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"If we have to score 7 goals, we will." The Blues dominate against SC United Bantams

By Katie Hull & Kristy Kepley-Steward, 07/07/22, 10:30AM HST


Photo courtesy: Hannah Tracy

Heading into Wednesday’s game against South Carolina United FC Bantams, the Asheville City Blues sat in the number 2 with a record of 7-1-2. 

Bantams trip to Memorial was the first meeting for the two teams in the 2022 season, with the post season race in full go-mode.

For the Blues, it was the first time back after a nearly two-week break, with the addition of a handful of new players on the roster. Daniel Cerezo, George Bediko, Steven James, Tyler Clegg and Mikey Ketteman laced up the boots for the first time as Blues with Cerezo earning a spot in the starting lineup.

After a slow start, including a 13th minute own goal followed by two quality goal scoring opportunities for the Bantams, goalkeeper Ryan Bilichuk shook the Asheville City players awake and kicked things into high gear.

“We had some new guys coming in, so they had to get up to speed with the identity of the team, so the first fifteen minutes of the game showed that, but then after that we were fantastic.” Said head Coach Scott Wells. 

Just minutes after going town 0-1, Cerezo received the ball deep in the corner, crossed it to captain Quenzi Huerman on the corner of the six-yard box who then placed it right in front of Kemy Amiche for an easy left foot finish right past the Bantam’s keeper. 

The equalizing goal seemed to be just what the Blues needed to create the necessary momentum. Following the goal, Asheville had half a dozen goal scoring opportunities in quick succession. 

In the 39th minute Kemy easily dribbled past two Bantam players on the right side of the field, cut the ball central and finished it low and in the near side corner that brought the Blues to 2-1 going into halftime. 

The half time talk from Coach Wells must have been truly inspiring because within Mikey Ketteman’s first two minutes playing for Asheville City, off an assisted by Huerman, he was able to slot the ball just past the keeper for a goal. Bringing the score to 3-1. 

Just 10-minutes later, in the 58th minute, Amiche fired a goal just inside the 18-yard box into the far side netting, ringing in goal number three on the night for the Frenchman.

 “We have to respect our adversary. If we have to score eight or nine goals, we will,” said Amiche post game.

Ketteman then in the 73rd minute showed the fans at Memorial what he is capable of. Oskar Lenz, who subbed into the game for Ryan Baer in the 62nd minute, found a wide-open Ketteman at the top of the 18-yard box. He took one touch and then finished the ball low and to the corner of the goal. 

“Tonight was my third day here. I got in a couple days ago. Trainings were amazing. The atmosphere was incredible. I’m happy to be here.” Ketteman said. “I’ve been out with an injury all summer, and about two weeks ago Scott called me at 10:30 at night. I was sitting, watching a movie back home in Michigan. He was like ‘hey, we need a striker, and we think you are the right guy’. He told me all about the opportunity, we talked back and forth. I decided it is an opportunity I can’t pass up. I had to come.” 

Not quite done with the night, in the 87th minute Amiche was back to volley in a perfectly placed cross from Haruki Yamazaki.

After a brief celebration, which included the removal of his jersey, Amiche was handed a yellow card. In respect for the rules, the announcers suggested that, should Amiche score again, the fans might remove their shirts in celebration. (Please note…it was the 87th minute. We had no idea what was to come.)

The final goal of the night came in the last minute of added time. A free kick was earned when Lenz went down following a hard foul just 25 years from the goal.

Mr. Four Goals himself, Kemy Amiche, stepped up to take the kick and, with possibly his most fantastic touch of the night, curved the ball into the top left corner of the goal earning him five goals for the night and giving the Blues a final of 7-1. 

Per the announcer’s suggestion, after the final whistle was called, many Asheville fans throughout the crowd did in fact take their shirts off. 

The win knocks the Bantams from playoff contention and gets the Blues one step closer to competing in the post season playoffs. One more win will secure the spot for Asheville City. 

The Blues have three games left of the scheduled season. The next game will be at Memorial Stadium at 7:30pm on Saturday, July 9 against Tennessee SC. The last matchup between these two teams resulted in a 3-0 win for Asheville City Soccer Club.