Monarchs Win 1-0
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
By Joe Slaninka
The Sentinel Newspapers
Real Maryland’s Lucio Gonzaga, who recently joined the Montgomery professional soccer club, powered the Monarchs over the Richmond Kickers when he headed a goal in the 47th minute of Saturday’s game at Richard Montgomery High School.
“I saw a good cross and I was there to put it in,” Gonzaga said of his first goal of the season.
Midfielder Ryan Cordeiro broke free on the left wing and managed to whisk a crossing pass behind the Richmond defense. Gonzaga found the ball, redirected it past the Kickers’ net minder Ronnie Pascale to give the Monarchs a 1-0 advantage.
“It was a great finish, great header, great ball,” Real Maryland head coach Anthony Hudson said. “I felt our passing today was really good, which is important. We were a little bit shaky there at the end which shows signs of a young team, but we were able to close the game out.”
The Monarch’s goal came as the Kickers’ Mike Burke was given a red card and ejected late in the first after a controversial no call inside the Monarchs’ penalty area. The ejection gave the Maryland a one-man advantage for the rest of the match.
“[Richmond] is a very organized team and it’s tough to break them down even with an advantage because they just put men behind the ball,” Hudson said.
The Kickers put some pressure on the young second-year team in the last 10 minutes of the match and almost evened the score in stoppage time when they ricocheted a shot off the cross bar. The Monarch’s Sean Rush cleared the ball off the goal line as the final whistle sounded.
“We just seemed to panic a little bit and there’s no need for that,” Hudson said. “We had a few missed opportunities with having the ball in the corner, holding it up or just keeping it. But with a little bit of time and experience we’ll be alright in trying to kill games off.”
Providing support behind the defense, goal keeper Justin Hughes stepped up his play by earning four saves on the night. The shutout is Hughes’ first of the season and the team’s fifth overall.
The Monarchs kept the pressure on the Kickers’ defense for most of the game firing nine shots on goal to Richmond’s four.
“We are growing,” Gonzaga said about his young team. “I am very happy here and we will soon be in a place we want to be.”
The Monarchs earned three points – 15 on the season – with the win and improve their record to 5-4-0. They are tied for third place, behind Richmond (16 points), in the United Soccer League’s 2nd Division with Crystal Palace Baltimore who also has 15 points.
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