OCFC defeat FC GS Force in Open Cup!

by Art Eftekhari

excellent teamwork and goalkeeping give ocfc 2-0 win over golden state force in u.s. open cup action

Irvine, CA – For the second year in a row, Orange County FC will be playing in the second round of the U.S. Open Cup after an excellent 2-0 victory over FC Golden State Force of USL League 2 on May 7 at Championship Soccer Stadium.

Scoring chances were created early in the match as both teams looked for the first goal.

OCFC striker Blake Frischknecht nearly gave the home side the lead when he took advantage of some shaky goalkeeping in the 10th minute, but his shot was parried by Golden State Force keeper Mathijs Swaneveld.

Golden State Force had a good opportunity to get on the board twelve minutes later, but Ricardo Ruiz put his shot over the bar.

In the 28th minute, right-back Tekodah Lobsiger was on the attack and his pass found Frischknecht at the top of the Golden State Force penalty area.

Two defenders closed down on Frischknecht, but the dangerous striker got the ball to a wide-open Cody Shelton.

It wasn’t a powerful shot from Shelton, but it was enough to beat a diving Swaneveld and give OCFC a 1-0 lead.

The OCFC players were feeling upbeat going into the interval, but they knew Golden State Force would come out firing looking for the equalizer in the second half.

Minutes after the restart, a free kick from Alvaro Madrigal was pushed away by OCFC keeper David Preys.

Soon after, a long range shot from Gregory Salazar was parried by Preys.

Three minutes before the hour mark, Louka Masset was denied brilliantly in front of the net by Preys after a cross from the left by Daniel Trejo.

In the 67th minute, OCFC was awarded a free kick and left-back Aaron Lombardi curled his shot around the wall to beat Swaneveld at the near post as the home supporters erupted.

Days earlier in an NPSL Southwest match, Aaron Lombardi was beside himself when his free kick was denied by a brilliant save.

Prior to the match against FC Golden State Force, Lombardi said he would score if given a free kick opportunity.

Lombardi was true to his word and was elated as he ran towards the OCFC bench to celebrate one of the most important goals in his career.

Eight minutes later, Lombardi nearly added a second goal, but his shot hit the side netting as OCFC looked to put away Golden State Force.

The visitors tried to get on the board but even a nice bicycle kick attempt from Masset could not get past David Preys.

Preys immediately went into OCFC folklore at the final whistle as he had a flawless performance in his first appearance with Orange County FC.

"David Preys showed his qualities as a top goalkeeper by making three critical stops in unique fashion," OCFC head coach Paul Caligiuri said.

"His quick reactions and power were the key to a clean sheet."

Orange County FC moves on to the second round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and will face Orange County SC of USL Championship on May 15 in a match that is already being called “The Battle for Orange County.”