Orange County extends their unbeaten streak to seven games.
Taking their unbeaten streak on the road to Las Vegas, Orange County SC took on Las Vegas Lights FC for the first time this season. The game started in favor of Orange County with 3 corner kicks and a big save from OC keeper Patrick McLain in the first 11 minutes.
The 10th minute saw Michael Seaton get through and take on multiple Vegas defenders. He managed to get a shot off, but Lights keeper Thomas Olsen got a piece of it and put in out of play for a corner.
In the 24th minute the back line dealt with a ball over the top that looked like it might be dangerous, but instead fell harmlessly to the OC defense where it was quickly cleared away. One minute later McLain came up with a big stop on a cross into the OC box. He quickly came off his line to scoop up the cross before a Lights player could poke it in.
After a hydration break, Vegas looked like the much better team. Several free kicks and corner kicks came for Vegas in the 33rd through 39th minute, but the back line held tough and defended each as they came.
In the 39th minute, Irvin Parra found himself behind the OC back line after a Javan Torre pass curled right to him to break in on goal. He took the ball to the touch line and beat McLain to the near post to put Vegas up 1-0.
Things went from bad to worse in stoppage time, as Joe Amico got into an altercation at midfield which ended with Amico seeing the red card and Orange County finding themselves down a man for the second game in a row.
In the second half, it was Orange County who looked like they were up a man. They pressured Vegas and in the 51st minute, on a Harry Forrester free kick, it looked as if Daniel Crisostomo put a beautiful strike on target and in, but was called back by an offside call.
Orange County was not to be denied though as they continued to press Las Vegas. In the 70th minute a ball was flicked to the back post where Leonardo was waiting, and he put a header back across the mouth of goal and it nestled in the back of the net to bring Orange County officially level.
Three minutes later, it looked as if Las Vegas would pull in front again, but Preston Tabort Etaka was ahead of the play, and after a slight delay, was called offside and the score remained tied at one.
Orange County and their never-say-die play defended 5 corner kicks and several throw-ins into the box in the last 10 minutes. What has been a problem in previous games seemed to be solved as none of those chances even got close to getting by McLain.
In the last gasp of the game, after a Vegas corner, Vinicius found himself rushing down the field with Liam Trotter to his right. Vinicius waited and pulled the defense toward him and touched the ball just by them to Trotter who was in one on one with the Vegas keeper. Trotter got just under the ball and it sailed high over the crossbar, but OCSC earned an important road point.
About the game, Coach Braeden Cloutier said “under the circumstances of playing a man down the entire second half, to come out of here and get a result, especially being down a goal, I’m really pleased with the outcome.”
Orange County looked strong, even down a man, and they will need all of that strength and determination as they travel to take on the red hot Phoenix Rising FC next week. Orange County will be asked to tame Phoenix again and put an end to their four game win streak, which began after they left Irvine a losing team. Kick-off is Saturday, June 15 at 7:30 pm.
39’: Irvin Parra (Javan Torre)
43’: Javan Torre (Yellow)
45’+1’: Joseph Amico (Red)
45’+4’: Michael Seaton (Yellow, will miss the next game for Yellow Card accumulation)
76’: Jose Villarreal (Yellow)