Legacy 76 have had to do in many of their recent games, they had to chase the lead. 1-0 was the closest it ever got. In the eighth minute Josh Fawole found himself on the scoresheet as the keeper Connor Andrews could not handle a ball above his head. Fawole took advantage and made it 2-0.
It didn’t take long for FC Baltimore to score again with Fawole scoring with a header from a Jade Mesias corner. The score was 3-0, 22 minutes into the match. FCB controlled the ball brilliantly in the first half besides a disallowed goal on the Legacy side. It continued up until the 38th minute when Lucas Mendes scored from a ball that sat in front of him and a wide open net, and then five minutes later when he patiently weaved through defenders. 5-0 was the halftime score, sealing the most goals FC Baltimore have ever scored in a single half.
The scoring slowed in the second half, and as compared to the first half, not much happened at all. In the 59th minute, Jonathan Cullom poked a ball, which went through Quantrell Jones’ hands, into the back of the net to put Legacy on the board.
More time passed and FC Baltimore were doing what they could do see the game out. In the 87th minute Brady O’Connor gave it a go from the edge of the penalty box and watched a bouncing ball ricochet off back up keeper Jacob Reimers’ hands and into the net to re-extend the lead to 6-1. That is where it would end.
“The pregame talk was all about getting off to a good start, and obviously scoring 20 seconds into the game, or whatever it was, sets a good tone for the day,” FC Baltimore head coach Brandon Quaranta said after the match. “All in all, on the road you want to get three points whether it’s 1-0 or 6-1, and we came down here and got the job done.”
This win for FC Baltimore sets the scene for Friday for the NPSL National Game of the Week as FC Baltimore host first-place Northern Virginia United, who by the way, drew Charlottesville Alliance FC Wednesday night 1-1. With those results, FC Baltimore finds themselves in second place on goal differential, and could potentially land themselves in first place with a win Friday.
Quaranta looks ahead to the important upcoming fixture.
“Being home will help, not having to travel and having the home crowd behind us to support us will certainly help, so I think the energy will be there. We understand the importance of the game. We’ve been very clear we want to finish at the top of the league, and to do that, we pretty much have to win Friday.”
Contributor: Christian Taylor/FC Baltimore
Photo Credit: Christian Taylor/FC Baltimore