5/23/2015. Albuquerque, NM – The Sol were walking on sunshine on Friday afternoon after defeating the BYU Cougars by the score of 2-1 at Ben Rios Field on the campus of St Pius X High School. For the second consecutive home game, the Sol had the original game-time postponed due to weather conditions. Last week, the Saturday night clash with the Midland/Odessa Sockers was postponed until Sunday
In contrast to last week’s performance, Friday was an entirely different story. The Sol saw tremendous performances from players all over the field and appeared to play as a unit a lot better than they did in their opening match last week. The Sol outshot BYU 24-10 and dominated the possession most of the match. They took nine corner-kicks compared to BYU’s one. Matt Ball, one of the Sol’s foreign players (hailing from England) scored both goals for the Sol. The first was a tap in coming from an assist by local player Luke Lawrence. The second goal was a glorious play starting with a beautiful curling long ball down the right wing by team Captain Travis Campbell. New Mexico product Giovanni Rollie received the superb ball from Campbell and played a perfect cross in to meet the head of Matt Ball.
“The first goal I didn’t know much about really,” said Ball of the goal which occured in the 33rd minute. “Luke had a shot off the defender and it just came to me and I just poked it in. It was a hard one to miss really.”
BYU tied the game just four minutes later with a goal from forward Jace Green. His shot appeared to deflect off a defender and then went into the far right side of the net, just inside the post. Sol Goalkeeper Jimmy Schneebeck could not get to the ball as he appeared to be blocked by a player. The ball went in and the game went into halftime with the score of 1-1.
In the 65th minute, the Sol took the lead for good. Ball commented “It was a superb ball from Travis (Campbell) to the corner and then Gio (Rollie) with an even better ball to the middle of the box. I yelled at Luke to leave it and he did. He heard me, he ducked and I headed in on an open goal.”
Albuquerque’s back four was solid all game. Spaniard defender Carlos Sendin had a superb performance with multiple tackles clearing threats from BYU and winning headers that could have become more dangerous situations. Campbell, the other center back, was strong by his side in eliminating threats. The speed of Yuri Domiciano and Gio Rollie at left and right back was effective in closing down attacks from BYU and creating counters for the Sol.
Albuquerque Assistant Coach Travis Masterson was filling in for Head Coach Matt Gordon on this day and was coaching the Sol for the first time. “We had the better of the game for most of it,” Commented Masterson. “We played hard, we were physical, moved the ball around well and defended well.” When asked about the upcoming games against Real Colorado, Coach Masterson said, “We haven’t seen much of Real Colorado yet. They have a much better team this year than they did last year. Our team is really starting to gel now and we feel very confident going on the road for the games next Thursday and Friday night in Denver.”
The win puts the Sol into 3rd place in the Mountain Division with 3 points tied with 2nd place Real Colorado. FC Tucson remains in 1st place with 4 points. The Sol play two games at Real Colorado on Thursday and Friday before returning home for “Monday Night Futbol” on June 1st against the 4th place Las Vegas Mobsters. Kickoff is at 6:15pm at St Pius X High School.
The remaining home schedule for the Sol, with kickoff times, is as follows:
Monday, June 1st vs. Las Vegas Mobsters, 6:15 PM
Saturday, June 6th vs. FC Tucson, 6:15 PM (Southwestern Showdown)
Thursday, June 18th vs. Laredo Heat, 6:30 PM
Saturday, June 20th vs. Colorado Rapids Reserves, 6:30 PM (Sol Clasico)
Thursday, July 9th vs. Real Colorado, 6:30 PM
Saturday, July 11th vs. Real Colorado, 6:30 PM