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Northern Colorado Wins the Ice & Fire Cup

October 2, 2022 - United Soccer League One (USL1) - Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC News Release

FRESNO, Calif. - Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC (10W-10L-9D; 39 Points) grabbed all three points against Central Valley Fuego FC (9W-12L-7D; 34 Points) in a 1-0 contest at Fresno State Soccer Stadium. An own goal in the 62nd minute by Francois Dulysse made the difference this evening.

After each team won one of the previous meetings, this third and final match of the season would determine the Ice & Fire Cup.

Northern Colorado took chances to shoot early. Irvin Parra put a long-range shot on target, but it was right at goalkeeper Ofek Antman. Wolfgang Prentice clipped one over the crossbar not too long after that. Prentice forced Antman into a diving save in the 32nd minute with an on-target header.

The Hailstorm were unlucky to not have a goal at the break. The team's expected goals (xG) after the first 45 minutes was at 1.19.

After halftime, Trevor Amann nearly put the Hailstorm in front with a diving header. The header was deflected by Antman enough to hold the lead for the time being.

The game-deciding own goal came from Dulysse after he was pressed by Prentice, forcing a pass back to Antman. However, the goalkeeper was at the edge of the 18-yard box. The pass perfectly chipped him before rolling into the back of the net and granting the only goal in the match.

Northern Colorado finished the rest of the match defensively to keep the clean sheet, the fifth of the season by Johan Peñaranda. The Hailstorm came up with 12 clearances in the game, with Brecc Evans accounting for five clearances alone.

Northern Colorado is back in action on October 8 when they host FC Tucson. The match is at 7 p.m. MDT, at Severance High School.

Match Quotes:

Head Coach Éamon Zayed

On the match...

"It was a battle. It was a fight and the guys were up for it. They knew what was at stake. Fuego gave it their all but I thought overall we did enough. Proud of the guys, that's four wins in the last six games."

Head Coach Éamon Zayed

On his halftime message...

"Be a bit braver on the ball, play a bit more, trust each other a bit more. Obviously, we knew we needed to win the game. I thought we battled throughout, but we needed to be braver and have more confidence on the ball, which we did in the second half."

Head Coach Éamon Zayed

On winning a match in that manner...

"We live to fight another day, all we can do is take care of business. Which we did tonight. We go again next week, in the last home game of the season. Look forward to that, and we'll see what happens after that."

Defender Rob Cornwall

On defense and his performance...

I thought we did well tonight. We worked well as a unit, not just the back four, the midfield helped us out a lot, especially in the second half when they were putting a lot of pressure on us. It was an overall good team performance."

Defender Wolfgang Prentice

On his performance...

"The most important thing is that we got the win. That's all that matters. I thought I worked hard and did well for the team, and at the end of the day we got the win."

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