Phoenix Rising defense continues record breaking performance


Jacob Anderson

Rising Keeper, Carl Woszczynski awaits the final whistle Friday night, marking his fifth consecutive shutout

Jake Anderson, Reporter

The Phoenix Rising Football Club defeated Orange County Soccer Club 1-0 in Tempe Friday night capping off the entire month of June (five games) without conceding a goal and breaking two clubs records for consecutive scoreless minutes and clean sheets.

It was another sold out home crowd of 7,001 for week 16 of the Rising 2018 USL season.

The Rising wasted no time getting on the scoreboard, as Chris Cortez struck a left footed volley from close range to give the Rising a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute of the game. Kevon Lambert assisted the goal with his back post cross from just outside the box. Rising captain, Solomon Asante, almost doubled his team’s lead, as his left footed volley from just outside the box was disallowed by the assistant referee’s offside call.

The game changed after Phoenix Rising FC defender, Kody Wakasa, was shown a straight red card for his tackle from behind Orange County SC forward Michael Seaton—forcing the Rising to play with only 10 men for the remainder of the match.

It was an extremely physical game that saw a total of 38 fouls result in one straight red card and three yellow cards, all given to Phoenix Rising players.

Rising defense continued dominance by doubling Orange County in clearances with 18 compared to Orange County’s nine.

“In the locker room, I told the guys, ‘This is a moment you’re going to have to step up and battle,’ said Rising manager, Rick Schantz.

“Three weeks ago, (the team) told me (they) were a family and now we have to really prove it to one another. I can’t be more proud of them.”

Orange County had a goal taken off the board 65 minutes in. Forward, Michael Seaton, saw his rebound goal disallowed, as he was in an offside position when defender, Kevin Alston, saw his strike from outside the box rattle the crossbar and fall directly to Seaton’s feet.

In the 66th minute. Rising goalkeeper, Carl Woszczynski, came up with a crucial one-on-one save to preserve his team’s 1-0 lead.

Woszczynski proved to play a pivotal part in the game with three key saves, one in the dying minutes of the match. A near post header destined for the back of the net was parried aside by a diving Woszczynski.

“It was a tough game,” Woszczynski said, shortly after the final whistle. “The whole month of defense has been great. Tonight was my turn to do my part and help them out.”

“I’m really proud of them,” Schantz added. “What can you say about Carl (Woszczynski)? He made three great saves. A clean sheet month, we’re going to love June from now on.”