WASHINGTON, DC – Sophomore forward Kevin Ortez's header goal in the 62nd minute snapped a near 253-minute scoreless spell for the Firebirds going back three games, and the Firebird defense preserved the team's first lead of the season to claim a 1-0 East Coast Conference victory vs. Bridgeport Saturday afternoon.
The win marked UDC's first of the season and snapped a five-game losing streak to start the year. This win was also the first victory vs. Bridgeport in five attempts since joining the ECC in 2012. The Firebirds (1-5) improved to 1-0 in conference play with today's win. Meanwhile, with today's loss, Bridgeport fell to 0-6 on the season and 0-1 in league play.
The Firebirds out-shot their guests 17-12 for the afternoon, and put seven shots on goal vs. the Purple Knights' one. Although UDC dominated possession, out-shot UB 11-6, and doubled the Purple Knights up 6-3 in corner kicks in the first half, the Purple Knights very nearly struck first. Bridgeport forward Yoel Salvador intercepted an errant pass by a UDC defender 20 yards from the goal which led to a breakaway. Salvador fired a shot from point blank, but UDC senior goalkeeper Ever Guevera Alvarez managed to get in front and deflect the shot wide. That would prove the only save Alvarez needed to make to preserve his 2nd career complete game shutout victory.
UDC, which had been shut out the previous two games, finally found the back of the net in the 62nd minute when a beautiful run and even better cross from the left side of the field by sophomore forward Marcus Mottley was headed in to an open net brilliantly by Ortez for the gamewinner.
The Firebirds defense then did its job to preserve the victory, holding Bridgeport to zero shots on goal in the second half. Just past the 87-minute mark, the Purple Knights' Luis Fajardo placed a corner kick right in the middle of the goalkeeper box, causing a scrum for the ball right in front of the Firebird goal, but the result was another shot attempt by Bridgeport's Salvador that was blocked by a UDC defender, and the Firebirds cleared the ball out of their zone.
Next up for UDC is a non-conference road game at Gannon University on Wednesday, September 21st at 4 p.m.