KINGSTON, N.Y. — It was admittedly the most important match in the young club's history. But the upstarts from the Hudson Valley handled the big occasion like a group of seasoned veterans.
In a midseason top-of-the-table clash in NPSL's Atlantic White Conference, Kingston Stockade FC topped Boston City FC, 2-1, at Dietz Stadium on Saturday. The win lifts Stockade FC to the top of the conference with 16 points (5 wins, 1 draw and 1 loss). Boston City sits in second place with 11 points, although they have a match in hand.
The victory means that Stockade has now matched its win total from all of last season, with five. The second-year club has also now won three matches in a row, and have gone six matches undefeated under first-year coach David Lindholm.
The early parts of the match on Saturday were characterized by opportunities for both sides. Stockade FC finally broke through late in the first half when forward Michael Creswick was brought down in the penalty area for a penalty kick. Matt Koziol then converted the spot kick in the 44th minute to put Kingston up 1-0 heading into the half. The goal was Koziol's fifth of the season.
Stockade continued to threaten when play resumed in the second half, and eventually broke through in the 62nd minute, and in extremely impressive fashion, at that.
Stockade midfielder Marco Kloster initiated the attack with a very impressive run through the guts of the Boston City defense, beating a number of Boston defenders off the dribble before deftly distributing the ball to his left to fellow Brazilian Pedro Espindola. Espindola then one-timed a side-footer from 35 yards out, successfully chipping the Boston City goalkeeper from a ridiculous distance. It was Espindola's fifth goal of the season as well.
The amazing goal sent the crowd of 992 fans — a Stockade record — into hysterics, and Espindola played to the fans with his goal celebration by running to the stands and embracing one of the young supporters before donning said fan's Stockade ball-cap after it had fallen to the Dietz Stadium track.
Led by a backline of goalkeeper Steven Skonieczny and defenders Matel Anasta, Juan Gatti, Jamal Lis-Simmons and Brandon Curtis, Stockade defended with purpose from there, yet Boston City was able to break through in the 82nd minute, thanks to a goal by defender Leandro Carvalho. Stockade saw the match out, though, thanks in particular to some fine saves by Skonieczny.
Next up for Stockade FC is a trip to the five boroughs to face the Brooklyn Italians on Saturday, June 17 at 7 p.m. Brooklyn is undefeated through four matches, meaning it should be another tough test for the Hudson Valley side.
Stockade Man of the Match: Matt Koziol
Stockade Starting XI: Skonieczny; Curtis, Gatti, Lis-Simmons (C), Anasta; Koziol, Kloster, Maley; Espindola, Creswick, Konicoff