The defending Premier Development League (PDL) champions Michigan Bucks have scored ten goals in their first three games, five of them coming in last night’s match against the Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC at Xavier Soccer Stadium.
After the first part of the game was played in the middle third of the pitch, the Dutch Lions’ successful counter in the 17th minute led to a 1-0 lead.
Kyle Smith’s delicious long ball found a streaking Alejandro Garcia with only one Bucks defender to beat. A touch inside onto his left foot set Garcia up for a finish into the bottom right corner of the net.
Garcia made the scoreline 2-0 just a minute later after high pressure and confusion between the Bucks goalkeeper and defenders left the ball up for the taking.
“It’s happened before,” Garcia said. “The ball is played back soft and I’ll just go for it. I got a toe on it, which luckily was enough to get it past the keeper.”
After two unanswered goals from the Dutch Lions, the Bucks rattled off five straight, three of which came within a span of eight minutes. Goals came at the 23rd, 29th and 31st minutes. The 3-2 scoreline would hold to halftime.
“Our heads can’t go down once one goal is scored on us,” Garcia added. “We have to keep going at 100 percent and just forget about it and play. We had trouble staying compact through the middle of the field.”
Only one clear chance came in the second half for the Dutch Lions. Smith mishit a left-footed volley just outside the six-yard box in the 48th minute that would’ve tied the contest.
The game ended with two more goals from the Bucks to move it to 5-2. The Bucks handed the Dutch Lions their third loss in a row, moving their record to 0-1-3. The Bucks have started their 2015 campaign 3-0-0.
CDL head coach Terry Nicholl was quick to praise their opponents and put everything in perspective.
“They’re obviously the best team in the PDL nationally. They have kept the same group of players together from last year. We find it hard to combine when our opponent puts high pressure on us. You got to learn to play past it, but we were just playing into it. I’ve got to go into that locker room and keep the spirits up. (The Bucks) have done that to a lot of teams.”
A quick turnaround sends Cincinnati on the road to face SWV King’s Warriors on Saturday, June 6th. They will be back home on June 11th and 13th to have back-to-back games against SC United Bantams, who are 1-1-1 and in fourth place in the South Atlantic Division.