Ballard FC’s 2023 USL2 league debut went according to plan on Sunday as they defeated Oly Town FC by four goals. Oly Town FC was leading the Northwest Division after their 3-0 win over PDX FC. But after Sunday, Ballard FC jumped to the top of the division table, and are currently tied with Lane United.
The match action started quickly with Oly Town FC’s Gil De la Luz cutting onto his right foot and snapping a shot from outside the box in the fourth minute. De la Luz’s effort forced Ballard FC goalkeeper Jadon Bowton into a diving stop, popping the ball into the air. Oly Town’s striker, Jason Fairhurst, tried to head it home but was called for a foul as he ran through the back of Christian Engmann.
Ballard FC quickly responded to that warning shot two minutes later by opening the scoring. In the sixth minute, Stas Korzeniowksi opened up Ballard FC’s USL2 account with a tidy left-footed finish after being set up by a Peter Kingston touch. Just like Thursday’s international friendly, it was another great start for Ballard FC, scoring again within the first ten minutes.
Less than 15 minutes later, Korzeniowski would get his second of the match. In the 20th minute, Bailey Letherman sent a dangerous free kick into the box which was headed up into the air by an Oly Town defender, taking out the goalkeeper in the process. With the goalkeeper out of the picture, Korzeniowski could bend down and chest the ball over the line to put Ballard FC up 2-0.
After Korzeniowski’s brace, the rest of the first half was relatively quiet. Ballard FC controlled most of the possession but neither team created too many chances and the half would finish at 2-0.
The beginning of the second half was much more balanced in possession as Oly Town’s midfield seemed to grow into the game and gain more possession. However, 15 minutes into the half Ballard FC would add a third goal and reestablish control.
After a very heads-up play and quick throw-in from Luke Thomas in the 60th minute, Charlie Gaffney beat his man down the right flank to cross into the middle of the box. Crashing in from the left wing came Peter Kingston, volleying the ball past the keeper to score his first league goal. The goal was quite similar to last Thursday’s opening goal against Vancouver as another Gaffney cross found Kingston to score. Ballard FC fans will hope this trend continues and that the two returning wingers can form a successful partnership.
The match looked destined to finish at 3-0, but Jeremy Opong had something to say about that in the 89th minute. After coming on as a second-half sub, Opong found himself with space on the left wing and used his pace to beat his man to the end line and cross in front of the goalmouth. Danny Robles then sprinted to beat his defender and tap in Opong’s cross for the fourth goal.
The match finished 4-0 with the referee whistling for full-time shortly after Robles’ goal. Coach Jason Farrell named Stas Korzeniowski as Man of the Match after his two-goal performance as he was the stand-out performer on a day of good performances.
Ballard FC’s next match will be their league home opener, a top-of-the-table clash against Lane United, on Friday, May 26th at 7:00 PM. The Interbay gates will open at 5:30 PM. Some standing-room tickets are still available, make sure to grab yours before they’re gone!