Surf Fall to FC Golden State Force For 2nd Time


 On Saturday night, Southern California Surf had a slight chance to sneak their way into the playoffs. Surf knew they would have a tough side to face in FC Golden State. San Francisco City FC and Fresno Fuego were playing 4 hours north, both squads looking to solidify their playoff spot as well. 

Each team alive in the playoff hunt and all playing at the same time. What happened at Citrus College was not what Surf had envisioned. 

Force made the first move and scored in the 9th minute off Andrew Stalboerger’s deflection inside the box. An unlucky lead for the Force would not change Surf’s persistence to even the scoreline. 
SSurf equalized just before halftime on a well placed strike from  Adam Vargas past the diving Force goalkeeper. With the goal, Vargas ended Surf’s scoring drought after over 310 minutes without a goal. What happened in the second half can only be described as chaos. Force scored quickly in the 52nd minute with a golazo from distance by Gabriel Costa giving the Force the advantage once more.  
The remaining 25 minutes proved to be a major turning point in the match. Joe LaCasto served a ball just beyond the Force backline, allowing Vargas to run onto it and finish with a header to even the scoreline at two. What appeared to be a perfectly timed run by Vargas resulted in an offsides call by the assistant referee. No goal. 

Incensed by the call, HC Cody Worden was ejected from the match after exchanging words with the center referee, Israel Fernandez. Less than 30 seconds later, the Force quickly moved the ball down the field to take a 3-1 lead with a goal from Enrique Cardenas. A penalty kick converted by Mark Verso in the final minutes of regulation time would put the dagger in Surf's playoff hopes for the 2017 season.
A late stoppage time goal from LaCasto, his first on the season, would not change the victor in this match. The final score 4-2.

The loss compounded matters for Surf (5-5-1), who for now remain fourth in the SW Division table behind San Francisco City FC. Surf’s next away match will be at Ventura County Fusion on July 8 at 7pm.

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