Kings in the North: Duluth Wins and the NPSL North Matchweek Ten Recap

by on 17 July 2017

Duluth was crowned champion of the NPSL North’s inaugural season after a battering of Sioux Falls Thunder and help in the rest of Saturday’s games. Dakota slipped into the second playoff spot thanks to an eight-goal thriller with Minnesota TwinStars and VSLT made sure La Crosse Aris had its worst statistical season ever.

Minneapolis City SC 0, Minnesota TwinStars 2
July 12, 2017
Edor Nelson Field (Minneapolis)

Minneapolis City saw its conference championship chances dashed and found itself on the wrong end of a season sweep at the hands of Minnesota TwinStars on Wednesday night. The Crows were unable to get much going in the offensive third despite needing to push forward after Karim Darbaki’s goal on a shot from a tight angle in the 39th minute. The Dragons were motivated and defended well throughout the 90 minutes. Justin Oliver put the final nail in the coffin in the 57th minute when he found a well-timed through-ball and slotted it past the keeper as he went in alone on goal. City had a few opportunities to get one back, but put them wide each time.

Read Kyle Eliason’s full recap.

Minnesota TwinStars 3, Dakota Fusion 5
July 15, 2017
Minnetonka High School Stadium (Minnetonka, Minn.)

The Dragons were unable to continue a good run of form, falling to Dakota Fusion and ensuring that the Moorhead team would head to the playoffs. Adrian Baclawski started the goal bonanza with an 18th-minute strike for Dakota, but Chad Miller equalized 12 minutes later. Jade Johnson stepped in to put the visitors ahead once again in the 42nd minute, scoring his first of three on the night. Zuheer Al Abase extended Dakota’s lead to 3-1 a few minutes after the start of the second half, but Tyler Oliver and the TwinStars responded in the 57th minute. Johnson’s second of the game came in the 77th minute, followed quickly by Babatunde Oyekan’s response to make it 4-3. Johnson made sure his team would snatch a playoff berth by finishing his hat trick in the 86th minute.

Up next:
Dakota Fusion at Detroit City FC (NPSL Midwest Quarterfinal), July 22

Duluth FC 9, Sioux Falls Thunder 2
July 15, 2017
Public Schools Stadium (Duluth, Minn.)

The match that gave Duluth the conference title was tied 2-2 when Thunder goalkeeper Matthew Scott was shown red for his take-down of Kyle Farrar on the brink of halftime. Thomas Corcoran buried the subsequent free kick and the post-halftime floodgates were opened. Farrar gave the BlueGreens a two goal lead with goals in the 21st and 34th minutes. Sioux Falls struck back with two goals in quick succession, Hugo Gonzalez scoring in the 36th minute and Amadu Myers hitting the twine three minutes later.

Second Half Goals:
49′: Joe Watt
64′: Charlie Crane
74′: Kyle Farrar
76′: Mally Lumsden
79′: Mally Lumsden
87′: Garga Nyuah

Up next:
Duluth FC vs. Second-lowest remaining seed (NPSL Midwest Semifinal), July 28

Med City FC 0, Minneapolis City SC 1
July 15, 2017
Rochester Regional Stadium (Rochester, Minn.)

Med City completed a collapse that saw the Medics pick up only two points in their final four games and missing the playoffs after looking like a midseason lock. With the Dakota Fusion winning before kickoff in Rochester, both teams knew they were out of playoff contention. Neither team played like it. The lone goal of the game was scored in the 18th minute when Isaac “Goose” Friendt powered the ball through a crowd in the box and into the top corner of the net. Med City searched hard for an equalizer and the Crows were looking to end the season in attack mode. The visitors were able to hold Med City scoreless and end the season in third place.

Read Kyle Eliason’s full recap.

VSLT FC 10, La Crosse Aris FC 0
July 15, 2017
James Griffin Stadium (St. Paul)

Despite picking up a point in league play for the first time since 2014, La Crosse Aris finished with its worst average goal differential in club history. The Wisconsin team let 10 in against VSLT to finish with a -60 goal differential and losing by 4.3 goals per game this season.

VSLT Goals:
4′: Miguel A Lopez Varela
38′: Miguel A Lopez Varela
44′: Ayuk Tambe
49′: Mark Boquin
55′: Juan Fiz
62′: Joshua de la Rosa
68′: Jose Amilcar Paz Mejia
82′: Pedro Matias Diaz Galeano
86′: Elder Barrientos
89′: Ruben Ruiz


NPSL North Final Standings

Club Played Won Drawn Lost GD Points
Duluth 14 8 4 2 +24 28
Dakota Fusion 14 9 0 5 +10 27
Minneapolis CityX 14 8 1 5 +15 25
Med CityX 14 7 4 3 +10 25
VSLT X 14 7 2 5 +13 23
TwinStars X 14 5 2 7  — 17
Sioux Falls X 14 3 4 7 -9 13
La Crosse Aris X 14 0 1 12 -60 1

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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