The trip from San Diego to Santa Rosa took a little over 10 hours including traffic. For parts of the game, the Battalion looked like the trip had taken its toll. A great inaugural season that included a second-place division finish and a 10 game unbeaten streak ended when the Battalion fell to the Sonoma County Sol 3-0.
Sonoma’s defense played outstanding and kept the Battalion off the scoreboard all game long. On defense, the Battalion gave up some goals that they surely would like to have back. Those two things combined for a playoff exit for the boys from North County.
In the 10th minute, the Sol would mark their first goal of the game. The Sol strung together three passes and the initial shot was blocked by the Battalion defense, however, the ball bounced to the top of the box and Taylor Varnadore buried a blast right under the crossbar. The goal put the Battalion in an early 1-0 hole.
With the second half beginning the Battalion intensified their pressure to find the tying goal. However in the 56th minute Diego Lopez won a 50-50 ball and sprinted pass the Battalion defense to break in alone on James Stroud. He chipped the ball over Stroud to increase the Sol lead to 2-0.
Two minutes later the Sol iced the game when they scored on a free kick. A Sol player sent the free-kick in towards the box, but the ball was cleared out onto the foot of Lopez. He quickly shot the ball into the corner of the net to mark the final tally.
This ends the inaugural season for the North County Battalion. The Battalion end the season with a record of 10-3-3 and a second-place finish in the Southwestern Conference of the National Premier Soccer League.
Thank you to all who supported the Battalion, we look forward to seeing you during our next season