Photo courtesy: ACSC Staff - Hannah Tracy
Asheville City men, sitting undefeated and looking to stay that way, welcomed Tormenta to Memorial Stadium Monday night. With a final score of 2-1, Asheville was on top after a goal in the first 10 minutes of the game, and weather that couldn’t be beat, it was a good day to be a Blues fan.
Just 7 minutes into the game defender Lucas Gonzalez scored a crowd-awakening goal. He was assisted by Kemy Amiche who switched it to Quenzi Huerman who dropped it back to Gonzalez for his first goal for the Blues.
Despite earning a yellow during the 24th minute, his early goal along with his high tempo playing led Gonzalez to be named Man of the Match.
“Scoring in this lovely stadium, in front of such great fans, was a dream come true for sure. You always want to start off a game on the right foot, and that’s exactly what we did. It definitely felt good to set the tempo with an early goal,” Gonzalez said.
24’ | #Path2Pro— Asheville City SC (@AshevilleCitySC) June 7, 2022
More on the goal… We counter off Tormenta’s corner. Quenzi finds Kemy attesting down the middle of the pitch, who finesses it Josiah Blanton. And what a finish from him! Five-hope for his first of the year!
AVL 2 - 0 TRM #MaxOutMemorial pic.twitter.com/JLOA768Y27
Soon after this yellow card was given, the Blues were able to secure another goal. This one was finished by Josiah Blanton, and was assisted for the second time this game, by Huerman and Amiche.
This 2-0 lead was maintained into half time, giving the team time to reevaluate their strategy for the rest of the game.
Head Coach Scott Wells took a moment to reflect on the change in tactics going into the second half.
“With a 2-0 lead, we just wanted to park everyone behind, keep our shape nice and compact, so the effect was lessened when they were playing the ball over the top. There were a couple of scares in the second half, obviously Tormenta’s goal wasn’t ideal, but I thought that we managed to get back on our feet fairly quickly,” Wells said.
The rise in tension in the second half was shown on Tormenta’s side by picking up three yellows in a 10 minute time frame.
The following thirty minutes were uneventful. It was a true testament to the Blues’ capability of staying calm in the defending third.
In stoppage time Tormenta managed to slip a goal in, leading to a 2-1 final.
Despite conceding a goal so late in the game, the Blues, and fans, were not discouraged, and celebrations were abundant.
“We wanted to stick with our density, play out from the back, and try to find different areas that we can exploit. I thought that we did that very well today,” Wells said.
The Asheville City Men’s team get a small break and won’t have a game until this Saturday, June 11 back at Memorial Stadium when they face off against East Atlanta FC.
Photo courtesy: Tate MacQueen