By Randy Kim
KINGSTON, N.Y. — The hosts went on the front foot early and never looked back.
Riding an early goal, and then a second strike before halftime, Kingston Stockade FC topped Seacoast United Mariners, 2-0, on Saturday evening in front of 1,014 supporters at Dietz Stadium.
Stockade's Matt Koziol opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 4th minute, after forward Afonso Pinheiro was taken down in the box by the Seacoast keeper.
Alex Tejera then scored off a short corner in the 43rd minute to give a hosts a 2-0 lead that would hold the rest of the way.
After the match, Stockade head coach David Lindholm praised his side's focus and demeanor in making the most of the early lead.
"(The early goal) was a great start to the match, and it took some pressure off of us, just to have a lead and to be able to play from that position," said Lindholm. "We've had that in the past, but I think tonight was a more defensively solid performance from us throughout. And that was key. So having an early goal and being able to be calm throughout the match was helpful and really important."
Lindholm also saw the win as vital to keeping Stockade's playoff hopes alive.
"We have a tough stretch coming up," said Lindholm. "We have no easy games, and we have to get a lot of points to get into the playoffs, so it was a key win for us. We knew that winning this match was critical for our chances of getting into the playoffs, and really having a good run to start the rest of the season. So having the support that we did, with a huge crowd, and a lot of energy on the field, we needed that and we got the result. It was great."
With the win, Stockade's record is now 2-1-3 on the season (wins-draws-losses).
Stockade's next match is at home on Saturday, June 16 at 6PM against the reigning NPSL champions, Elm City Express.
Man Of The Match: Alex Tejera