IRVINE, Calif. (April 14, 2018) – An action packed second half against San Antonio FC propels a talented Orange County SC back into first place in the Western Conference standings. The club records its fourth consecutive win and clean sheet of the season with a three nil victory over SAFC.
With eight saves on the night, Orange County SC goal keeper Andre Rawls proved early on that having an experienced keeper in the net can mean the game. The beginning of the first half proved Rawls would have a busy night as he saved a left footed shot from outside the box by San Antonio FC’s Kris Tyrpak. Five minutes later, he made a diving save as SAFC’s Ever Guzman fired a shot in low and right. Orange County SC forward Thomas Enevoldsen fired a shot of his own in the 36th minute, but the attempt was blocked by SAFC goal keeper Diego Restrepo. Seven minutes later, Orange County SC’s Aodhan Quinn sent a perfect pass to an awaiting Christian Duke who’s shot barely missed just right of the net. The teams would head to the locker rooms evenly matched with a scoreless first half.
“Andre hadn’t had to do much the past several games. We have four clean sheets in a row and tonight Andre showed exactly how good he is,” said Orange County SC Head Coach Braeden Cloutier. “He stepped up in a game we needed him most. That’s what great goal keepers do, keep teams in games that maybe aren’t going their way.”
Providing San Antonio FC with a false sense of security in the first half, Orange County SC came into the second half with a renewed intensity. It wasn’t long before midfielder Koji Hashimoto put Orange County SC on the books. With a right footed strike from 30 yards out in the 48th minute, Hashimoto sent a beautifully weighted shot up and over the SAFC wall to the top left corner of the net scoring his first goal of the season for Orange County SC.
“Koji has continued to work hard week in and week out! It was just a matter of time before he would score. I couldn’t be happier for him,” said Cloutier.
The 54th minute would provide SAFC with not one, but three scoring opportunities that they just couldn’t capitalize on. Orange County SC midfielder Mark Segbers, who recorded a brace in the match against LA Galaxy II on April 7th, played a supporting role tonight when in the 84th minute he sent a beautiful pass to forward Thomas Enevoldsen who recorded his fifth goal of the season, putting Orange County SC up two nil. In the 73rd minute, Orange County SC would make a key substitution, bringing in Giovanni Ramos Godoy for Koji Hashimoto. The substitution would pay off in the 87th minute when SAFC goal keeper Restrepo was caught far off his line, giving an attentive Orange County the prime opportunity to score. Thomas Enevoldsen sent a fast break to Godoy who sent the shot flying into the bottom left corner of the net, closing out the night with the three nil victory for Orange County SC.
“I told Godoy weeks ago to continue to train hard and that his opportunities would come! He works harder than anyone at training and has a great attitude,” said Cloutier. “We knew late in the game it would get stretched a bit and that he would get his chances. He is another player that I am so proud of!”
SAFC will have to wait until July 14th to seek its revenge when Orange County SC plays host at Championship Soccer Stadium at Orange County Great Park. Next up, Orange County SC continues its Texas adventure with a side trip to H-E-B Park when it takes on Rio Grande Valley Toros FC on Wednesday, April 25th at 5:00 PM. The club returns home to Championship Soccer Stadium on Saturday, April 28th at 7:00 PM when they battle Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC. Tickets for the match are available at orangecountysoccer.com or by calling (949) 647-GOAL.
Photo credit: San Antonio FC