May 22, 2016
Westchester falls in home opener, 1-0
NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - A goal by forward Akable Miezan in the 32nd minute was all the Seacoast United Phantoms needed as they defeated the Westchester Flames in the latter's home opener, 1-0, in Premier Development League action at Park Stadium Saturday night.
The Flames had opened to carry the momentum from last week's season-opening win into the match.
"It was a frustrating loss because we played well, especially in the early part of the game where it looked like we would go ahead," Flames head coach and general manager Gus Skoufis said. "I also thought we might get one at the start of the second half when Joey [DeVivo] came on because we started creating some good chances again. Also later in the second half, Shaq [Saunchez] brought a spark when he came in."
The Flames started very strong. For the first 30 minutes the Flames had the majority of possession and created several good scoring chances.
Seacoast absorbed the Flames' pressure and created some chances. The visitors' hard work paid off with the goal by Miezan and was followed with additional scoring chances. Seacoast almost doubled its lead as a shot bounced of the post and through the Flames goal mouth.
DeVivo came on for Dennis Reyes to start the second half and make his Flames debut. The Holy Cross forward created some good scoring chances.
As the second half wore on, Seacoast forced the Flames into some bad passes and put the Flames' net under pressure as Fordham goalkeeper Rashid Nuhu kept the hosts in the game.
The Flames continued to make substitutions, bringing on Sacred Heart midfielder Shaquille Saunchez for his Flames season debut, Adelphi forward James Thristino, and former Brooklyn Italians and Fairfield midfielder Edward "Christian" Uy. This allowed the Flames to continue mounting pressure and creating chances. Sanchez and forward Mosiah Whyte were in the middle of several good scoring chances.
"I told the guys after the game that they can't get too down," Skoufis said. "Seacoast are always a tough team to break down. They have some players who've been together for a few years. We're still a new team and we're very young. We dropped off a bit after Seacoast scored and you can't do that. You've got to keep playing with the same level of intensity throughout the game. In the second half, we started to feel the pressure and made mistakes on our own with things like bad passes and mistimed tackles. This week we have to work hard in practice to make sure these things don't happen again."
The Flames host AC Connecticut Saturday at 7:30 p.m.