Two wins in two days for the Seacoast United Phantoms as the NPSL squad defeated Mass United FC on Friday evening, and the PDL side tops MPS Portland 1-0 of a very physical game on Saturday.
|Phantoms striker Chris Tsonis takes on Portland defenders in Saturday’s match.|
|Ryan Dunn, Jordan Thomas, and Jesse Schram congratulate Chris Tsonis (2nd from left) after scoring the Phantoms’ only goal on Saturday in their victory over MPS Portland.|
PORTSMOUTH, NH - The prior two meetings were high intensity battles with the win going to the home team. Tonight’s meeting between the Seacoast United Phantoms and MPS Portland Phoenix was no different. The Phantoms came away as the victor this evening with a score of 1-0 at Portsmouth High School in a game that tested both individual and team composure.
MPS Portland held the advantage both in time of possession and shots in the first half (8 to the Phantoms 2). During a stretch where MPS was pressing hard, Phantoms goalkeeper John Dawson made a great save on a high shot from wide that looked to be heading toward the back post, keeping the score at 0-0. The Phantoms best chances in the first half came in the 38th and 41st minutes where Brad Hilton and Robbie McLarney each had quality shots that forced the Portland keeper to make sprawling saves to his right side.
In the 63rd minute, the Phantoms were able to send striker Chris Tsonis toward goal on a through-ball. Tsonis took the better angle in beating the defender to the ball, took a touch to his right, then beat the keeper 1v1 low to the left hand corner of the net.
As the 2nd half progressed, play was extremely fast paced and physical, often going end to end. Portland pressured by sending long balls over the top to their strikers but the Phantoms back line of Hilton, Jordan Thomas, James Goodwin, and Ryan Dunn was holding, winning virtually every ball out of the air. Dawson (14 saves) was strong in coming off his line for balls played deep into the box behind his defenders.
The win is the 2nd of the season for Seacoast United, who currently sit in 4th place of the USL Premier Development League’s Northeast Division. In their last three games, the Phantoms have two wins and a tie, and are scheduled for a rematch with MPS Portland in just 4 days. The two teams face each other again on Wednesday, June 29th (Portsmouth High School, 7pm) in what is sure to be another exciting and emotional match.
EXETER, NH – On a rainy, windswept night at Exeter High School’s Bill Ball Stadium, the Seacoast United Phantoms came out for kickoff against Mass United FC like they were shot out of cannon. It was 3 first half goals from 3 different players that held up throughout the game and put the Phantoms 6 points clear at the top of the NPSL Northeast Division standings. The first goal of the evening came from Paul Latif in the 16th minute. The ball was crossed in from the right hand side to Colin Smith, who accurately headed the ball down across the face of the goal to the on-running Latif who tipped the ball past the outstretched Mass United keeper Adam Khan to take the early lead. Eight minutes later it was Dylan George that converted a rebound off a Colin Smith shot from the right side that caromed off the near, right post. The 3rd strike of the half came from the foot of Caleb Paterson in the 37th minute. Paterson received a pass from fellow midfielder Cody Schram and proceeded to hammer a 30yd blast that knuckled toward the goalkeeper. The movement proved to be too much to handle as the ball deflected off the keeper and found its way into the back of the net. The score line of 3-0 held for the half.
In the first minute of play in the 2nd half Mass United FC’s Denivaldo DaSilva took advantage of a misplay by the Phantoms defense and slotted the ball past Giovanni Sinclair, the Seacoast United Phantoms keeper. The Phantoms were able to withstand a consistent attack from Mass United FC for the remainder of the game. When the whistle blew the final score stood at 3-1 in favor of the Seacoast United Phantoms.
The next NPSL match for the Seacoast United Phantoms is Sunday, July 10th when they take on the Brooklyn Italians at Exeter High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 6pm. View the full schedule and follow the Phantoms at www.seacoastunited.org/phantoms.