It was another busy weekend for the West Region’s Southwest Conference.
The San Diego Flash (6-1-0) traveled to the Santa Clarita Storm (1-1-5) for a pivotal playoff seeding match. The game played at Santa Clarita was the annual charity game where proceeds from the game benefited the Michael Hoefflin Foundation. Santa Clarita needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive and the Storm were looking to stay undefeated and on top of the Southwestern Conference.
The Flash scored early in the match with goals by Nathan Medina in the 18th minute and Justin Picou in the 30th. The Flash took a two-nil lead into the half and were able to continue the momentum into the second half. Santa Clarita looked sharp and like a different team in the second half when they scored two goals in the 50th and 60th minute, both by Brett Croft. The Flash turned the momentum back in their favor and never looked back with another goal by Nathan Medina in the 61st minute. Justin Picou netted another goal, Nathan Medina scored again completing the hat trick, and Nick Hamilton finished off the scoring late in the second half for a final score of San Diego Flash 6, Santa Clarita Storm 2.
“Nathan, Andy, and Ryan really controlled the game flow for us from the midfield,” San Diego Flash Coach Jerome Watson stated. “They were able to allow our offense to be aggressive and play with our three on top offensively. Without them I do believe it would have been a different outcome as they were able to dictate the pace of play.”
“When the score became tied we really had the momentum going in our direction,” FC Santa Clarita Storm CEO Gerald Brunner added. “Then they scored a goal a minute later and took the wind right out of our sails which we were never able to recover from.”
FC Hasental weathered a late Temecula challenge to come away with a 4-2 victory. Goals from Alberto Anguiano and Alberto Rosas, both assisted by Alan Rovira, gave Hasental a 2-0 halftime lead.
Second half action saw an unassisted goal from Faisal Abduljawad. Temecula scored two quick goals, their only goals of the night, in succession to make it 3-2 late in the match, but a free kick from just outside the eighteen from Armando Gaitan sealed the victory for FC Hasental.
“I felt we kept good possession of the ball for the first 75 minutes, although we could have been more patient in the final third,” Gaitan concluded.
Del Rey City SC was eliminated from postseason contention with a loss to FC Force.
Elsewhere in the League
The Sacramento Gold defeated the CD Aguiluchos USA 2-0, allowing the Gold to remain in first place in the Golden Gate Conference.
The Northwest Conference saw a 2-2 draw between Seattle Sporting FC and Gorge FC, thanks to a stoppage time goal from Seattle’s Vinicius Oliveira.
The Keystone Conference opened with a match between Junior Lone Star FC and Electric City Shock SC. Junior Lone Star had their first-ever league opening win on Saturday as Jerome Pour’s 85th minute goal secured a 2-1 home victory over newcomers Electric City Shock.
Miami United got off to a hot start in the Sunshine Conference, beating both the Cape Coral Hurricanes and Tampa Marauders in their opening weekend. Over 3,000 fans and supporters, including Miami Heat point guard Norris Cole, came out for Miami’s first home match.
Spartans Futbol Club 3, Inter United FC 1
Real San Jose 3, San Francisco Stompers 1
Quad City Eagles 3, FC Bordo 1
Brooklyn Italians 3, Seacoast United Mariners 1