Dragons starting XI against VSLT. Image courtesy of Minnesota TwinStars.

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Pulling Away: NPSL North Matchweek Seven Recap

by on 27 June 2017

The top teams in the standings are separating themselves with three weeks and four games each to play until the playoffs begin. Med City solidified its lead on the conference with two wins, Duluth picked up an important three points in what is the only real rivalry in the North so far, and La Crosse earned its first points in league play in nearly four calendar years.

 

Minnesota TwinStars 2, Med City FC 4

June 21, 2017
Minnetonka High School (Minnetonka, Minn.)

Med City came back from an early deficit with a flurry of second half goals to keep their lead at the top of the standings. TwinStars took the lead in the sixth minute on the back of a Chase Wright goal. The hosts were in control of the game for the first half, the rest of the period only punctuated by a few yellow cards. The game opened back up in the 60th minute as Med City flexed its muscle. Jake Turnbull gathered a pass from Matias Pazos Dumic and finished across the goal to draw level. They took the lead six minutes later when Mido Mujic found a way past the keeper from inside the box. Dumic got a goal of his own in the 70th minute with a high curling shot, and Turnbull made it a brace just seven minutes later with the fourth and final goal. Barinedum Kordah got one back for the Dragons in the 82nd minute but it was too late to mount a comeback.

 

Minneapolis City SC 6, La Crosse Aris FC 0
June 21, 2017
Edor Nelson Field (Minneapolis, Minn.)

Minneapolis eased to a 6-0 win and a season sweep of La Crosse as Miles Stockman-Willis set the club record for most goals scored in a single match. Ben Wexler got things started with a goal in the second minute after the Aris kickoff was played straight to City goalkeeper Matt Elder. Wexler then assisted on Stockman-Willis’ first goal of the night in the 13th minute. Whitney Browne played Stockman-Willis in on goal in the 34th minute and he finished it off for his second of the night. He made it a hat trick in the 41st minute as the City attack never let up in the first half. The man of the night was brought down in the penalty area and slotted the ensuing penalty kick home for his fourth goal of the night. Aaron Olson headed a deflected Dan O’Brien shot over the goalkeeper for the sixth goal and City coasted to the win. The loss coupled with Dakota’s win eliminated La Crosse from postseason contention.

Read Kyle Eliason’s full recap here

 

Duluth FC 1, Dakota Fusion 2
June 21, 2017
Public Schools Stadium (Duluth, Minn.)

Dakota kept pace with Med City in the race for the conference’s two playoff spots with a narrow win away to Duluth. Jade Johnson gave the visitors an early lead with an eighth-minute goal that allowed the visitors to play comfortably for much of the rest of the game. The Bluegreens tied it up in the 71st minute when Kyle Farrar found the back of the net. Fusion’s Isaac Kehson pulled the lead back for his team in the 80th minute and Dakota rode out the rest of the game to hand Duluth its second loss in three games.

 

VSLT FC 4, Sioux Falls Thunder 1
June 23, 2017
James Griffin Stadium (St. Paul, Minn.)

Sioux Falls continued its struggles with a 4-1 loss to a VSLT team looking to stay in the race for the playoffs. The first goal of the game was scored just outside the quarter hour mark by Miguel Lopez Vareia. The hosts kept control of the game and poured more pressure on at the start of the second half. The 47th minute saw Ayuk Tambe score his first goal of the night with a second tallied in the 68th. Tambe finished off his hat trick in the 74th minute to give VSLT a comfortable 4-0 lead. Lwel Moo saved the Thunder from being shut out with a goal in the 90th minute.

 

Duluth FC 2, Minneapolis City SC 1
June 23, 2017
Public Schools Stadium (Duluth, Minn.)

Duluth came out on top in a hotly-contested match that dented Minneapolis City’s playoff hopes. Kyle Farrar put the hosts up early, finding enough space for a shot after a scramble in front of the net. The hosts nearly doubled their lead in the 30th minute after a Charlie Adams handball in the box gave Joe Watt an opportunity to score on a penalty. His shot was saved and City kept the one-goal margin going into halftime. The Bluegreens doubled their lead in the 59th minute when Sean Morgan’s corner took a deflection off of Isaac Friendt’s head for an own goal. The Crows turned up the pressure in search of a goal and only got one in the 90th minute when Friendt hit the ceiling of the net after gathering a pass from Connor Stevenson. The end of the game was a chaotic flurry of Duluth clearances and a post-whistle scuffle that will leave the rivalry to simmer most likely until next season.

Read Kyle Eliason’s full recap here.

Up next:
Duluth FC at VSLT FC, June 28
Minneapolis City SC at Dakota Fusion, July 1

 

La Crosse Aris FC 1, Sioux Falls Thunder 1
June 24, 2017
Viterbo Sports Complex (La Crosse, Wis.)

Just a game after being eliminated from postseason contention, La Crosse picked up its first league point since July of 2013, drawing 1-1 with Sioux Falls. In a rare occurrence, Aris struck first as Hussien Alrubayee found the back of the net. Brice Holiday knotted things up in the 24th minute and that’s where they stayed. Both teams battled looking for the winner but neither could break through. The draw brings Sioux Falls slightly closer to the same fate as La Crosse. Another loss coupled with a VSLT win or draw will keep them from being able to make the playoffs.

Up next:
La Crosse Aris FC at Dakota Fusion, June 28
Sioux Falls Thunder vs. Med City FC

 

Med City FC 2, Dakota Fusion 1
June 24, 2017
Rochester Regional Stadium (Rochester, Minn.)

Med City made some space for itself at the top with a win over Dakota Fusion, the next closest in the race for a conference championship. Sticking with the theme of the weekend, Med City took an early lead. Jared Wolt scored off a corner in the 6th minute and the Medics never really looked back. The hosts would double their lead on the verge of halftime when Jake Turnbull powered a header past the keeper. Dakota pulled one back in the 67th minute courtesy of Akeem Smith. Med City kept the pressure up and avoided giving up an equalizer as Dakota missed an opportunity to make up ground on the league-leaders.

Up next:
Med City FC at Sioux Falls Thunder
Dakota Fusion vs. Minneapolis City SC

 

VSLT FC 3, Minnesota TwinStars 2
June 25, 2017
James Griffin Stadium (St. Paul, Minn.)

VSLT left it late, but picked up three crucial points to jump alone into second place. TwinStars let an early lead slip away as Chase Wright’s 18th minute goal was matched in the 38th by Ayuk Tambe. VSLT then took the lead just before halftime courtesy of Pedro Matias Diaz Galeano. The Dragons drew even in the 77th minute with an Ethan Pitre strike. The two teams looked to be headed for a draw when Mark Boquin’s free kick found the back of the net in the 91st minute to send the VSLT fans home happy. The loss means that TwinStars cannot win the conference championship outright but still have an outside chance at making the playoffs.

Up next:
VSLT FC vs. Duluth FC
Minnesota TwinStars at Sioux Falls Thunder

 

NPSL North standings

Club Played Won Drawn Lost GD Points Possible
Med City 10 7 2 1 +12 23 35
VSLT 10 6 1 3 +7 19 31
Dakota Fusion 10 6 0 4 +1 18 30
Duluth 10 4 4 2 +8 16 28
Minneapolis City 10 5 1 4 +13 16 28
TwinStars 10 3 2 5 +2 11 23
Sioux Falls 10 2 3 5 -5 9 21
La Crosse Aris 10 0 1 9 -35 1 13

NPSL first tiebreaker is head-to-head results between the tied teams.


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  • Hopeful Balls

    Thanks for the recaps.
    Can someone clarify how NPSL births into the US Open Cup are determined? Does only the winner of the NPSL North qualify?

    • David Baker

      Sorry for the late response. NPSL berths are a little complicated but the 8 surefire spots go to teams that make it to the Regional Finals in the playoffs.