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Don’t stop believing: Orange County SC 3, Real Monarchs 1

OCSC win second straight to keep playoff hopes alive.

Aodhan Quinn had a goal and assist in the win.
Courtesy of Orange County SC.

Orange County SC won their second game on the trot and keep their USL Championship playoff hopes alive, after defeating Real Monarchs 3-1 on Saturday at Championship Soccer Stadium.

Aodhan Quinn had a goal and an assist to lead the way for Orange County, who moved above the playoff line into 10th place with the win.

In the 8th minute, Maikel Chang hit a sharp shot that looked destined to be a Real Monarchs goal, but Orange County goalkeeper Aaron Cervantes made a great stop to tip it over goal and keep it 0-0.

Orange County SC broke open the game in the 28th minute, as Michael Orozco headed in Quinn’s corner kick, his header bouncing off the grass and fooling Real Monarchs GK Andrew Putna as it sailed over him to make it 1-0.

They doubled the lead 10 minutes later as Darwin Jones dribbled up the right channel, chipping the ball and himself over Putna for the tally.

Shortly after the restart, the home side scored again, this time Quinn hitting a true free kick and making it 3-0 for Orange County.

But Real Monarchs cut into their deficit just after the hour mark, as Kalen Ryden got a shot over the line past Cervantes to make it 3-1.

From there, Orange County held on and got a big three points, in their first meeting of the season against Real Monarchs.

The performance was a second straight three-goal night, and Orange County were firmly in control, the kind of play we saw regularly last season from the club but have found only in fits and starts this year. But if OCSC can play like this the rest of the season, they can certainly control their destiny, and if they can keep pace, they can stay above the playoff line and head back to the postseason this year.

Up next, Orange County head out on the road for their next two games, with a meeting against flying expansion side New Mexico United on tap for a week from Sunday. It won’t be easy, but now they’re playing well, perhaps OCSC have found the secret to good form and they’ll be able to stay hot over the final nine games of the regular season and book their ticket to the postseason.

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