Win keeps FC Tucson in second place, one point behind Ventura County

Tucson, AZ (Saturday, June 23, 2012) — With the clock ticking ever so closely to the final whistle, Donny Toia found himself surrounded by three defenders with no where to go.

“I saw the guys around me and I kind of panicked, to be honest with you,” Toia said. “I didn’t think I was going to get (the ball). But I just kept my head down. I kept fighting through it.”

Toia fought through the three defenders, found the ball on the other side of them, and sent a beautiful shot hard along the ground and inside the far post for the game-winning goal in FC Tucson’s thrilling 2-1 win over OC Blue Star in front of 812 fans.

“It felt great because it’s been a while since I’ve scored or just helped the team out offensively,” Toia said. “I just keep working hard and sooner or later it’ll come through.”

FC Tucson looked headed for its first home loss of the season after OC Blue Star held a 1-0 lead heading into the 86th minute. But a Carlos Montes corner kick found the head, well face, of Phillipe Garre near the far post and he banged it home to tie the game and ensure at least a point.

“I felt a little pain in my nose,” Garre joked. “I knew if I got behind the ball and deflect it toward the goal, then good things happen.”

That set up the dramatic scene for Toia in stoppage time, who found the back of the net after missing his two previous shots in the game. Toia’s goal was FC Tucson’s third game-winner that has happened in the 80th minute or later.

OC Blue Star scored the first goal of the game in the 37th minute. Christopher Santana collected the ball at midfield thanks to a long pass from his back line. Santana then weaved his way through four FC Tucson defenders before finding himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Brendan Roslund. Santana slotted the ball to the low, left corner of the net to draw first blood.

Blue Star attacked well for the entire first half, keeping the FC Tucson defense on its heels. In the 31st minute, Orange County’s Danny Delgado placed his corner perfectly into the left side of the box from the right corner, but his teammate Everett Pitts sailed his header over the net.

Three minutes later, Blue Star’s Andrew Riemer headed a pass from the right side of the box to teammate Enrique Cardenas. Cardenas’ header, aimed for the upper corner of the far post, went high and wide.

The win puts FC Tucson in sole possession of second place in the Southwest Division with 24 points in 11 games. Ventura County sits in first place, with 26 points in 11 games. The Ogden Outlaws are behind FC Tucson in third place with 20 points in 12 games.

This ensures that FC Tucson’s June 30 game against Ventura County will be a number1-v-number 2 battle in the desert.

“It’s a huge game,” Garre said. “It’s our home field and in front of our home fans. I think we’ll be focused and we’ll be ready.”

Goals:
’37: Orange County Blue Star-Chris Santana
’87: FC Tucson-Phillipe Garre (Carlos Montes)
’93: FC Tucson-Donny Toia

Cards:
’21: Orange County Blue Star-Joe Sofia (Yellow)
’84: FC Tucson-Eli Galbraith (Yellow)
’90: Orange County Blue Star-Enrique Cardenas (Yellow)

Starters
FC Tucson
GK Brendon Roslund
D Conor Spence
F Nick Marshall
M Carlos Montes
F Donny Toia
M Aaron Long
F Max Alvarez
D Wes Culver
M Eli Galbraith-Knapp
D Dom Papa
D Kareem Smith

Orange Blue Star
GK Trevor Widdon
D Mihr Boland
D Joe Sofia
D Everett Pitts
M Ray Estrada
M Charlie Pettys
M Danny Delgado
F Christopher Santana
F Martin Ontiveros
F Andrew Riemer
F Enrique Cardenas

About FC Tucson
FC Tucson, established in 2010, is committed to bringing the highest caliber of competitive soccer to Tucson and establishing a successful and long-lasting source of pride for city, county, state and country. FC Tucson owns FC Tucson Soccer, Tucson’s top-level soccer team and the FC Tucson Desert Diamond Cup, a Major League Soccer pre-season tournament. Our owners, coaches, players and staff will play to win in sport, business and community connection. We recognize that our quality, commitment and passion for the game will guide our success and establish deep bonds with our stakeholders as we strive to be recognized and respected locally, nationally and internationally. To stay up to date on what is going on with FC Tucson, check out the teams website at www.fctucson.com. You can also visit the team’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FCTUCSON and follow all of the news related to FC Tucson on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FC_Tucson.