Norgrove Leads Victoria Past Lane United
EUGENE — Lane United outplayed Victoria Highlanders FC for much of the night at the Les Schwab Sports Park Thursday, but couldn’t finish chances inside the 18 on the way to falling 1-0.
The lone goal of the match came on a free kick from Victoria’s Sho Goto after a foul was called on Akeem Ward in the 76th minute. That was all the Highlanders needed thanks to keeper Simon Norgrove.
Norgrove recorded 10 saves on the night, several of them full extension. The Reds were able to find open shots throughout the match, including three clear cut opportunities in the opening minutes, but couldn’t find the net.
“We came off really strong and we had great opportunities early,” Lane United defender Jonathan Stadler said. “We took shots, created goal scoring opportunities — we did our job. I just think they had a lot of great defense and good saves from their goalkeeper. We couldn’t get that one to slip in.”
Lane United outshot Victoria 27-12 and controlled possession for the majority of the 90 minutes, the Reds just couldn’t find a way to beat Norgrove.
It will be a quick turnaround for the two sides as the second match in three days kicks off at 12:30pm Saturday afternoon. For Lane United (5-5-4 Overall, 2-5-4 PDL) they will need to put this one behind them and find ways to score.
“The biggest thing for us is to come out Saturday ready to compete,” Stadler said. “It can’t be a mentality where we lost and it’s another three points lost in our season. It’s what can we do better to create that goal scoring opportunity and put them away. We need to have the right mentality Saturday, that’ll be the main factor.”
Committing innoportune fouls has led to allowing set piece goals throughout the season. A problem head coach John Galas has routinely mentioned as a focal point in film sessions and training.
That came back to bite the Reds again Thursday as the lone goal of the match was conceded on a free kick after a foul.
“Everything we saw on video we saw tonight, we were prepared, we scouted and we had everything except for the goal,” Galas said. “We talked at halftime about not conceding set pieces and a rough tackle in a dangerous spot led to them punishing us. When you make those mistakes you get punished.”
With three league matches remaining at home, the Reds still have points available to move up the table. That starts with Victoria (3-5-0 PDL) on Saturday, followed by matches against top teams in the table Calgary and Portland Timbers U23.
“I’m proud of the effort and proud of the response from last game,” Galas said. “Points wise this could be our best season in history. The boys want that and they want to finish with wins. Hopefully we get the same mentality and energy Saturday and get three points.”
Up Next: Lane United hosts Victoria for match two Saturday afternoon at 12:30pm. Click here to get your tickets and support your Reds!