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Photo courtesy: Eakin Howard

Asheville City Men Return Home with Win over Southern Soccer Academy

By Anthony Boscia, 06/07/23, 7:00AM HST


Photo courtesy: Eakin Howard

Photo courtesy: Eakin Howard

The Men of Asheville City overcame an early goal to earn all three points at home against Southern Soccer Academy.

The first big chance of the game came for the Blues in the 12th minute. Izaiah Viganli received a pass and laid the ball off for Quenzi Huerman on the right wing. Huerman would cut inside and fire a shot across his body toward the right post but the attempt flew just wide of the post.

3 minutes later the Blues would earn a corner. The kick would go just over a leaping Josiah Blanton’s head before falling to Vignali who cut it back to Huerman on the edge of the box. Huerman’s shot seemed destined to find the back of the net but an SSA defender stepped in front and headed it off of the line.

Despite the early pressure from the Blues, the Kings would find the opener. In the 17th minute, an SSA attacker would pounce on a mistake from the Asheville backline and placed the ball just past Leroy Zeller’s outstretched leg to give the Kings a 1-0 lead.

This setback would not break Asheville’s stride however, as a minute later Alex Horveno fired a cross-cum-shot towards the goal that troubled SSA’s keeper but he was able to get his fingertips to the ball to keep it out.

In the 21st minute, Asheville would have yet another chance. Scott Vatne would send a dipping strike towards the near post from just outside of the box but again the attempt would barely miss the frame.

In the 31st minute, the Blues would finally break through for the equalizer. Max Miller would receive a pass from Alexis Ledoux and drive before being pushed down inside the box for a penalty kick. Huerman would step up to take the kick, and after a choppy runup that sent the keeper the wrong way, he would smash it home to the right side to knot the game up at 1 apiece.

Quenzi Huerman goal vs. Southern Soccer Academy, 31st minute

“He’s our captain. He’s our leader. He trusts us and he loves the city and loves the club. Against East Atlanta the other day he was phenomenal and he changed the game immediately and he helped us get back into the game. And tonight, he was different class and has a very bright future,” said Head Coach Scott Wells.

5 minutes later the Blues would come close to another. A corner kick would take a couple of deflections and fall to Makel Rasheed in the center of the box. Rasheed would attempt a bicycle kick that was earmarked for the bottom right corner but the SSA goalkeeper was able to get down in time and palm the ball away.

The Blues would take the lead in the 42nd minute after Miller fed a through ball to Ledoux. Ledoux would hold off the defender and calmly slot the ball past the SSA keeper from close range for a 2-1 lead and his third straight game with a goal contribution.

Alexis Ledoux goal vs. Southern Soccer Academy, 42nd minute

“I think the biggest thing with him (Ledoux) is getting him into the right system. Trying to get him into a situation where he is on that last line and is causing trouble with his speed. Really happy with him, really happy he’s here,” said Wells.

The second half would start off much quieter, while both sides would create chances none were too threatening until the 76th minute when Huerman would receive a pass inside of the box from Clay Obara. Huerman would fire a powerful shot towards the near post but a SSA defender would get in front to block the close-range shot.

The Kings would push for an equalizer and almost get one in the 81st minute when they were awarded a freekick in a dangerous position. The taker would try to place the shot in the bottom left corner but Zeller was able to get down and keep it out, and the Blues would hold on for a 2-1 victory.

For his efforts in the match, Quenzi Huerman was awarded the Highland Brewing Wishing Star of the Match.

The Men will return to Greenwood Field on June 13th, when they host the South Carolina United Bantams in a massive matchup.

The Women in Blue will return home on June 10th, when they welcome the Greenville Liberty into town for Pride Night.