On a beautiful Saturday evening in Bethlehem FC Sonic welcomed Atlantic division runner-up Brooklyn Italians to Ulrich Sports Stadium for the NPSL Northeast Conference Semi-final. What was dubbed as one of the toughest conference playoff matches in the country didn’t disappoint the 700 plus fans that came out to watch the two teams go toe to toe.
FC Sonic (11-1-1) showed why they earned the #1 seed in the first half as they controlled much of the possession and created a few very good scoring opportunities. Tucker Sandercock, Brian Suchoski and Joe Sales kept trying to find ways to break down the Italians but it wasn’t until the 30 minute when Kevin Strunk took a restart from 24 yards from goal and made good on his strike beating Antonio Salluzzi, the Brooklyn keeper.
Sonic came right back down the pitch just 8 minutes later and scored again as Brian Suchoski hit a shot that deflected off a defender -however the goal was called back as the AR had his flag raised.
Brooklyn turned things around to start the second half and gained a bit of the play as they started to keep possession and even struck the crossbar. Coach Weitzman made a few changes to get fresh legs on the pitch and it paid off as Sonic regained possession and they started to play in Brooklyn’s half of the field.
With time running out and Brooklyn desperately needing a goal Sonic midfielder Nate Squire served a beautiful ball to Leslie Fraser who made a run toward the back post and beat the Brooklyn keeper to the ball and calmly passed the ball into the net for the 2-0 score.
Charlie Sales and company recorded another shout out – 10 shutouts in 13 games. NPSL Player of the Week Leslie Fraser scored his third goal in three games.
FC Sonic will host the NY Red Bulls U-23 team on Saturday July 21st, 7pm, in the NPSL Northeast Conference Final on Goodman Campus. The winner will represent the NE region in the NPSL Championship on July 27-29 in San Diego, CA.