La Crosse Shocks the World: NPSL North Matchweek Eight Recap

by on 26 June 2018

La Crosse Aris successfully parked the bus against the NPSL’s top-scoring team and picked up its second point in five full seasons. VSLT drew as well, leaving Duluth as the only team that gained ground on the conference leader, making the last three games (four if you are a fan of VSLT) of the regular season unsuitable for those with heart conditions.

La Crosse Aris 0, Duluth FC 4
June 20, 2018
Public Schools Stadium (Duluth, Minn.)

A midweek trip up to the Port City ended in another lopsided defeat for La Crosse Aris, although Duluth was kept off the scoresheet for a full half. Arad Lev Ari opened the scoring in the 48th minute, but the BlueGreens had to wait another half an hour for the floodgates to open. Joe Watt doubled the lead in the 74th minute, with a Sora Wakabayashi strike coming six minutes later. Leonardo Almeida tacked on a fourth for good measure in the 90th minute as Duluth cruised.

Med City FC 2, Sioux Falls Thunder 0
June 20, 2018
McEneaney Field (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

Med City kept its season alive with a win in South Dakota, mathematically eliminating the hosts from playoff contention in the process. Francisco Neto’s second half opener in the 52nd minute and Alan Schembri Wismayer’s 67th minute hit were enough to bag all three points on the road.

Dakota Fusion 0, VSLT FC 5
June 20, 2018
James Griffin Stadium (St. Paul, Minn.)

VSLT kept pace at the top with a thumping of the visiting Dakota Fusion, thanks in large part to Sikiru Kareem’s hat trick. Kareem’s opener came just after the second half commenced. The rest of the four goals came in a six-minute span starting with Mark Boquin’s 70th minute strike. Kareem added a second in the 72nd minute, Wilson Eduardo Alvarenga Guevara got on the scoresheet in the 75th, and Kareem completed his hat trick in the 76th minute. Dakota’s collapse did not quite doom its season, but the team is on life support.

Minnesota TwinStars 2, Minneapolis City SC 2
June 20, 2018
Osseo High School (Osseo, Minn.)

The TwinStars took some measure of revenge for their loss last week at the hands of Minneapolis City, coming back twice to secure a draw. Max Stiegwardt put City on the board first, converting a penalty in the 12th minute. David Kromah answered quickly, bouncing one past Matt Elder in the 18th minute to level the score for the Dragons. Stiegwardt made it a brace in the 31st minute when a deflection sent the ball into the back of the net. Karim Darbaki also scored from the spot just before halftime to knot things back up. Neither team could break through in the second half and the points were split.

Minneapolis City SC 0, La Crosse Aris 0
June 23, 2018
Viterbo Sports Complex (La Crosse, Wis.)

La Crosse pulled off a shocking draw against Minneapolis City, securing just its second point since July of 2013 and throwing the conference playoff race into relative chaos. Aris put nine players behind the ball and held its shape well, allowing very few shots on target and never choosing to launch an attack. The result is disappointing for Minneapolis City, as the team took it for granted as an opportunity to keep a comfortable point margin atop the league. Two home games against the teams directly below them will decide where the Crows land this season.

Up next:
Minneapolis City SC vs. VSLT FC, June 27
La Crosse Aris vs. Med City FC, June 27

Minnesota TwinStars 3, Dakota Fusion 4
June 23, 2018
Jim Gotta Stadium (Moorhead, Minn.)

Minnesota TwinStars saw their playoff hopes dwindle in the first half on the back of three Fusion goals. George Gauld’s opener less than ten minutes into the game set the tone, and Dakota ran riot for the next half hour. Akeem Smith bagged two, one in the 25th and another in the 37th minute, to give the hosts a 3-0 halftime lead. Chase Wright pulled one back for the Dragons in the 68th minute, but Ncengetere Jacques answered just a minute later with the eventual winner. The visitors made it interesting with Andrew Avram and Ethan Pitre scoring in the 80th and 90th minutes respectively, but it was not enough.The TwinStars are on the brink of elimination from playoff contention once again.

Up next:
Minnesota TwinStars at Duluth FC, June 27
Dakota Fusion at Sioux Falls Thunder, June 27

Sioux Falls Thunder 0, Duluth FC 4
June 23, 2018
Public Schools Stadium (Duluth, Minn.)

Duluth jumped into second place with its second 4-0 win of the week, this time against Sioux Falls. Dana Kowachek’s 14th minute goal was the opener, followed by Thomas Corcoran’s 22nd minute hit. The BlueGreens let off the gas a bit until Kyle Farrar put one in the back of the net in the 75th minute. Brooks Rice followed suit in the 86th. Duluth sits in a playoff spot for now, but VSLT has a game in hand to make up.

Up next:
Sioux Falls Thunder vs. Dakota Fusion, June 27
Duluth FC vs. Minnesota TwinStars, June 27

VSLT FC 0, Med City FC 0
June 23, 2018
Rochester Regional Stadium (Rochester, Minn.)

VSLT played with ten men for the majority of the game and came away with a point. An early red card looked to open the door for a Med City win to really shake up the table, but the Medics were unable to capitalize on the man advantage. The draw may be a disappointment for the Sky Blues however, with title rivals Minneapolis City unexpectedly dropping points. Their game against City on Wednesday will help decide quite a bit.

Up next:
VSLT FC at Minneapolis City SC, June 27
Med City FC vs. La Crosse Aris, June 27


NPSL North Standings

Club Played Won Drawn Lost GD Points Possible
Minneapolis City 11 7 4 0 21 25 34
Duluth 11 6 4 1 16 22 31
VSLT 10 6 2 2 9 20 32
Med City 11 4 3 4 7 16 25
TwinStars 11 4 3 4 4 15 24
Dakota Fusion 11 4 3 4 -4 15 24
Sioux Falls X 11 1 1 9 -14 4 13
La Crosse Aris X 10 0 1 9 -39 1 13

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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