#Lexington

Can Lexington recapture the magic in Windsor?

Photo By Lexington Sporting Club 

Lexington SC (7-7-11, 28 points) traveled back to Windsor, Colorado, to take on the Northern Colorado Hailstorm (12-7-5, 43 points) in a pivotal matchup for both sides tomorrow, Wednesday, September 6th at 9 pm EST/8 pm CST. It is going to be a revenge game for NoCo as Lexington was the first away team to beat the Hailstorm’s home soil in the 4-3 comeback thriller back on August 5th that saw Lexington erase a 3-1 deficit and Diouf get the club’s first hat trick in its young history. However, both sides come into this matchup differently than last time. 

First, NoCo they come into this midweek battle riding a 4-match unbeaten streak and have won their previous matchups – both against playoff opponents. Lexington are also coming into this match in good form, having won 3 of their last 5 matches, with a loss to Knox and the draw to Greenville being the only matches they have not claimed 3 points from (the NoCo win was 5 matches ago) with NoCo’s last loss coming against Omaha a week after Lexington beat them. I feel both sides are going to be coming into this match with something to prove – NoCo trying to prove they can beat Lexington (1 draw and 1 loss in the 2 previous matchups), and Lexington looking to take the pain of giving up the equalizer to Greenville out on NoCo to get their 2nd road win in club history.

For NoCo, they will need to keep playing like they have all season and prove to the rest of the league that that 4 matches losing streak was just a hiccup in what is shaping up to be a historic USL1 season. Add on Trevor Amann breaking the goal-scoring record with his 19th goal of the season in NoCo’s last match. You have a side making many Lexington fans nervous about tomorrow night’s matchup.

NoCo is still the best offense in the league, scoring nearly 2 goals per match (1.9), and loves to attack fast and hard – 2nd in accurate long balls per match (33.8 with a 52% success rate) and 1st in accurate crosses (4.9 with a 28% success rate). They are also one of the best teams defensively, especially between the goalposts – 2nd in goals conceded per match (1.3) and tied for 1st in clean sheets with 9 (although they only have 2 in their last 10 matches). However, their backline could be more questionable due to their high-flying attack. As we saw in the previous matchup, Lexington could quickly counterattack NoCo, especially under our new formation. However, NoCo has plenty of tape and experience against Lexington’s 3-5-2 shape.

Lexington, as a side, is still hungry and out looking for blood after having 3 points snatched away from them this past Friday from the 98th-minute equalizer. Add on some questionable refereeing that led to Coach Stockley having what appeared to be a heated conversation with the refs at the end of the game; you have the perfect mix for the Boys in Green to be on a mission. I stayed a little behind after the match and can attest that the players most definitely took that result to heart, with many of them looking gutted by the draw, so I would expect that the boys are going to be going into this matchup on a mission to get back to their goal-scoring ways, primarily since they have only scored 2 goals in their last 3 matches. Diouf owns Northern Colorado, scoring 5 goals (should be 6) of his 10 against them in just 2 matches. So, I expect NoCo to focus heavily on Diouf to prevent him from scoring against them again. If they are hyper-focused on Diouf, I would expect Brown, Robertson, and Mohammed (who has been playing insanely well lately, even if he is not putting up eye-catching numbers) to thrive with the lack of focus towards them. Lastly, I am curious to see if we will see more of the club’s youngsters as we did on Friday when Kimball Jackson made his USL1 debut; Jackson had previously only appeared in the Open Cup match against Louisville, where he started and played a full 90. I would love to see more of Diallo Irakoze, Austin Causey, Drew Patterson, and Josh Head over these next few matches in the way Jackson appeared. Still, time will tell, especially as Stockley tries to get his side to finish as high on the league table as possible.

Players to Watch

Noah Powder – The reigning USL1 player of the week, coming off a performance that saw him bag a goal and pick up 2 assists, has been red-hot in his last two matches after a lackluster performance against Lexington; he will be looking to prove that match was a fluke this time around.

Amal Knight – Lexington’s knight in shining armor has been fantastic over the last 3 matches, allowing only 2 goals – both practically unstoppable – over that span. Knight is 2nd in the league in saves per 90 with 3.4 and will need to continue his heroics again against a NoCo offense that has found their form as of late, and will be looking for revenge. 

Check back later this week for our recap of the match, and stick to Bluegrass Soccer Cast (@BGSoccerCast on all social media platforms) for full coverage of Lexington SC, and everything soccer in our beautiful Commonwealth. 

Author

  • Jon Hunt

    Jon Hunt is an avid and enthusiastic soccer podcast host. Originally from the Detroit area, he now resides in central Kentucky. Jon brings passion and his love of soccer history to the Bluegrass Soccer Cast community. His ultimate goal is to continue the growth of soccer in America with a focus of the thriving soccer scene in Kentucky. #ProRelForUSA

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