Orange County SC entered the 2017 USL regular season following a total reboot of the club in the offseason with a tall task, taking on expansion team Reno 1868 FC in Reno, but a brace from Duke Lacroix meant the visitors came away with a 2-0 win on Saturday night in Logan Pause’s head coaching debut.
Lacroix opened the scoring in the 31st minute, taking a pass from Carlos Alvarez in the box and slotting it past Andrew Tarbell to put the visitors ahead 1-0.
The striker doubled the lead in first-half stoppage time with an audacious individual effort, taking the ball along the sideline, beating Reno defender Jimmy Ockford, then zipping up the endline and hitting a perfectly placed shot at a very tight angle past Tarbell.
Jerry van Ewijk appeared to score at the hour mark, but the goal was wiped away on an offside call, keeping the score at 2-0.
Over the course of the second half, Reno appeared to play their way back into the game, and had several dangerous chances in the box over the course of the evening, but OCSC goalkeeper Charlie Lyon and the defense in front of him held firm to post a shutout.
And while Lacroix, van Ewijk and Alvarez were particular standouts on the night, all in all it was a very impressive performance from the entire side. Not a perfect game, but definitely a good start to the season.
Orange County’s next game will be another big test, as they take on Sacramento Republic FC next Saturday in Sacramento. But this result is a very good start to the club’s new era.
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