Washington, DC – The UDC Men's Soccer Team was resilient today amidst terrible weather conditions once again and a feisty opponent. Despite a 1-7 record coming into the contest, the Concord Mountain Lions battled hard, but at the end of the day the athleticism and determination of the Firebirds proved to be too much to handle. UDC pulled off the win 1-0 and advances to a 5-3-1 record on the year, eclipsing last year's win total with many games still to play on the season.
The first half saw many opportunities for the Firebirds as they outshot Concord 12-1. The heavy rain, which seems to be following the Firebirds this season, made controlling the ball difficult, and the first half ended in a 0-0 tie. In the 61st minute of the game UDC notched the would be game winner on an exciting sequence of events. The Firebirds attempted a corner kick, but instead of crossing the ball right away, the ball was passed just slightly to freshman midfielder Ben Diaz (Silver Spring, MD (El Salvador)/Northwood HS). Diaz controlled the ball, and then squared for a crossing pass of his own. The ball was deflected off the head by sophomore midfielder Roque Hernandez (Gaithersburg, MD (El Salvador)/Northwest HS) in front of the net. Freshman midfielder Atunde Akum (Beltsville, MD (Ghana)- High Point HS), who had subbed into the game at the end of the first half, was able to head the ball in off the ricochet by Hernandez. The goal by Akum resulted in an assist for Hernandez and Diaz. The goal by Akum was the first goal of his collegiate career and a big one indeed. After the UDC goal, Concord went on the attack. The Mountain Lions outshot the Firebirds 11-5 in the second half, but they couldn't put any attacks in the back of the net.
UDC Head Coach Matt Thompson had this to say about the win, "We played three games this week. This was one we felt was important for us to end the week on a high note. We fought hard, and came away with the win. We keep getting better, which is important…we just have to keep getting better every week, every game. We got another shutout today, which is great for our defense and our team."
The Firebirds return to action on Tuesday when the take on Westchester at home at 4:00 pm.