Dutch Lions set to host City Islanders in Season Finale

 

DAYTON, OhioThe Dayton Dutch Lions are scheduled to face the Harrisburg City Islanders at Beavercreek High School on Saturday evening at 7:30 PM. It is the last game of the USL PRO regular season for Dayton, but the Dutch Lions are hoping that there is more soccer left to be played. A victory over Harrisburg would send Dayton to the playoffs for the first time in club history.

 

Dutch Lions Head Coach Patrick Bal said, “Everybody is excited to play this game. It’s a huge game. It’s probably one of the biggest games that the players will have experienced in their careers. Instead of feeling pressure, the players are looking at the upcoming game as an opportunity, which is good.”

 

Eight teams will qualify for the USL PRO playoffs. The Dutch Lions (9-9-7) currently occupy eighth place in the standings with 34 points. The Wilmington Hammerheads (10-11-4), though, are a single point behind the Dayton. Wilmington will host last-place Antigua at the same time that Dayton battles Harrisburg. It seems likely that the Dutch Lions will need a victory in order to advance to the post-season.

 

Dayton would have clinched a playoff spot last night with a Wilmington loss to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds, but the Hammerheads overcame an early deficit to win 4-1.

 

Bal said, “It would have been nice to have clinched last night, but there are positives to having to win on Saturday. If we win there will be an explosion of emotion and we will gain momentum for the playoffs.”

 

Although the City Islanders (14-9-2) have already secured their own spot in the playoffs, they can be expected to give full effort against the Dutch Lions. Harrisburg will be looking to remain among the top four teams in the standings. The first through fourth seeds in the playoffs are awarded a home date in the quarterfinals.

 

The Dutch Lions travelled to Harrisburg to face the City Islanders earlier in the season. Lucky Mkosana gave Harrisburg an early lead, but Dayton leveled the score in the 20th minute thanks to a goal by Tjeerd Westdijk. The City Islanders scored in the waning moments of the first half and again in the opening minute of the second half. Harrisburg capitalized on the momentum and finished with a 5-1 victory.

 

“The game we played in Harrisburg was one of the weakest games we played this season,” stated Bal. “They get a lot of movement in the midfield. We have to run with them and make sure their attackers don’t get time and space. We gave up so much space in Harrisburg and didn’t play as a team. If we don’t do it now, we don’t deserve to be in the playoffs.”

 

Despite the margin of defeat in the previous match, Dayton only has to look at last season to find a reason to believe that it can get the job done against Harrisburg on Saturday night. Early in the 2012 season, the Dutch Lions lost in Harrisburg by a score of 4-0. When the City Islanders travelled to play Dayton later in the season, the Dutch Lions prevailed 2-1.

 

Dayton is anticipating a playoff atmosphere in Beavercreek on Saturday night. A raucous crowd could provide the home-field advantage needed to push the Dutch Lions into the post-season. Tickets are still available!

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  • DDL Soccer Complex

    DDL Soccer Complex

    All practices and games of the Dayton Dutch Lions FC Men’s team (USL PDL) and Women’s team (USL W-League) will be at the Dayton Dutch Lions FC Soccer Complex in West Carrollton. The stadium seats 3500 people. In 2014 the Dayton Dutch Lions FC and Dayton Outpatient Center (DOC) installed an new artificial turf field in the stadium. DOC Stadium was opened in May 2014 when former 2x “FIFA Best Player in the World” Ruud Gullit kicked off the game against LA Galaxy II in the USL PRO League.

     

    The address is: 5833 Student St., West Carrollton, Ohio, 45449

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