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Firebirds First Half Offensive Onslaught Leads to Decisive Season-Opening Victory

Adriel Garcia had a foot in all four Firebirds goals. (Courtesy of Bill Smith/Shippensburg University)
Adriel Garcia had a foot in all four Firebirds goals. (Courtesy of Bill Smith/Shippensburg University)

SHIPPENSBURG, PA  –  Adriel Garcia scored two goals and assisted on two others as the Firebirds erupted for four first-half goals and coasted to a 4-0 season-opening victory over Pitt-Johnstown this evening in the Shippensburg Tournament.

District of Columbia scored early and often, with Bakary Coulibaly (Hyattsville, MD – La Lumiere HS) tallying the first Firebird goal of the season off of an assist from Garcia just under three minutes into the action. Garcia (Sau Paulo, Brazil – Anglo Campinas) then scored the first of his own two goals after over 30 minutes of scoreless action, and the Firebirds led 2-0. Four minutes later, Garcia was at it again – this time, teaming up with Atunde Akum (Beltsville, MD – High Point HS) for assists on the Firebirds third goal of the day by team newcomer, Simon Bratke (Bonn, Germany – Collegium Josephinum Bonn). Garcia then put the finishing touches on the Firebirds scoring barrage that included three goals in just over seven minutes, scoring off an assist from Ben Diaz (Silver Spring, MD – Northwood HS) just minutes before halftime.

Freshman goalkeeper Omar Gonzalez made three saves to preserve the shutout as the Firebirds outshot UPJ 20-8 for the day.

District of Columbia is now 4-2-1 all-time against Pitt-Johnstown and has won the last two meetings. Matt Thompson improved to 2-0 in season-opening games as coach of the Firebirds.

The Firebirds return to Shippensburg Tournament action on Sunday as they square off against Chestnut Hill College at 3:30 p.m. District of Columbia won a 3-2 double-overtime thriller at UDC Field when these two teams last met on September 15, 2011.