San Diego Flash and Fullerton Rangers battle 0-0 during the first half
Soccer News: SD Flash Host Second Place Fullerton Rangers in Final Regular Season Home Game
Sunday evening, July 1st, the undefeated and newly-crowned NPSL West Southern Conference Champion San Diego Flash hosted the Fullerton Rangers in a NPSL regular season game. The SD Flash was victorious, defeating the Rangers 5-1. It was an all around great performance and the team couldn’t look stronger heading toward the end of the season.
Being my first time at a SD Flash or even NPSL game of any team, I had no idea what to expect. To my surprise, I found a new type of entertainment that can be found in the city of San Diego.
I arrived on scene to find the sun setting on a stadium containing families and friends enjoying a nice evening. Popular music was playing over loud speakers, children were playing soccer on unused parts of the field and players were even interacting with the spectators. Everyone seemed to have high spirits for the night, and a decent sized crowd showed up to support the SD Flash.
While the environment seemed relaxed to those of us in the stands, that did not mean those on the field shared the sentiment. From the opening whistle the intensity of the game was high.
The Flash took control of the game making quick passes and multiple attacks. Unfortunately, the team couldn’t create any great scoring opportunities in the first half. This didn’t happen to be a huge problem as goalkeeper Nicolas Harpel made some huge saves to keep the Rangers in check and the score 0-0.
After a scoreless half, both sides made some major adjustments to get things started. The Rangers came out very strong and had a couple of great scoring chances. In the 48th minute, Roldan Eders headed in a great cross to put the Rangers up by one.
SD Flash fans get pictures signed by players after the match
While many teams would get frustrated by a goal early in the half, the Flash fought back.
Right around the 65 minute mark, Juan “Kichi” Perez received a throw in near the bottom corner of the box which he flicked through his legs, between two defenders, then curled in a shot over the goalie’s head.
From this point on the Flash took over the game. Perez would go on to score two more goals becoming the hat trick hero.
Nelson Pizarro and Joe Shah were also able to each get a goal helping the Flash secure a comfortable win against the Rangers.
What started out as a rough beginning turned into an exciting win for a hard working Flash team.
With each goal, the fans feverishly showed their support in a contagious manner.
My overall experience was a delightful surprise, as I now consider myself to be a fan of the team.
It is really a great event for soccer fans of all ages, and the environment is casual enough so children are welcomed and even encouraged to come out.
The Flash will finish out their regular season against Santa Clarita Storm, July 7 in Santa Clartita. With the win tonight the Flash clinch first in their division and look to make a run at the championship in late July.