ASC San Diego Nets all Three Points in Home Opener
On a cool drizzly night in Mission Bay, ASC San Diego took the field for the first time at home in the 2019 National Premier Soccer League season to the sounds of the vuvuzelas that were given to fans as they entered the stadium. Looking for their first win of their fourth campaign after a 0-0 draw at FC Arizona the previous Saturday in Mesa, Arizona, the boys from San Diego faced off against their division foes, Riverside Coras.
San Diego, dressed in their red and white kits, struck first early with a beautiful headed goal by Dallin Cutler off of a great cross from Mike Semenza at the 3rd minute mark. Coras and ASC had a good trade of play but Riverside looked the more dangerous side when a set piece play in the 7th minute forced San Diego’s goalie Jean Antoine to come off of his line and punch the ball out of harms way.
Riverside continued to press and after a few missed attempts Adrian Moreno put a low shot towards the right corner and snuck it past Antoine to bring Coras even in the 10th minute. Over the next twenty minutes the teams traded opportunities but neither side could find the back of the net.
In the 39th minute, San Diego was finally able to break through with another great cross, this time from Luis Cardona, and finished by Khadim Seye, who rose up and headed the cross home to put San Diego up 2-1.
The game got a little chippy with Carlos Sierra receiving a yellow card for a very hard foul on Mike Semenza on the near sideline. Semenza jumped to keep the ball in play when Sierra went crashing into Semenza and forced the yellow to come out in the 45th minute. Seconds into first-half stoppage time a free kick was punched wide by the Riverside Goalkeeper, Andres Moreno, which set up a corner kick for ASC. On the ensuing kick, Christian Enriquez whipped in a ball which, untouched, found itself tucked into the far corner of the goal sending San Diego into the locker room up 3-1 at half time.
The second half began with Riverside pushing up the field and controlling most of the play. San Diego forced several offside calls but in the 52nd minute a great ball through threatened to bring Riverside closer, but the pass was just too heavy and San Diego escaped with a goal kick. In the 53rd minute, a bad foul brought out another yellow for Riverside’s Jimmy Ross. There was a heated exchange and Ross’s teammate Jose Perez was also booked.
At the 57th minute mark, Kuba Waligorski was called for a foul in the area and Adrian Moreno took the penalty. San Diego keeper Antoine guessed wrong and Moreno easily converted the penalty to bring Riverside to within one goal.
The two teams traded opportunities and it looked like Riverside was going to get an equalizer at the 81st minute mark, but it was quickly cleared off the line to preserve the one goal lead. At the 90th minute Jeff Powers was given a yellow card for time wasting after an offside call against Riverside. After San Diego put the ball in play Riverside’s Carlos Sierra was booked again for a hard foul and received a red card. With San Diego playing up a man they were able to hold on and walked away with the 3-2 victory.
After the game coach Ziggy Korytoski told me that he was happy with the result because “any time the team can get full points it is a good thing.” He also mentioned that after two games the team was still building an identity and that he is hoping that they can continue to work on finishing teams off when they get a lead.
Coach Korytoski thinks that ASC can continue to build a winning culture that will bring even more San Diegans to Mission Bay Stadium to watch ASC San Diego and their very entertaining style of soccer. Their next home game will be on March 16th against Temecula FC.
ASC San Diego has announced they have partnered with the San Diego Sockers where the purchase of an ASC ticket will get you into a Sockers game. If you purchase your ticket on the ASC website you can attend the March 15th Sockers game and the March 16th ASC game. The other weekend this deal is available is April 13th and April 14th.