HOUSTON (July 18, 2012) – Vancouver Whitecaps FC tightened its grip on the Group 1 lead in the U-17/18 age group of Academy Finals Week after a 4-2 victory against De Anza Force on Wednesday night at the Houston Amateur Sports Park.
Vancouver forward Ben Fisk scored another hat trick to take his goal tally to six in two games as the British Columbia side rushed out to a 3-0 lead in 36 minutes to put the game out of reach. De Anza Force, however, did not go quietly, mustering two goals in quick succession after going down 4-0 in the second half to put pressure on the Whitecaps.
In the end, the Californians lacked the firepower to pull level and Vancouver now sits atop Group 1 with six points, in prime position to qualify for the championship match on Sunday at BBVA Compass Stadium.
“Our attacking play – eight goals in two games – you can’t really fault it,” said Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Craig Dalrymple on his team’s progression through group play. “Defensively, we’ve given up some goals that we shouldn’t have, but if we play a complete game, a full 90 minutes, we’ll have success.”
The contest got off to a fast, physical start with De Anza enjoying more of the ball, although Vancouver was able to create the first two shots of the match.
De Anza’s possession would let them down in the 14th minute as a miscue from the central defense gifted the ball to Fisk. His first touch took him beyond the defense and he was able to round the goalkeeper and finish easily with his left foot.
Four minutes later, a De Anza short corner created mayhem in the area as the ball pinged between Callum Irving in goal for Vancouver and De Anza’s attackers. The ball was eventually cleared, but showed De Anza’s potential to threaten Vancouver on set pieces.
The California side was sustaining pressure on Vancouver and forcing the team into its own end until the 30th minute when Whitecaps FC struck for their second and third goals within a six-minute span, killing any momentum that De Anza had gathered. Bryce Alderson’s goal came after Alex Rowley recovered the ball in the midfield and sprung his midfield partner through on goal with a quick pass. Alderson calmly finished past the approaching Paul Blanchette to double the lead.
Vancouver surged forward, buoyed by the extended lead, and struck again in the 36th minute after a sweeping move from right to left. Alderson turned provider, finding Fisk in space on the left. The forward avoided his man to get off a shot that took a slight deflection, making its way past the unfortunate Blanchette.
Fisk would get his third goal on the other side of halftime to seemingly put the game out of reach. Ben McKendry burst through the midfield in the 58th minute, laying off a diagonal ball to Fisk in the left channel. Fisk cut inside with his first touch and shot back across his body inside the near post with his right foot to complete his hat trick.
De Anza was not done, though. Two goals in three minutes proved to make the final quarter hour less than comfortable for Vancouver, the first goal coming in the 71st minute through Max Ornstil. Jason Romero did well to beat his man and put a low ball across the box from near the end line. Midfielder Travis Pillon missed the initial chance, but recovered to lay the ball back to Ornstil, who stuffed it in from six yards.
Moments later, De Anza’s set piece prowess proved valuable as a long throw from the right was nodded down at the back post by Ornstil. Pillon used his body to shield a Vancouver challenge and hit the ball on the turn from 10 yards past Irving, cutting the deficit to two.
The final 15 minutes saw De Anza pump the ball forward in an attempt to draw within one, but Vancouver would withstand the siege and nearly score through forward Caleb Clarke on the break.
The result stood at 4-2, however, and Vancouver emerged as the clear frontrunners in Group 1 as the only team with six points. North Carolina Fusion earned a 4-2 win against the Colorado Rapids giving the team three points after its second match. Colorado and De Anza remain on one point after their draw in their opening match.
-U.S. Soccer Development Academy Match Report-
Match: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs. De Anza Force
Date: July 18, 2012
Competition: 2012 Development Academy Finals Week – U-17/18 Division
Venue: Houston Amateur Sports Park; Houston, Texas
Kickoff: 9 p.m. CT
Weather: 82 degrees, humid
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
VAN 3 1 4
DAF 0 2 2
VAN – Ben Fisk 14th minute
VAN – Bryce Alderson (Alex Rowley) 30
VAN – Ben Fisk (Bryce Alderson) 36
VAN – Ben Fisk (Ben McKendry) 58
DAF – Max Ornstil (Travis Pillon) 71
DAF – Travis Pillon (Max Ornstil) 74
VAN: 1-Callum Irving; 9-Adam Polakiewicz (17-Sam Adekugbe, 82), 14-Daniel Stanese, 5-Tim Hickson, 12-Declan Rodriguez (15-Jason van Blerk, 59); 8-Ben McKendry, 13-Alex Rowley, 2-Bryce Alderson (6-Carlos Marquez, 63); 10-Ben Fisk (11-Spencer DeBoice, 62), 4-Caleb Clarke (16-Carlos Patino, 86), 7-Yassin Essa (3-Wesley Cain, 60)
Substitutions Not Used: 30-Marco Carducci, 00-Said Jalali
Head coach: Craig Dalrymple
DAF: 1-Paul Blanchette; 2-Alfie Edmonds, 7-Matt Escobar, 25-Mike Amick, 15-Thomas Janjigian (36-Luc Brubaker, 60); 11-Max Ornstil, 10-Kody Wasaka (17-Edson Cordona, 81), 23-Colby Trah (77-Jason Romero, 38); 6-Travis Pillon, 66-Skyler Felt (20-Greg Senger, 34), 21-Ryan Masch
Substitutions Not Used: 0-Cameron McElfresh, 19-Alejandro Gaeta, 8-Dylan Autran
Head coach: Eric Yamamoto
Stats Summary: VAN / DAF
Shots: 5 / 4
Shots on Goal: 6 / 6
Saves: 4 / 2
Corner Kicks: 1 / 5
Fouls: 6 / 6
Offside: 2 / 5
Referee: Christopher Mercado
Assistant Referee 1: Ray Moffatte Jr.
Assistant Referee 2: Jason White
Fourth Official: Cedric Adams
ussocer.com Man of the Match: Ben Fisk