Sunday sports: Memphis Americans win two from Central Florida
Photo: Memphis Americans player/head coach Corey Adamson strikes with two Central Florida Crusaders defending during weekend action at the Landers Center. (Bob Bakken/desotocountynews.com)
The Memphis Americans swept the Central Florida Crusaders in a pair of NISL pro indoor soccer games Sunday at the Landers Center in Southaven. The men gave Central Florida its first loss of the regular season, one night after the Crusaders had clinched the regular season title. The women continued to hold first place in the division with two games in the season left for Memphis at the end of the month.
MEN-MEMPHIS AMERICANS 9, CENTRAL FLORIDA 6: One day after losing an overtime tilt when leading by two goals with just three minutes to play, only to see two opposing goals scored followed by another nearly three minutes into overtime, the Memphis Americans men pinned the first loss of the NISL indoor soccer season on the Central Florida Crusaders Sunday afternoon at the Landers Center.
The Americans outscored the regular season champion Crusaders 9-6 by scoring three goals each in the second and fourth quarters. Djordje Djordjevic scored a three-goal hat trick for the Americans, as did teammate Samuel Castro. Raphael Tobias had a five-point game for the Crusaders with two goals and three assists.
Memphis led 2-1 after one quarter with two goals from Castro. The second quarter kept the scoreboard busy with five goals put up between the two teams. Tobias scored both of his goals for the game in the period for Central Florida and Paulo Ndenzako, Djordjevic, and Maxi Galizzi answered for the Americans.
Central Florida got with 6-5 Americans after three quarters with Corey Adamson the only goal scorer in the period for Memphis.
But Djordjevic scored twice in the fourth quarter and Castro added another one to put the game away.
Memphis outshot the Crusaders 24-21 for the game with goalkeeper Matthew Klinck credited with 10 saves. Jasson Leon stopped 13 Americans’ shots as he took the loss.
After 12 straight victories, the Crusaders dropped to 12-1-0 with the loss. Central Florida has already clinched the number one seed in the playoffs. Memphis improved to 6-5-0 after the victory and are second in the league standings. Sunday’s victory also broke a three-game losing streak for Memphis.
WOMEN-MEMPHIS AMERICANS 9, CENTRAL FLORIDA 1: The Memphis Americans women dominated Central Florida in their match Sunday afternoon at the Landers Center 9-1, taking a two-game lead over the Columbus Rapids for first place in the NISL women’s division with two games to play.
Molly Martin scored four goals and added two assists for six points in the Memphis onslaught of the Crusader women. Lauren Odino-Draughon added another two goals and two assists to support the eight-save performance of goalkeeper Angel Hailey.
After Memphis forged a 4-0 lead after three quarters, the Americans broke the match open with five goals in the final 15 minutes.
Martin scored goals in the first and second quarters for a 2-0 halftime lead. Odino-Draughon and Elizabeth Vega stretched the lead to 4-0 after three quarters.
The fourth quarter outburst was led by two more goals from Martin, another score from Odino-Draughon, plus goals from Vega and Bailey Tadlock.
Jordan Rowan scored Central Florida’s only goal in the game, which came with 2:42 remaining in the game.
Memphis improved to 8-3-0 with the victory and has now won two straight. Central Florida dropped to 7-6-0 and lost both weekend games in Memphis.
The Americans have a couple of weeks before the season finale weekend against the Fayetteville Fury April 30-May 1 at the Landers Center. Playoffs will follow.