After a trio of games where FC Davis players felt they deserved more, Saturday night proved to be what everyone was hoping for.
From the opening whistle, the FC Davis midfield trio of Onah Power, Andisheh Bagheri and Miguel Acevedo took control of the match, suffocating Napa Valley on defense while creating a wave of chances for the home team on offense.
“Our team knows what we’re capable of.” said holding midfielder and Man of the Match Onah Power, a 2017 Big West First Team All-Conference Player. “The right pieces are starting to fit together and that is what the fans saw on the field tonight”.
Power, who surgically controlled the center of the pitch, seemed to pop up all over the place, igniting the FC Davis attack through a combination of sheer will, athletic ability and defensive wizardry. Through his play, the Golden Lions created so many chances the game could, and probably should, have been five or six to zero.
Davis High School graduate and UCSD All-American Andisheh Bagheri echoed Power’s statements:
“Aside from our finishing, everything seemed to be clicking tonight. If we create that many chances, we'll leave ourselves in a good spot every match especially with talented guys we have up top.”
Bagheri, whose play is commonly compared to legendary Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo, graced the field with his superior technical abilities and trademark through balls. Setting up a host of chances for his teammates, Andisheh had a massive impact in his season debut for the Golden Lions.
The other midfield standout, Miguel Acevedo, led the scoring off with a goal inside of 6 minutes. After a flick-on by winger Evan Barrett, Acevedo broke free from the defense and slotted away a rebound goal sparking an early celebration for the home side.
The next 80 minutes of the match saw shots go wide, high, to the keeper, and seemingly everywhere but in the back of the net.
As a result, despite their dominance, FC Davis only led Napa 1-0 for most of the match.
Not to be outdone by the midfield, the FC Davis back line of Chase Rhode, Julian Ruzzier-Gaul, Dash McNamara and Logan Magonigal (in for injured Brian Ford) kept the ball and the Napa Valley attacked at bay.
“This team was built on an attacking, possession oriented style of play” said center-back Julian Ruzzier-Gaul. “As a back line, we know our role is crucial in order to maintain the ball and control the game. Luckily for us, guys like Onah, Andi (Andisheh), and Miguel make it much easier to do.”
In the 86th minute, the persistent attack paid off as substitute Carlos Lezama streaked down the left flank past the Napa Valley defense and found Tony Rascone, who slotted a goal that sealed the match for the first ever FC Davis win in franchise history.
The celebration saw Rascone meet a swarm of Woodland Soccer Club players and coaches who greeted him with hugs and high-fives as he jumped in the stands for a celebration.
The final whistle blew and the Golden Lions left the field with a 2-0 victory.
The win moved FC Davis to 4th place, with a game in hand on 3rd place Napa Valley.
The top three teams move to the NPSL National Playoffs.
FC Davis next game takes place against Causeway Derby rival Sacramento Gold, Saturday 7:00pm at Capital Christian High School.
FC Davis has their next home game Saturday, April 28th, 7:00pm against Academica SC.
- In the first half, FC Davis captain Brian Ford pulled up with a hamstring injury. Ford is likely out 2-3 weeks until recovery is complete.
- FC Davis forward Steven Guzman picked up a foot injury after a midfield collision. Guzman is day-to-day.
- Allan Espinoza missed the past two games due to a groin injury. He will return to training this week.
- Carlos Carranza is still nursing a quad injury and is questionable for this weekend.
- Miguel Acevedo has now picked up a point in the last three matches (2 goals and one assist).
- Julian Ruzzier-Gaul and Andisheh Bagheri each made their debuts after a brief time away from the team.
- Saturday's victory marked the first for FC Davis in their NPSL history.
- Woodland Soccer Club Leon Jr's 2006 boys walked both teams out for the National Anthem.
- The Davis Enterprise match write up can be found by clicking HERE.