Dayton Dutch Lions Take Control of Antigua Barracudas
DAYTON, OH.... Memorial Day saw a nice crowd of around 700 for the Dayton Dutch Lions win, 3-1, against the Antigua Barracudas in the Miami Valley Hospital Stadium.
The Dayton Dutch Lions controlled the game from the onset. Sharp passing and building from the back to the middle then out to the wings produced many Dayton runs and shots. Dayton forwards Joseph Madigan and Brandon Swartzendruber were active up top receiving precise passes from Joel DeLass and Shintaro Harada. Tjeerd Westdijk also caused fits for the Antigua defenders pressing up from the middle on set pieces. All shots were defended or wide however, until the 34th minute when Madigan found the back of the net off a Shane Smith cross from the left side, putting Dayton up 1-0.
The Barracudas did not have too many opportunities in the first half and only managed to put a few shots on the frame. Dayton Goalkeeper Matt Williams, with superb help from Brock Granger, Gregory Preciado, and Taylor Lord, handled the back and easily defensed the few Barracuda runs that came within shot range. The only notable shot came from the Barracudas off a Orlando Mitchum free kick from the 20, which hit Dayton's defense and rebounded back to Mitchum's feet, who pulled the trigger, but the shot sailed high.
One minute later the Dutch Lions, back on the attack, sent a ball up to Madigan who carried up the left side of the box. Antigua defender, Karamja Mack hooked Madigan around the neck and threw him to the turf in Antigua's box. Dayton's Eli Garner scored with a penalty kick which Antigua's Keeper, Corey Whisenhunt, a 2012 Dutch Lion, misjudged and Dayton increased their lead to 2-0. Shortly after, Antigua's Mitchum was awarded a caution after he violently crashed into an airborne Dutch Lion, Taylor Lord.
The second half saw more of the same type of Dayton-controlled possession ball, with Antigua continuing to give up space in the middle. Coach Patrick Bal started the half off with a Irakli Khutsidze substitution for Taylor Lord. In the 58th minute Swartzendruber pierced the defense for a fast break bursting from the middle, and the Barracuda Keeper, Whisenhunt, playing in front of many Dayton supporters, challenged and pushed the ball to the left for a dramatic save. Second half substutitions by Coach Bal proved prophetic for the Dutch Lions. Swartzendruber was rested with Remco Klaasse taking his spot on a substitution, and Jeremy Cheeseman in for Brock Granger. In the 81st minute, Cheeseman then served a cross from the right with Klaasse pounced on and put in the net, bringing the score to 3-0 for Dayton.
Two minutes later, Antigua rolled down the Dayton backfield for an attempt that Harada defended, but set Antigua up for a corner, which Barracuda forward Orlando Mitchum received in the box and put in the net. Despite a furious press from Antigua, Dayton closed the match with the 3-1 score intact.
Dayton's Coach Bal was already looking forward after the match. "Out of the 15-16 games we played we lost three, and that's something new to the team, but that also something that changes your mentality, cause it doesn't say you're going to win your next game. It's not going to come easy so every time you've still got to work hard. This Wednesday (for the Crew game) we've got to work hard."
The Dayton Dutch Lions travel Wednesday to Columbus to face the Crew in round three of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, when Major League Soccer's 16 domestic clubs kick off their leg of the tournament. The Dayton Dutch Lions clash with the Crew in Crew Stadium on Wednesday, May 29th, at 7:30 pm. From there, the Dutch Lions are back on their home turf facing the Los Angeles Blues on Sunday June 2 at 6:30 pm and then the Columbus Crew once again, this time at home, in The Miami Valley Hospital Stadium in Beavercreek on Saturday June 8 at 7:30. For season and individual game tickets, visit the Dutch Lions website.
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