The North County Battalion (1-0-0) started their inaugural season of the National Premier Soccer League with a 2-1 road victory over SoCal Sports Club (0-1-0) in San Bernardino, California.
Esteban Reyes scored the first goal in North County Battalion history off a beautiful pass from Nelson Pizarro in the 34th minute to give the Battalion a 1-0 lead.
In the first half the home team tested Battalion goalkeeper Bryant Vera and his defense. SoCal SC outshot the Battalion and had more goal-scoring opportunities. Connor Mazolowski and Sean Ritchey continually stifled the SoCal offense in the first half to keep the Battalion leading 1-0 after 45 minutes.
In the second half, the Battalion struck again with their second goal of the game. SoCal SC’s Bryan Guzman was credited with an own goal in the 55th minute off a Juan “Kichi” Perez free kick. With a 2-0 lead the Battalion seemed to be in control of the game and looking to cruise to their first victory.
Three minutes later SoCal SC’s Michael Hodis scored off a corner to cut the deficit to one. SoCal controlled the ball for most of the final 25 minutes of the game, but rarely generated any strong chances. The Battalion defense thwarted every offensive threat en route to their first victory in the club’s history.
The team returns home for their inaugural home opener on Saturday, April 9th against FC Hasental. Kickoff is at 7:00 pm PST at Del Norte High School.
Season tickets and exclusive Battalion merchandise is available in our shop.