SEVERANCE Colo. – Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC (11W-10L-9D, 42 points) defeated FC Tucson (8W-14L-7D, 31 points) 2-1 at Severance High School. Destan Norman scored his first professional goal as the game-winner in the 76th minute.
Wolfgang Prentice got Northern Colorado started early. In the 11th minute, Trevor Amann controlled a ball over the top, knocking it down for Prentice. The defender dribbled past a pair of defenders, putting a shot off the post, deflecting into the back of the net. After coming so close in recent weeks, it was his first goal in a Hailstorm uniform.
The game changed just before halftime when goalkeeper Johan Peñaranda was issued a red card. Peñaranda came out of his box for a long ball, colliding with Tucson forward Fernando Garcia. Thomas Olsen was called in off the bench as a result.
The ensuing free kick forced Olsen to make a diving save. The ball pinged around in the box landing for Luca Mastrantonio. Mastrantonio finished his chance and tied the match at one.
An Arthur Rogers corner kick was cleared away but fell straight for Norman at the top of the box. The Fort Collins took the shot first time with his off-foot. The ball went untouched through the crowd of bodies in front of the goal.
Northern Colorado will make the USL League One playoffs if South Georgia Tormenta fails to pick up a point next week or if Charlotte Independence fails to win their match.
Head Coach Éamon Zayed
On the resilience of the team…
“The reaction was superb. We’ve been dealt a tough hand at times, and we’ve dealt with it. Before the game, I referred to Richmond away as the first game of the season. I talked about the resilience of that trip, going down there with 14 players. At halftime I said I was wrong, our first game was away to Switchbacks, we went down to 10 men and we came back and won one-nil.”
Head Coach Éamon Zayed
On the attendance…
“It was great. Great atmosphere, best atmosphere of the year. I just hope that they will come back next season. Because when we have an atmosphere like that it definitely energizes the group and listen, they also helped push the guys on till the end.”
Midfielder Destan Norman
On the first goal of his career…
“Feels great. Me and the team, we’ve been putting in work and it would have been a shame not to get anything out of this game. I’m just happy I could show up at the right time in front of the crowd and perform for my teammates.”
Defender Wolfgang Prentice
On his first goal in a Hailstorm uniform…
“It feels great. I mean, I’ve really been itching to get a goal and I’m really glad that we’re able to get the result. I feel like we were a man down, so it was a little tough, but we’re able to get the result and that’s all that matters.”