The teams traded early goals, as NCFCU23 struck first in the ninth minute with a goal from Ryan Spaulding and an assist from Nick Retzlaff. Just four minutes later, Tobacco Road evened the score after Henry Hannepel finished off Zach Wright’s cross from close range.
Despite a handful of chances, NCFCU23 was unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities and entered halftime level at 1-1.
Following the break, the teams exploded for a combined six second-half goals. TRFC opened the scoring in the 52nd minute with a goal from Nils Bruening off an assist from Jon Ray. NCFCU23 then rattled off three-straight goals to take a 4-2 lead in the 67th minute.
Spaulding completed his brace, converting a penalty kick in the 56th minute for his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Cody Brinkman then scored twice in quick sucession, adding long-range goals in the 62nd and 67th minutes.
TRFC reduced the deficit to 4-3 in the 69th minute, as Bruening converted a penalty. However, NCFCU23 put the game out of reach with a final goal in the 81st minute from Cameron Steele.
NCFCU23’s lineup featured eight former Capital Area RailHawks Academy members in Caleb Duvernay, Nick Retzlaff, Vinnie Durand, Ryan Spaulding, Jamil Gracia, Dom Jenson, Cody Brinkman and Matt Gianfortone.
TRFC’s backup goal keeper, Hawthorne Jackson, is also a former Capital Area RailHawks Academy member.
John Nelson and Christop Schuneuwly both made their first starts for NCFCU23
Spaulding scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season to become the team’s top goal scorer.
Brinkman added a brace within five minutes for his first and second goals of the season.
Cameron Steele scored his first goal of the year
Duvernay, Retzlaff, and Fernando Castellanos all recorded assists in the win.
NCFCU23: Vinnie Durand, Christop Schuneuwly (Jamil Garcia, 70’), Matt Arnone, Alex Comisa, John Nelson; Cody Brinkman, Cameron Steele (Ian Bennett, 82’), Nick Retzlaff (Caleb Duvernay, 78’), Ryan Spaulding (Matt Gianfortone 63’), Dean Rutherford (Dom Jenson, 70’) Damien Thomas (Fernando Castellanos, 17’)
Subs not used: Bardia Asefina,
TRFC: Sam Bissett; James Carroll (Tyler Aglovlassitis 60’), Jared Rist, Liam Williams, Jason McCartney; Henry Hannapel Teddy Mullin (German Mendoza, 46’), Zach Wright (Marshall Hodge 82’), Alan Winn (Joaquin del Rosario 68’, Nils Bruening; Thomas Garner (Jon Ray 46’)
Subs not used: Hawthorne Jackson, Michael Bamber
NCFCU23: Ryan Spualding (Nick Retzlaff 9’), Ryan Spaulding (PK, 56’), Cody Brinkman (unassisted 65’), Cody Brinkman (Fernando Castellanos, 67’), Cameron Steele (Caleb Duvernay, 81’)
TRFC: Henry Hannepel (Zach Wright 13’), Nils Bruening (Jon Ray 52’), Nils Bruening, (PK 69’)
NCFC: Christop Schuneuwly 45+, Matt Gianfortone 73’
TRFC: Jared Rist 48’ Jason McCarthey 55’ Jon Ray 78’
TRFC: Henry Hannepel 62’