Phoenix Rising FC picked up its fourth clean sheet in a row, dominating Colorado Springs, 4-0, tonight at Wild Horse Pass.
Aodhan Quinn had a goal and an assist while JJ Williams found the back of the net in his debut. Defender Joe Farrell and Richmond Antwi also found the back of the net for Rising, which is back at Wild Horse Pass next Saturday, Aug. 6, against Las Vegas (7:30 p.m.).
Tonight, Rising had shouts for an early penalty kick when JJ Williams went to ground following a corner kick, but referee Kevin Broadley was having none of it. Several minutes later Joe Farrell tried to beat Colorado goalkeeper Jeff Caldwell from distance. The goalkeeper backpedaled into his own net while knocking down the shot and the ball dropped on the goal line but once again Rising was left wanting.
Santi Moar tested Caldwell in the 15th minute on a free kick earned by Quinn and Farrell headed a shot on goal from very close range. The goalkeeper was up to the task on both attempts, but Quinn finally found a way through in the 19th minute. On the fourth corner of the match, Quinn bent a high left-footed shot that caught the goalkeeper off his line. Caldwell was unable to recover and the shot, expertly aimed, caught the far side netting to put Phoenix ahead, 1-0.
Phoenix took a 2-0 lead in the 25th minute when Kevon Lambert cut inside and found the feet of striker JJ Williams, who came over in a trade with FC Tulsa on Wednesday. The 6’4” forward turned and ripped a low shot past Caldwell into the low, far corner of the net.
Rising poured it on the minute they came out of the locker room following halftime. Quinn played a perfect corner in from the right side and Farrell clipped it over the head of Caldwell to make it 3-0 in the 49th minute.
Arturo Rodriguez made his long-awaited return from injury, coming on for Luis Seijas in the 83rd minute. In his first appearance since May 28, Rodriguez recovered the ball near midfield and quickly pushed it forward to Greg Hurst. The forward smacked a cross over the top of the six-yard box and Antwi went and got it, stretching out with his right foot to redirect a shot past Caldwell to make it a 4-0 final.
Rising goalkeeper Ben Lundt made three saves to pick up his seventh clean sheet of the season. The club has now played 365 minutes without allowing a goal.
PHX – Aodhan Quinn 19
PHX – JJ Williams (Kevon Lambert) 25
PHX – Joe Farrell (Quinn) 49
PHX – Richmond Antwi (Greg Hurst) 90+4
PHX – Joe Farrell (caution) 45
COL – Cam Lindley (caution) 52
COL – Matt Mahoney (caution) 79
PHX – Arturo Rodriguez (caution) 85
Phoenix Rising FC – Ben Lundt, Baboucarr Njie (Lamin Jawneh 69), Joe Farrell, James Musa, Darnell King, Kevon Lambert, Luis Seijas (Arturo Rodriguez 83), Aodhan Quinn (Carlos Anguiano 89), Joey Calistri, Santi Moar (Greg Hurst 70), JJ Williams (Richmond Antwi 83).
Substitutes Not Used: Lalo Delgado, Sivert Haugli.
Colorado Springs – Jeff Caldwell, Triston Hodge (Isiah Foster 62), Jimmy Ockford, Matt Mahoney, Beverly Makangila, Cam Lindley (Kharlton Belmar 78), Jairo Henriquez (Issa Rayyan 71), Michee Ngalina, Hadji Barry (Aaron Wheeler 62), Elvis Amoh (Stevie Echevarria 62).
Substitutes Not Used: Christian Herrera.
Rising head coach Rick Schantz
General thoughts on the match…I knew we had a good team. Tonight was a fantastic performance. We knew what we were getting with JJ [Williams]. We needed a target nine. We needed a guy with good, soft feet that can get in the box and finish.
Getting Arturo [Rodriguez] back really pushes the team forward. For me, right now, Joey Calistri and Darnell King are playing very well. They really help us a lot. I feel the momentum is turning in training. The guys are working hard. The service on set pieces was great. When Aodhan [Quinn] scored he came to me and said ‘we got you coach.’ That made me feel really good.
Rising forward JJ Williams
On getting a goal in his debut…
I couldn’t have dreamed for a better first night. It’s not just getting a goal. It was our performance as a whole. This performance shows the caliber of team I’m coming into. I’m thankful for that. These guys have been doing this all season, playing well, they just needed the final product.
Rising midfielder Aodhan Quinn
On scoring a goal from a corner kick…
I was talking with our goalkeeper coach, Corey Robertson before the game. We decided I should just start whipping them in and I hit that one well. The first couple I took, I saw the goalkeeper really wasn’t moving. I knew if I put it near him, we had a good chance.