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 Rhode Island FC

Rhode Island FC Takes Down League-Leading Louisville City FC 5-2

June 23, 2024 - United Soccer League Championship (USL)
Rhode Island FC News Release


LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Rhode Island FC made club history with a commanding 5-2 win against Louisville City FC on Saturday, becoming the first club to beat LouCity at home this season and the first opposing club ever to score five goals at Lynn Family Stadium. A trio of first-time goalscorers, a highlight-reel strike from Clay Holstad and a career-high eight saves from goalkeeper Jackson Lee all contributed to what was the Ocean State club's largest-ever win.

The high-scoring affair began in the 30th minute, when Clay Holstad stole the headlines with a powerful strike from well outside the box to give RIFC (2W-4L-9D) the breakthrough on the road. Accepting an entry pass from Stepehen Turnbull with open space to roam, Holstad fired a right-footed effort that rattled off the left post and into the back of the net to give RIFC a first-half lead for the second consecutive match.

Although Louisville (11W-3L-2D) continued to apply pressure following the opening goal, a trio of first half saves from Lee ensured the Ocean State club kept the hosts off the scoresheet. Just before the halftime whistle, Kwizera would make LouCity pay for its missed opportunities when he utilized quick footwork to drive into the box, beating a pair of defenders and slotting a low finish into the far side netting from a tight angle for his first career USL Championship goal. The strike gave RIFC a 2-0 lead at the half.

Coming out of the break, Louisville continued to test an RIFC defense that was well up to the task. One of the first opportunities for the hosts came in the 58th minute when Sam Gleadle sent a low drive from the middle of the box only to be denied by a Lee. Six minutes later, Lee was in action once again, palming another low shot out of the danger zone.

Rhode Island FC didn't slow down from there, as JJ Williams capitalized on a counter attacking move with a historic goal for the Ocean State club in the 67th minute, collecting a pass from Noah Fuson before calmly chipping the ball over Damian Las to give RIFC its largest-ever lead at 3-0.

Despite a strong performance from Lee and the RIFC defensive unit, Louisville pulled one back in the 86th minute with its 20th shot of the match. Second-half substitute Dylan Mares took the ball down inside the box, faked to his right before slotting home the ball through traffic with his left foot.

With the match far from over in stoppage time, the clubs exchanged three additional goals before the final whistle. The flurry of scores started in the second minute of stoppage time, when RIFC substitute Noah Fuson all but confirmed an RIFC victory with a shot that barely snuck across the goal line. The close-range effort was initially blocked by the arm of Las, but the ball trickled over the goal line, just beating the defensive clearance as RIFC reestablished a three-goal advantage. Three minutes later, LouCity's Jake Morris converted a free kick on the other end to make it 4-2.

Finally, Isaac Angking added his name to the list of first-time RIFC goalscorers in the sixth minute of stoppage time, giving the visitors a three-goal lead for the third and final time with a left-footed finish into the near post, wrapping up a historic 5-2 win for Khano Smith's side.

Up next, RIFC returns home to Beirne Stadium for its second midweek match of the season as it welcomes El Paso Locomotive FC on Wednesday, June 26 at 7:30 p.m. for pRIde Night. Tickets to the next home match are available now at rhodeislandfc.com/tickets.

GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN

RI - Clay Holstad (Stephen Turnbull), 30th minute: Clay Holstad drills home a powerful strike from distance. LOU 0. RI 1

RI - Jojea Kwizera (Stephen Turnbull), 45+2 minute: Kwizera slots a left-footed finish into the far side netting from a tight angle. LOU 0, RI 2

RI - JJ Williams (Noah Fuson), 67th minute: Williams taps in a Fuson pass off a fast break in transition. LOU 0, RI 3

LOU - Dyan Mares (Taylor Davila), 85th minute: Mares' shot finds the back of the net through traffic inside the penalty box. LOU 1, RI 3

RI - Noah Fuson, 90+3 minute: Fuson slips a left-footed shot past Damian Las at the near post. LOU 1, RI 4

LOU - Jake Morris, 90+5 minute: Morris boots home a free kick past a diving Jackson Lee. LOU 2, RI 4

RI - Isaac Angking (Joe Brito), 90+6 minute: Angking collects a Brito pass that was threaded through two defenders and places the ball near post for the goal. LOU 2, RI 5

ADDITIONAL NOTES

Rhode Island FC's five goals are the most ever conceded by Louisville City FC at Lynn Family Stadium since the venue opened in July 2020.

The RIFC win ruined what was a perfect 7W-0L-0D home record for LouCity this season, and gave the hosts just their third loss overall.

Clay Holstad's goal was his second overall for RIFC and first-ever in USL Championship play. His first for the club, which came from a similar distance and earned a spot on SportsCenter's Top 10, came during the club's Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup debut on April 16.

Jojea Kwizera, JJ Williams and Isaac Angking all recorded their first career RIFC goals. 11 different players have now scored for RIFC through 15 USL Championship matches.

Stephen Turnbull registered his first two career USL Championship assists in the first half, becoming the first player in RIFC history to register multiple assists in a single match.

Noah Fuson's fourth assist of the season tied him for third-most in the USL Championship.

Rhode Island FC took a three-goal lead on three separate occasions during the match, which stands as the largest lead in club history.

The 2-0 RIFC halftime lead marked the first time LouCity trailed by two goals at the break, and only the second time the club has trailed at home all season. The three-goal deficit was the largest this season for the hosts.

Jackson Lee made a career-high eight saves to protect the win in his seventh start of the season.

MAN OF THE MATCH: Clay Holstad

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