Lane United FC 2, Vancouver Victory 0
Lane United FC finished off its season on a high note, beating the Vancouver (WA) Victory 2-0 in a friendly match in front of an appreciative home crowd in Springfield. The Reds comprehensively outplayed their opponents from the Evergreen Premier League, an amateur summer league comprised of teams within the state of Washington. In the end, the shot count was 23-5 in Lane United’s favor, and they had also enjoyed the vast majority of possession. Head coach John Galas, taking advantage of the expanded number of substitutions under the exhibition-match rules, by the end had trotted out Max Hawes, Ian Malony, Pipo Peralt and several other players who trained with the club all season but had seen limited or no playing time in the league campaign. It was a relaxed, festive atmosphere and the teams will both benefit from the match — Lane United from the morale boost and Vancouver from the chance to play against sturdier opposition than they normally face in their home league.
The first half flew by as Lane United held almost all of the possession, much of it in the opposition half. The Reds only forced one save out of Vancouver goalkeeper Jordan Farr, although they had several decent attempts go narrowly wide from just outside the penalty area. The best chance of the half fell with the last touch before halftime, when Pablo Gil beat his marker to the near post on a corner and flicked a header inches over the bar from six yards. In the second half, the Reds benefited from an own-goal by a Victory defender to open the scoring in the 57th minute, though in reality all the credit for the goal might as well go to Daley Stevens. He sliced through a static Vancouver defense from left-back and zipped a low cross in from the side of the penalty area; it might have been headed for Khiry Shelton but a recovering Vancouver defender redirected it into his own net anyway.
Shelton got in on a breakaway only a minute later but his attempt to lob the incredibly long-armed Farr was denied. Edgar Gomez soon after swung a shot just wide of the right post, then Josep Baldovî capped off the scoring with a smooth finish in the 67th minute. Again, a fullback, this time Ryan Trutner on the right, beat multiple players on the dribble and slid in a cross. Gomez looked like he might be the first to reach it but the ball rolled past him and straight to Baldo, who sidefooted the ball into the left side of the net for what is, incredibly, his first goal of the season.
The match ebbed to a close after that, with a few more chances falling Lane United’s way, including when Stevens again darted in from fullback and tried to score himself, forcing a great save from an outstretched Farr at the far post. After the match, the players and the fans saluted each other for excellent commitment on both sides. Galas said that he “couldn’t be more pleased with the win” as the final chapter to the 2014 season.