SEASIDE, California (Saturday, May 7, 2022) – Monterey Bay F.C. (2-6-0, 6 points) defeated Las Vegas Lights FC 1-0 at Cardinale Stadium in the club’s inaugural home opener on Saturday night. In a night of firsts, Monterey Bay F.C. winger and local Santa Cruz native Walmer Martínez scored the game-winning goal for the Crisp and Kelp, his first goal of the season. In addition, goalkeeper Carlos Herrera and the Union defense recorded the club’s first-ever shutout in Herrera’s first professional start, a day after the rookie signed his first professional contract.
Monterey Bay F.C. started the match with their foot on the pedal and dominated possession throughout. In the 18th minute, Monterey Bay F.C. won a corner, but the ensuing header by Christian Volesky missed inches to the right of the post. The home side won a foul in a dangerous area in the 35th minute, but Simon Dawkins’ free kick ricocheted off the crossbar and back into play before getting cleared away by the Lights FC defense. Seven minutes later, Monterey Bay defender Morey Doner fired a low cross into the box that landed at the feet of Arun Basuljevic just outside the six yard box, but his shot missed over the top of the bar and the sides entered the halftime break scoreless.
12 minutes into the second half, Dawkins played a long ball over the top towards Martínez, who was making a run down the right sideline. Martínez gathered the ball and took a couple of dribbles to his left before rocketing a shot into the back of the net to score the first-ever goal in Cardinale Stadium history and give the Crisp and Kelp the 1-0 lead. From there, the Monterey Bay F.C. stood tall to deny chances from the visitors in the 78th minute and then the 1st minute of stoppage time to secure the shutout, claim the club’s second victory of the early campaign and take the full three points on a historic night.
Man of the Match: Arun Basuljevic helped the Union midfield dominate the match throughout. In addition to creating two chances offensively, Basuljevic recorded a team-high pass success rate of 85.9% on 64 passes, including a 75.7% passing accuracy in the opponents’ half of the pitch. He also won six of eight duels on the night, won two fouls, blocked two shots and tallied one interception.
– Midfielder Walmer Martínez recorded his first goal of the season in the 56th minute of the match off of midfielder Simon Dawkins’ first assist of the campaign. The two combined to score the first-ever goal in Cardinale Stadium history.
– Goalkeeper Carlos Herrera recorded the club’s first-ever clean sheet in his first professional match, one night after signing his first professional contract.
– Missing the match due to injury were Rafi Díaz (shoulder), Sam Strong (calf), and Seku Conneh (groin).
Match: Monterey Bay F.C. vs Las Vegas Lights FC
Date: May 7, 2022
Venue: Cardinale Stadium; Seaside, California
Weather: Mostly sunny and 52 degrees
Scoring Summary: 1 2 F
Monterey Bay F.C. 0 1 1
Las Vegas Lights FC 0 0 0
MB: Walmer Martínez (Simon Dawkins) 56’
Monterey Bay F.C. (4-2-3-1): Carlos Herrera; Grant Robinson, Hugh Roberts, Kai Greene, Morey Doner; Robbie Crawford, Arun Basuljevic; Simon Dawkins (Adrian Rebollar, 73’), Chase Boone (James Murphy, 73’), Walmer Martínez; Christian Volesky (Chris Cortez, 82’)
Subs not used: Dallas Jaye, Sam Gleadle, Mobi Fehr, Jesse Maldonado
Las Vegas Lights FC (5-4-1): Tomas Romero; Mohamed Traore (Daron Iskenderian, 65’), Dekel Keinan, Alejandro Lara, Morten Bjorshol; Alvaro Quezada, Daniel Crisostomo, Jorge Almaguer (Christopher Jaime, 76’), Christian Torres (Frank Daroma, 65’); Roberto Molina (Bruce El Mesmari, 76’); Daniel Trejo (Nathan Ordaz, 28’)
Subs not used: Abraham Romero, Chase Bromstedt
Stats Summary: MB / LV
Possession: 53% / 47%
Shots: 7 / 6
Shots on Goal: 3 / 1
Saves: 1 / 2
Corner Kicks: 11 / 0
Fouls: 13 / 14
LV: Alejandro Lara (caution) 38’
LV: Daniel Crisostomo (caution) 45+1’
MB: Robbie Crawford (caution) 45+1’
LV: Jorge Almaguer (caution) 73’
LV: Morten Bjorshol (caution) 89’
MB: Arun Basuljevic (caution) 90’
Referee: Elijio Arreguin
Assistant Referee: Seth Martin
Assistant Referee: Jeremy Davis
Fourth Official: Robert Vincze