On Saturday evening, Academica traveled over the Altamont to take on San Ramon FC. Academica was just coming off an US Open Cup First Round loss to El Farolito midweek while San Ramon had dispatch Napa Valley 1-0 the previous weekend. AC and SRFC had just faced each other on April 28th, where Academica secured 3 points thanks to a late game winner to end it 3-2. SRFC was looking for revenge this match on their home field and for much of the match it looked like they might just get their desire.
From the first whistle, SRFC controlled much of the game. They were able to move the ball side to side while dealing with Academica’s high press formation. San Ramon’s Simon Rawnsley and Octavio Guzman were linking up well in SRFC’s attack and AC had trouble dealing with the duo. Their connection paid off in the 6’ when a back pass to Academica’s GK Alonso Lara resulted in a miss-hit clearance due to Rawnsley’s pressure. The ball fell to Guzman’s feet at the top of the 18 and he was able to chip it into the empty net and over the outstretched Lara. This opened up the scoring for SRFC and they kept up the pressure. AC were finding some success on the counter with Cody Golbad getting into a 1 on 1 with the goalie but his shot was saved. The score remained the same going into half time as AC looked to turn this game around.
Coach Sousa’s halftime talk seemed to boost the squad as AC came out roaring and pinned SRFC in their own half in the opening minutes. Their confidence was short lived as San Ramon struck again off the Rawnsley-Guzman connection. A long ball over the top found Rawnsley on the top of the 18 where he was able to control the ball into the path of Guzman who fired a rocket into the back of the net to make it 2-0 to SRFC in the 49’.
The game seemed to change after the goal as SRFC took their foot off the gas and AC was able to get back into the game thanks to good build up on the left wing that led to a ball across goal that Golbad was able to tap home for his 4th of the season in the 64’. Academica took control of the game from there and created multiple opportunities that came close to equalizing the match. They would have to wait till the 83’ to see their efforts rewarded as Arnaldo Gutierrez put his head on the end of a corner kick to make it 2-2. That scoreline held till the final whistle and both teams left with a point.
Academica hosts conference leaders FC Davis on May 18th at 6 pm while San Ramon travels to Wine Country to take on Sonoma Sol the same day.
Academica Victorious in East Bay Clash
In Week 4 of the NPSL season for Academica, the team traveled to Oakland to take on the East Bay Stompers. AC entered the match with a 1-2 record having lost to Sac Gold the previous week while the Stompers were 0-1 after a narrow defeat to San Ramon the weekend prior. The match took place at Raimondi Park, where only a couple months prior Academica defeated the Oakland Stompers in the 3rd Qualifying round of the US Open Cup.
The match started off with AC having a majority of the possession and looking especially dangerous out wide. The Gold and Black drew a foul on top of the Stompers penalty area and Gera Cazares curled his free kick into the top corner to open the scoring in the 11’. AC did not let up as only 4 minutes later Edwin Rodriguez broke down the left side and found Cody Golbad in the center of the 18 yd box who calmly slid it home for his first goal of the season. Golbad was last year’s top scorer for AC with 14 goals but was just making his debut tonight after being sidelined through injury.
The half continued with Academica controlling the tempo of the match but there was yet controversy to be had as an off-the-ball altercation saw both teams receive red cards. Both teams would have to play the remaining half with 10 men each.
The second half began in much of the same way as the first with AC creating chances and smothering any counter attacks. In the 68’, Fermin Chaidez found space on the right side and his cross was deflected into the back of the net by a Stompers defender. This gave AC a 3-0 with 20 minutes remaining. The action was far from over as only a few minutes later Jose Barriga brought down the East Bay attacker in his box and drew a penalty. Khalid Arramdani stepped up for East Bay but saw his penalty attempt saved by Alonso Lara. The clean sheet would not last much longer as two minutes later as Pacheco found time in the Academica penalty area and fired home an overhead bicycle for the Stompers opening goal. AC replied back quickly as a beautiful team play found Steven Sousa with space in the box who laid the ball off to Chaidez to slot it home to make it 4-1. The action continued as a speculative effort from 35 yards out found Lara wanting to score East Bays 2nd and a scramble in the Academica box allowed the Stompers to score their third and make for a nervous finish. AC were able to close the match out and leave Oakland with the 3 points.
Academica hosts IPS on 4/6 for their 4th Qualifying Round US Open Cup match while the Stompers travel to FC Davis that same day.