HCFC news & events
Schenectady, N.Y. – Down 1-0 at halftime, Hartford City FC (8-0-2, 26 points) netted three unanswered goals in the second half to cruise to a 3-1 victory in their regular-season finale at the New York Shockers (2-4-4, 10 points) on Saturday night.
Having already secured the top seed in the upcoming North Atlantic Conference Tournament for the second straight season, Hartford City capped off an unbeaten regular season for the first time in the organization’s history with Saturday’s victory at the Shockers. The Colts also won the best Points-per-Game rate among all teams in the East Region at 2.6, which could be a key factor if the organization wants to make a deep run in the playoffs
In front of a big crowd at Afrim’s Sports Park, and knowing that a win would secure third place for the Shockers, they got the crowd behind them early by creating the first chance of the match in the 14th minute when Julian Terris got loose in the box and laced a shot just over the bar from about ten yards out. Pedro Espindola came close five minutes later when Hartford City failed to clear a corner but whistled his effort just wide of the mark.
In the 43rd minute, the hosts were able to break through right as Samuel Philip’s through ball was blocked into the path of Espindola, who found a wide-open Daryl Jeffrey on the right side of the box, and he deposited his shot past HCFC’s keeper Jamis Fite.
With the combination of conceding right before halftime and what certainly would have been a riveting team talk from Hartford City’s head coach Nick Balistierri, the Colts came out on the blocks fast to start the second half.
The comeback began in the 56th minute when Ronan Dillow was fouled in the box after trying to poke home a rebound from a Matt McGonigle cross. Alec Hughes stepped up and converted the penalty kick for his eighth goal of the season.
In the 89th minute when the hosts had plenty of bodies committed forward in search of an equalizer, Hartford City’s Diego Zaffanella intercepted a pass inside his own half and blocked it towards Dylan Scanley who in turn, played him through on goal. Zaffanella, after driving forward with the ball from the halfway line with no defender in sight, saw his initial shot saved by Monroe before nodding home the rebound to finish the job.
In the 89th minute when the hosts had plenty of bodies committed forward in search of an equalizer, Hartford City’s Diego Zaffanella intercepted a pass inside his own half and blocked it towards Dylan Scanley who in turn, played him through on goal. Zaffanella, after driving forward with the ball from the halfway line with no defender in sight, saw his initial shot saved by Monroe before nodding home the rebound to finish the job off.
With the regular season schedule now in the books, Hartford City will now turn their attention towards the postseason where they will begin their quest next week to capture the North Atlantic Conference Tournament Championship crown for the second straight year. With the Cedar Stars’ victory and Kingston’s loss, we now know the match-ups for the upcoming semi-final matches. Hartford City FC (#1) will host the New York Shockers (#4) and Valeo FC (#2) will host Cedar Stars (#3) this Wednesday evening. The winners of those matches will play for the Tournament Championship on Saturday.
Stay tuned to Hartford City FC’s social media channels and on NPSL.com for further information about the tournament, including matchups, kickoff times, and much more.
— JJ Duke
July 10 at 11:00 am