The Michigan Stars traveled to Dayton, Ohio Friday night in a must-win matchup to stay in the hunt for a Great Lakes West Conference playoff berth and won 3-1 versus the Dynamo.
The win brings the Stars record to 4-4-3 with 16 points and one game left to play next Friday, July 15th versus Detroit City FC in Hamtramck. Detroit City FC also holds a 16 point position in the conference.
The game started brightly for Michigan Stars with some early pressure creating some decent chances. Then the momentum shifted when Eric McWoods was the recipient of a hard challenge that left him clutching at his hip and needing some medical attention. The Stars managed to play a man down for several minutes to see if McWoods could make it back into the game, but he was unable to go. The Stars were left making a sub very early into the match. Soon after this the Stars gave the ball away in the back when trying to create a platform for an attack. The result was a 1v1 situation that the Dayton striker took full advantage of giving them a 1-0 lead against the run of play.
For long stretches the Stars dominated possession, but didn’t have much to show until the last two minutes of the half when their attacking unit scored two quick goals.
The first goal came from an accurate long range pass from Ben Thornton, who picked out Shawn Claud Lawson on the left flank. Lawson penetrated inside and then slipped Alex Serwatka in behind the Dayton defense. Serwatka then curled an early ball back across goal for Adi Kavara to score his second Stars goal of the season to tie the game up. A minute later Alex Serwatka scored one of the best individual goals of the season as he picked up a ball at the half way line, ran half the field, beat one defender then the keeper with a low shot to the bottom right hand corner with his left foot to give Stars a 2-1 lead going into halftime.
In the second half the Stars added an insurance goal when Dom Hart attacked down the right flank and whipped in a great ball for Adi Kavara to add his second of the night.
“Overall the team player very well for long stretches and deserved to come away with three points,” Stars head coach Andy Wagstaff commented. “I was extremely pleased with the response to going a goal down and losing a key player so early in the match.”