ACSC’s annual Pride Night ended in a loss for the women’s team and a win for the men’s team. Memorial Stadium was packed with fans and non-profit organizations giving their support for the night. Rainbow smoke, pride flags, and high energy filled the stadium for a night of celebration.
Head coach Jimena Rojas was particularly proud of ACSC for creating such a positive atmosphere.
“It is an honor, if you asked people 20 years ago if we’d have a game like this, it would be impossible to believe. I feel proud to be here. I’m honored to be part of the club that can use their facilities in this way,” Rojas said.
The women’s team kicked off at 5 p.m. and fell short, losing to Wake FC 1-0. The team fought a hard battle with six shots on goal in the first half alone.
The first shot of the game came in the 8th minute by Yuliia Khrystiuk who will be leaving Asheville this week to play for the Ukrainian National team.
At the 45th minute mark Wake FC scored off a cross and then a header by number 10 Wake FC.
After halftime, Ashlyn Kane entered the game for Cami Johnstone. The team made multiple attempts and many shots on goal, but none resulted in a goal.
Fans are keeping the faith! pic.twitter.com/xNZdkHzxHt— Asheville City SC #
In the 59th minute Gillain Oyos entered for Addie Porter. Then in the 66th minute Sachiko Gamo entered for Riley Thompson and Laura Greb entered Yuliia Khrystriuk.
Although unable to score during the game, the South Slope Blues remained steady with their cheers and support of the team. In the final minutes Jesse Smith entered for Van Fitch.
After the game head coach Jimena Rojas was disappointed in the loss, but found some positives in the match.
“We are creating a lot of chances. Unfortunately, we are not putting those options in. The team is playing well and creating very good options on goal,” Rojas said. “We need to work on finishing so that will be the focus on the next game.”
Next, the men’s team faced off against East Atlanta FC and won 4-1.
The first goal of the night came quickly with Lucas Gonzalez scoring and an assist by Lorenz Hoover.
After, the ball remained in Blues possession, with East Atlanta responding with some chippy play. Eventually East Atlanta scored in the 39th minute bringing the score 1-1.
Asheville City quickly responded to East Atlanta’s goal by scoring in the 45th minute. A cross by Quenzi Huerman resulted in a goal scored by Kemy Amiche. Going into halftime, the score was 2-1.
After halftime Bachir Ndiaye entered the match for Oskar Lenz. Only a few minutes into his appearance, Ndiaye fired one right over the keeper's head from about 40 yards out in the 49th minute making the score 3-1.
In the second half, tensions rose between the teams with a few yellows and even a red card given out by refs. Head coach Scott Wells reminded his players to “let your feet do the talking” to get his players back into a focused space.
In the 68th minute Kameron Lacey, Clay Obara, and Mason Cookus all entered the match for Luca Erhardt, Quenzi Huerman, and Lucas Gonzalez respectively. Then in the 75th minute Kyoji Hata entered for Lorenz Hoover and Haruki Yamazaki entered for Ryan Baer.
After entering the match, UNC Charlotte player Kameron Lacey scored in the 87th minute making the final score 4-1.
Lorenz Hoover was named man of the match Saturday after setting up the first goal and working his way into a spot in the starting 11.
“He has been patient and he started today because of his attitude. He set the first goal up. He deserves it,” Wells said.
After an exciting week of home games, both teams will hit the road next week. The women’s team will play the NC Fusion on Tuesday, June 14 and Charlotte Independence on Saturday, June 18. The men’s team will play SSA Kings on Tuesday, June 14 and Tennessee FC on Friday, June 17.