BOYDS, MD – American International College scored two goals on its first two shots of the game, and the Firebirds were never able to bounce back as University of the District of Columbia suffered a lopsided, 5-0 loss in the final game of the UDC Invitational on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Maryland SoccerPlex.
The Firebirds fell to 0-2 on the season with today's loss while AIC became the only team in the tournament to win both its games. Earlier in the day, Barton College (1-1) avenged a 3-2 overtime loss to AIC and handed Holy Family (1-1) a 5-1 loss.
The Yellowjackets first got on the board when a yellow card foul in the box called on a UDC defender resulted in a penalty kick. Alejandro Alvarez beat starting UDC goalkeeper Ever Guevera Alvarez to the right side on what was the first shot of the game by either team just past the four-minute mark.
Exactly six minutes later, another UDC foul resulted in a free kick from the far left side of the field for Jake Durham. Despite the tough angle, Durham hooked a shot into the right side of the net to put the Yellowjackets up, 2-0 on just their second shot of the game.
AIC added a third goal in the 19th minute when Nikola Popovich poked a shot past Alvarez after a cross by Steven Hernandez.
The Firebirds attempted to fight back in the second half, out-shooting AIC 14-9 in the final stanza to even the shots for the game at 16 apiece. Reserve forward Marcus Mottley fired a team-high five shots, freshman midfielder Gabriel Torres took four shots, and starting forward Malik Thom took three. Only two of the Firebirds' total shots were on target though, and Nicholas Romei stopped both in the second half to preserve the shutout.
AIC went on to add two more goals in the 73rd and 88th minutes. Popovich scored his 2nd of the day (3rd of the season) off of a breakaway chasing a long pass by reserve Sam Jepson, and Jeovanny Alvarado put in a rebound after a saved shot taken Daniel Amdahl, who was credited with the assist.
Next up, UDC will travel to Newark, DE to take on regional foe Wilmington University on Wednesday, September 7th.