On another cool night here in San Francisco, and the second home game of the season, the Seals earned a one nil victory over the Ventura Fusion to elevate the team into first place in the Southwest Division of the PDL.
Efrain Burgos Jr. (Junior) scored the winning goal on a PK, and that was all it took for the Seals to take their third win of the season, and remain undefeated.
With the win, the Seals also moved into first place in Conference as the Frogs loose in Fresno.
Junior was setup for the PK after Kellan Wilson was dropped in the box by the Fusion. Wilson has been dangerous all season, and had a goal brought back in the first half after a controversial offside call. On that play, Corey Woolfolk had provided the pass to Wilson off a long ball from Shea Whelan. Corey slipped the ball into a space behind the defender. Kellan read the pass and put the ball into the net with a highlight shot right to left across the face of the goal into the net. However, the referee denied the goal claiming Kellan was in an offsides position. Replay on tape seem quite clear that Wilson had been onside by perhaps as much as a full yard.
On the PK, Woolfolk again delivered a great pass on the ground to lead Wilson, who appeared to have beaten his man when he was tripped & pulled down by his defender. Junior stepped up to take the PK, and confidently placed it into the left corner of the net leaving the Fusion keeper, Logan Frank, no opportunity for a save.
The win also marks the third shutout of the season for the Seals, as Goalkeeper Eric Conner recorded his second shutout in as many starts. Conner was starting in place of Dan Benton who was signed by the San Jose Earthquakes earlier in the week. Conner had an outstanding season for the Seals in the 2007 campaign, and received an honorable mention last season for his play.
In the first half, Eric Conner made a save on a rocket that looked destined for the right upper corner of the goal. Eric got his left hand on it and made the save. It was nothing less than spectacular and reminded us why the Seals was one of the best defensive teams in the league last season, and look to be improved this year having a stout defense in front of top goal keeping.
At times the Seals looked strong on the attack. In one sequence at the 28th minute in the first half Demetrius Omphroy and Junior Burgos combine for back to back shots that required saves by the Fusion keeper. At the 40th minute in the first half, Junior pushed a ball by two Fusion defenders who set up inside the 18 yard line. Junior left them behind and got a shot on goal that the keeper had to save to prevent a goal.
The Seals were more on target in this match, especially in the first half, as the Seals out shot the Fusion 17 to 12, with 5 of 9 shots in the first half on goal. Conner had a total of six saves with three in each half.
In the second half, the Seals had two great attempts within the first two minutes. The first came on a one-two wall pass from Corey Woolfolk to Demetrius Omphroy and returned. Corey received the ball within the six yard box and had a point blank shot on the goal. The keeper made the save but gave us a corner. The cross from the corner was perfectly placed to Rawley Masaniai who mis-headed the ball, and another opportunity was lost.
The game got quite emotional as we approached the final whistle and Fusion defender Lee Stevens (#9) was red carded for throwing a blow at Rich Halvorsen. Stevens has been solid for the Fusion so far this season with only 2 fouls. But he lost his cool in the 90th minute, and will have some time off to think about it.
Next up for the Seals will be a trip over the coming weekend to Southern California, where the Seals will meet the Orange County Blue Stars on Friday (5/30), and then face the Fusion again on Sunday (6/1).
The Seals took the field Saturday night wearing their newest jersey in red from High Five Sportswear
. This gives the Seals the option to wear white, all black, and all red.
Thanks to our Videographer, Charlie Alexander, we are able to offer you video High Five
highlights from the game.