Holiday Weekend Fireworks: NPSL North Matchweek Eight Recap

by on 3 July 2017

Sioux Falls Thunder 0, Med City FC 0
June 28, 2017
Yankton Trails Park (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

Sioux Falls halted the league-leader’s five game winning streak, holding Med City goalless but dooming the Thunder’s playoff hopes. The Medics had the first chance of the game in the 17th minute when Alexis Tahet’s free kick was headed on by Ignacio Milla and just missed the frame. Just two minutes later, Sioux Falls forced the Med City keeper into a save for their first chance of the match. The visitors racked up several shots on goal before the halftime whistle blew. The Thunder weren’t done making Joan Carles Perez Castro work for the clean sheet. Two big saves in the 60th and 65th minutes made the difference and made sure Med City’s point streak was extended to 9 games. The draw also means that Sioux Falls can attain a maximum of 19 points, but due to tiebreakers, would not be able to overcome VSLT or Duluth.


VSLT FC 2, Duluth FC 3
June 28, 2017
James Griffin Stadium (St. Paul, Minn.)

Duluth overcame a second half red card that nearly doomed them to snag all three points on the road. Before seeing red in the 68th minute, Kyle Farrar put his team ahead in the 22nd minute. The Bluegreens doubled their lead ten minutes later when Sean Morgan blasted a shot from 25 yards out. The hosts looked to be out of it early but mounted a comeback after Duluth went down to ten men. Mark Boquin found the back of the net in the 75th minute and made it a brace in the 89th to pull his team level. The draw was almost secured, but Duluth answered immediately with a diving header from Garga Nyuah to steal the win.


Sioux Falls Thunder 6, Minnesota TwinStars 1
July 1, 2017
Yankton Trails Park (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

Sioux Falls is now on a three game point streak, playing spoiler after being eliminated from playoff contention. The loss meant the same postseason fate for the TwinStars, who now sit second-to-last in the NPSL North. The first half onslaught was started in the eighth minute by Ibrahim Diamond. The hosts extended their lead with a 33rd minute Eric Beltran strike. The Dragons pulled one back less than five minutes later courtesy of Anayo Kwazemo, but Sioux Falls responded with a flurry of offensive action. Three goals were put away in the next seven minutes to sink the visitors from Minnetonka. The first was tallied by Archie Maoh in the 39th minute, the second came from Houston Hoffman in the 42nd, and the final goal of the first half was slipped in by Trevor Gervais in the 44th minute. The TwinStars added a 79th minute own goal to seal this season’s fate.

Up next:
Minnesota TwinStars at La Crosse Aris FC, July 8
Sioux Falls Thunder vs. Minneapolis City SC, July 8


Duluth FC 8, La Crosse Aris 1
July 1, 2017
Public Schools Stadium (Duluth, Minn.)

Duluth jumped into second place with an 8-1 shellacking of La Crosse at home, adding to what may become a very important goal differential. Mally Lumsden’s fifteen minute hat trick started in the third minute and began a first half full of goals for Duluth. Lumsden added the second goal in the tenth minute and put away the third at the 14 minute mark. Derek Fuchsberger reduced the Bluegreens’ lead to two in the 16th minute but it was for naught. Andrew Jenkins scored to make it 4-1 in the 17th minute and made it a brace in the 28th. Joe Watt got in on the action just four minutes later to give the hosts half a dozen goals. Charlie Crane came back from suspension with the first of two goals in the 40th minute and added the second nine minutes into the second half. La Crosse is close to surpassing its worst goal differential ever, losing by an average of 4.2 goals in the ten game 2014 regular season.

Up next:
Duluth FC at Med City FC, July 8
La Crosse Aris FC at Dakota Fusion, July 5


Dakota Fusion 0, Minneapolis City SC 1
July 1, 2017
Jim Gotta Stadium (Moorhead, Minn.)

Minneapolis City righted the ship after losing to rival Duluth with a 1-0 win over Dakota Fusion. Both teams were looking to score early and both nearly succeeded. Dakota looked more dangerous early, and forced the City keeper into a number of tough saves. Martin Browne nearly put the visitors ahead, but his free kick smashed the crossbar. Dakota did the same in the 43rd minute, an errant chip shot bounced off and the ensuing shot was sent too high. The lone goal of the game came in the 77th minute when Whitney Browne got on the end of Miles Stockman-Willis’ cross and knocked it through traffic to put the Crows up 1-0. The time-wasting tactics employed by the visitors were enough to secure an important three points, keeping them in the race for the second playoff spot.

Up next:
Dakota Fusion vs. La Crosse Aris FC, July 5
Minneapolis City SC at Sioux Falls Thunder, July 8


Med City FC 1, VSLT FC 1
July 1, 2017
Rochester Regional Stadium

Med City’s two draws this week mean its lead in the North has slipped to just three points with the team closest behind coming to town next week. The Medics’ point streak is at ten games, having taken at least one point in 11 of 12 games so far this season. Two early first half goals decided this game. Jake Turnbull scored in the fifth minute as the hosts put the pressure on early, continuing another season-long trend. VSLT was up to the task however, and Ayuk Tambe pulled los Trapos even in the 16th minute. The remainder of the game was filled with close calls on both sides, including a late save on a VSLT shot to preserve the draw. Med City’s remaining two games are against Duluth FC and Minneapolis City SC, two teams trying their hardest to overcome the Medics for a conference championship.

Up next:
Med City FC vs. Duluth FC, July 8
VSLT FC at Dakota Fusion, July 8


NPSL North standings

Club Played Won Drawn Lost GD Points Possible
Med City 12 7 4 1 +12 25 31
Duluth 12 6 4 2 +16 22 28
VSLT 12 6 2 4 +6 20 26
Minneapolis City 11 6 1 4 +14 19 28
Dakota Fusion 11 6 0 5 18 27
Sioux Falls X 12 3 4 5 13 19
TwinStars X 11 3 2 6 -3 11 20
La Crosse Aris X 11 0 1 10 -42 1 10

X = eliminated from playoff contention.
NPSL first tiebreaker is head-to-head results between the tied teams.
NPSL second tiebreaker is goal differential in the head-to-head matches

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