Flint City Bucks get defensive on Carpathia in 2-1 win

| August 30, 2020 | Comments (0)



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FLINT — A team is only as good as its defense.

For the Flint City Bucks, that defense has been pretty sterling after two weeks of exhibition play.

The defending US Soccer-League 2 North American champions have only yielded only 14 shots on frame after two matches and given up only one goal.

The Bucks (2-0) added its second win of the exhibition season Sunday at Flint Atwood Stadium, posting a 2-1 victory over visiting Carpathia FC.

“I’m thoroughly impressed (by the defense) for giving up one goal in the two matches,” said first-year Bucks coach Andy Wagstaff. “I am not shocked at all by our backline. Dom Hart has tons of experience, originally with Northwood University, and Adam Mcaleenan, who started alongside him. Adam had a standout freshman season at Oakland University last year. Sebastian Nuzzo has been great for us. Kieran Hayes is another incoming player at Oakland and unfortunately he got hurt. That gave us a chance to bring another incoming freshman at OU into the game, Julien (Beausire), he’s a center back and we’ve moved Dom (Hart) over to right back. Together they all were excellent back there.

“Carpathia is a very good team with a lot of very good players,” continued Wagstaff. “We had to play a strong game to beat them.”

The Bucks, who have won four North American titles over the past two decades, saw their 2020 regular and postseason wiped away due to the COVID rules. Flint City is playing a six-week exhibition season against various programs from leagues across the state.

The Bucks cannot train and practice during the week, but have shown some cohesiveness of a well-seasoned unit after only two games.

The Bucks converted first on their fifth shot of the contest. Marty Maybin got free in the box and tapped home his shot by the left post at the 31:43 mark following a cross through traffic by Ayuk Tambe.

Flint City, which won its first exhibition game last week 8-0 over Midwest United, added to its lead at 53:40 with a counterattack goal. Hart slotted a long through ball to an onrushing Anthony Bowie — Michigan’s 2015 Mr. Soccer as a prep senior at Grand Rapids Forest Hills Centraaaat train together over the season. We weren’t able to do that. We’ve brought in mostly local, Michigan-based players. We wish we could train together. So knowing we can’t I thought we’ve played well together these last two weeks.”

For the game, Flint City held a 12-7 shots edge on Carpathia, although Carpathia held a 6-5 margin with shots on frame. Finn Jurak (Oakland) netted his second straight win between the pipes, making five saves for the Bucks.


— The game featured 14 players from Oakland University, seven for each side, plus three alumnus from the school. According to NCAA rules, teams are limited to five active college players from 2019 US Soccer-League 2 rosters, plus incoming college freshmen. The NCAA Division I, II and III season will likely be played in the spring, allowing current college players a chance to play in these exhibition friendlies in August and September.   

— The contest featured a pre-game speech from both the Bucks’ Ayuk Tambe and Carpathia’s Dave Edwardson talking about the Black Lives Matter movement, in particular the racial inequality and police brutality. The players gathered at midfield for a moment of silence after the speeches.

— Flint City Bucks will next host Inter Detroit FC on Sunday, Sept. 6, at 12 p.m. The game will be telecasted live on CW46 out of Flint.

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