It took more than 45 minutes of shooting for the Harrisburg City Islanders to find the back of the net, but when they did, they couldn’t stop. They eventually got four in a 4-0 shut out victory over Lehigh Valley United Sonic in Round 2 of the 2014 US Open Cup.
It was Jose Barril who eventually opened the floodgates for the City Islanders in the 48th minute, and he did it in spectacular fashion. Fellow Islander Luan Silva’s cross deflected to Barril, who hit a scorching shot from 20 yards out past the outstretched arms of Sonic goalie Charlie Sales, and into the net.
But until that goal, the City Islanders, who play in USL Pro, looked far from dominant. Lehigh Valley, which plays in the NPSL, took the game to its professional opponents in the first half. Both teams had chances, including Sonic, who tested Harrisburg keeper Brian Sylvestre several times.
“It’s great to play a pro team,” Sonic coach Dave Weitzman said. “We really came out and achieved our game plan in the first half—we made it tough on them and frustrated them.”
The USL Pro side came out with a new intensity in the second half however, as evidenced by the Barril goal. More than just the score, the away side’s passing was crisper and faster. Clesio Bauque was extremely dangerous in the half, with only the exploits of Sales keeping him from potentially scoring a hat trick.
Harrisburg finally broke the game open in the 82nd minute. Second-half substitute Garret Pettis collected a bad back-pass on the left side of the field. He ran past two defenders and the goalie before hitting a hard-angle shot into the right-side netting.
Then, Bauque finally got the goal he had come so close to netting several times. Another second-half substitute, Jimmy McLaughlin found Bauque right at the top of the penalty area. Bauque collected and powered the ball past the keeper to make it 3-0 in extra time. Just a minute later, Bauque was involved again, this time with an assist to Danny DiPrima, who made it 4-0.
Weitzman said, “The score was not real indicative of how we played. We came out in the second half on our heels.”
Harrisburg advances to the Third Round of the US Open Cup, where it will travel to face the Baltimore Bohemians of the PDL. The City Islanders recovered well from last year when they lost their opening match for the first time in club history (Reading United AC). They are hoping to rekindle the magic run they had in 2012, when they knocked off two MLS sides (New York Red Bulls, New England Revolution) en route to a Quarterfinal appearance.
FC Lehigh Valley United Sonic vs. Harrisburg City Islanders
Whitehall High School – Whitehall, PA
HCI: Jose Barril (unassisted) 48’
HCI: Garret Pettis (unassisted) 82’
HCI: Clesio Bauque (Jimmy McLaughlin) 90+
HCI: Danny DiPrima (Bauque) 90+
LVU: Charlie Sales; Brendon Boucaud, Conor Osborne, Julian Plummer, Ali Famili; Toric Robinson (Joe-Joe Jappah, 58’), Michael Gonzalez, Thomas Mustac, Danny Gonzalez (George Tsirukis, 75’); Shastri Spencer (Patrick Letourneau, 79’), Tucker Sandercock
HCI: Brian Sylvestre; Raphael Cox, Matthew Bahner, Richie Marquez, Colin Zizzi; Jason Pelletier, Neil Shaffer, Luan Silva (Danny DiPrima, 86’), Robbie Derschang (Jimmy McLaughlin, 76’); Clesio Bauque, Jose Barril (Garret Pettis, 68’)
LVU: Shastri Spencer (Caution-68’)
HCI: Raphael Cox (Caution-68’)
HCI: Jason Pelletier (Caution-87’)