Finishing. This was the only difference from Academica SC one week to the other. Coming off a disappointing road loss to Napa, in which Academica saw over eight shots on goal get turned away by a strong Napa defense and goalkeeper, Academica made the most of their opportunities this time around by scoring four goals in this weekend’s contest.
Sonoma County Sol FC became the first member of the NPSL to visit the unfriendly confines of Academica Field. A cold night that saw over 250 in attendance for the home opener, the home fans were met with excitement shortly after the opening whistle. Cody Golbad whipped in a corner kick in the second minute of the contest that found the head of Marcus Decouto for the opening goal of the match and of the NPSL soccer season.
Decouto got involved yet again when he sent a cross on over that was headed down by Jorge Carmona to the feet of Manuel Villegas for the second goal of the contest. Down 2-0 in the opening three minutes, Sonoma County continued to battle through an onslaught of opportunities and pressure by Academica SC. In the 14th minute, Sonoma County were able to push the ball towards the opposition’s backline and create their first opportunity that was just wide of the mark. Academica was able to pierce the Sonoma County defense for a third time when Colbad received a deflection off a corner that was driven right back to him, and drove a shot with pace past the keeper’s near post for the third goal of the match in the 30th minute.
The match continued with Academica SC creating chances that brought the Sonoma keeper off his line numerous times, cutting off the through balls that were being sent in through the Academica midfielders. Sonoma got on the board in the 43rd minute when a deflection by Academica goalkeeper Martin Sanchez met Omar Nuno to open up the scoring for the visiting side.
The second half opened up with both sides testing out the opposition’s backline with opportunities for both clubs. Things got interesting in the 70th minute when a series of deflections in the Academica box led to a second goal by the visiting team by way of a shot from Dane Shaffer. In the 72nd minute Academica goalkeeper Martin Sanchez came up with a huge save that was headed towards goal that would have tied it all up. Ten minutes later Academica scored their fourth and final goal of the contest when a through ball sent in by Gerardo Cazares left Samuel Saldate alone with the keeper. He was able to knock it through for the two-goal advantage for the home side. Ramiro Ceja had an opportunity deflected away neatly by the goalkeeper that would’ve given the home side their fifth goal of the contest. After four minutes of stoppage time, the game wrapped up with a final score of 4-2.
Academica earns their first win in the NPSL and now welcomes Napa Valley 1839 FC next Saturday at 7:00 pm.