Washington,DC - UDC Men's soccer started the match off quickly and aggressively with two first half goals, then held on for a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh-Johnstown University Mountain Cats at the UDC soccer field today. It was Senior Day for center back Nana Bamfo (Upper Marlboro, MD- Largo HS), the lone senior on this year's team. The Firebirds are now 8-4-3 for the year with two games remaining in this bounce-back season under first year Head Coach Matt Thompson.
The scoring began in the 16th minute of the first half with a goal by sophomore Diego Alvarado (Germantown, MD - Northwest HS), assisted by freshman Ben Diaz (Silver Spring, MD - Norwood HS). UDC looked as if it may coast to victory when in the 28th minute of the first half, freshman midfielder Atunde Akum (Ghana-High Point HS) scored off an assist from junior midfielder Adriel Garcia (Sau Paulo,Brazil-Indiatuba HS) on a corner kick. However, approximately eight minutes later, Pittsburgh-Johnstown responded with a goal by sophomore Bryce DeLizio that made the score 2-1.
The scoring ended from that point on, but despite the scoreless second half the action continued to heat up. In the second half UDC tightened up on defense and offensive chances were few. Freshman goalie Alex Vert (Ijamsville, MD - Urbana HS) made two great stops to save the day. He blocked a point blank penalty kick by Pittsburgh-Johnstown in the 67th minute of play and then made a game saver in the 84th minute. These two plays by Vert helped cement the 2-1 win by the Firebirds. He finished the day with four saves and has stopped 2 of the last 3 penalty kicks he has faced.
Still, the honor of the day belonged to senior Nana Bamfo, who Coach Thompson said, "has been instrumental during our successful first steps in transforming this program." Coach Thompson continued, "He has shown significant commitment and leadership on and off the field, and has an unrelenting desire to win. We thank him whole heartedly for his tireless efforts during our first season at UDC, and he will be sorely missed by the players and staff alike."
The Firebirds have a quick turnaround as they return to action on Monday, October 24th at home vs. Seton Hill College at 3pm.