Med City FC collected its biggest win of the season on Saturday night, getting it done at Rochester Regional Stadium.
The Mayhem stayed unbeaten with a 3-1 win over Duluth FC. Going into the night, the teams were in a virtual three-way tie (along with Minneapolis City SC) for first place in the North Conference of the National Premier Soccer League.
Med City FC is now 6-3-0 in the conference with three league games left. That includes a regular-season ender at Minneapolis City SC. Duluth FC is 6-2-1 and Minneapolis City SC 7-1-1.
Saturday marked the first time that third-year franchise Med City FC had ever beaten Duluth FC. The teams had met five times previously, with them tying three times and Duluth winning twice. They’d tied earlier this season in Duluth.
“This win made our season,” said Mayhem coach Neil Cassidy, whose team is the only unbeaten one remaining in the North Conference. “We played one of the (previously) only unbeaten teams in the league, one of the best teams in the nation, and we dominated. The type of effort we got was huge. We’ve got a great group of guys. I’m just so proud of the guys and the work they’ve put in.”
Med City FC waited until the second half to kick things into high gear, as the teams went into intermission tied 0-0. The Mayhem had scoring chances in the first half but were denied a couple of times thanks to difficult saves by the Duluth FC goalie.
The Mayhem’s Niklas Rossler changed those fortunates in the 71st minute, scoring off an assist from Francisco Neto. Neto — the team’s leading scorer this season — added to that in the 77th minute with a goal of his own.
Then, after Duluth FC narrowed the score to 2-1 eight minutes later, Jack Hilton Jones put things virtually out of reach for Duluth with a goal in the 87th minute.
“After the score was narrowed to 2-1, we were resilient,” Cassidy said.
Med City FC General Manager Frank Spaeth was thrilled with Saturday’s performance. But it’s a playoff berth that he and the team really want, and he knows there’s still work to do to get there.
“We have to play each of these last conference games like they are playoff games,” Spaeth said. “If we keep winning, we’ll be exactly where we want to be and won’t be relying on any help. But tonight was big. Beating Duluth was a huge monkey off of our backs.”
Med City FC plays again at 7 p.m. Friday, taking on fellow city team Rochester FC in a non-league game.