The battle for the top spot in the Midwest Region’s East Conference didn’t disappoint. The game had a little something for everyone as the Regiment dropped its second straight 3-1 to Erie.
Anthony Virgara put the Red Coats on the scoreboard first a 12th minute goal. Jake Gratzer slotted a nice pass through the Commodores defense allowing the Regiment forward to net his seventh goal of the season.
Virgara’s counterpart, Erie’s forward Steven Rigg, suffered a leg injury and his replacement Jack Simpson came off the bench as a powderkeg of energy and offense scoring the equalizer and game winner.
Simpson’s knotted the score in the 37th minute when he beat FPR keeper Rob McKelvey to a 50-50 ball. He quickly flicked the ball into the Regiment net.
In the 57th, Simpson tallied the game winner off a set piece. Simpson was tripped by Dom Galietta 25 yards from goal. Simpson drove the restart toward the goal it took a deflection off Gratzer to evade McKelvey’s reach pushing Erie into the lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Regiment had a chance to equalize in the 84th when the referee pointed at the spot when Tulio Canineu was fouled in the box. Nick Kolarac pounded the shot off the cross bar to the delight of the Erie crowd but with Lucas Godinho rocketing the rebound back on frame only defender Andrew Bennett’s ability to throw himself in the path of the ball kept the ball out of the goal and preventing a tie.
In stoppage time, McKelvey stopped two of a three-shot outburst from Erie with Cam Philpot netting the Commodore’s third tally.
The game included some physicality that erupted in the 79th when Casey Bartlett-Scott led with is forearm to Gratzer neck/head while fighting for position for a ball in the air. While the ref whistled the foul and was headed to caution the Erie defender the Regiment quickly attempted to defend their teammate. When the players were dispersed, Kolarac and McKelvey also earned cautions.
There will be anticipated fireworks on July 5th when the two teams meet in Pittsburgh at Duquesne University’s Rooney Field.
FPR 1 0 1
Erie 1 2 3
12th…FPR-Anthony Virgara (Jake Gratzer) 1-0
37th…Erie-Jack Simpson 1-1
90+…Erie-Cam Philpot 3-1
FPR-Mikel Ubeda (USB), Erie-Kwame Opoku (Persistent), Erie-Craig Quinn (USB), Erie- Fernando Martinez (Delay), Erie-Casey Barlett-Scott (USB), FPR-Nick Kolarac (USB), FPR-Rob McKelvey (USB)