GRFC made their way back to Houseman Field on Sunday for a 5-0 victory over Oakland County FC.
Sam Barnsley scored in the 30th minute, which ultimately sealed the win early. GRFC added four more goals and controlled the pace and tempo most of the match.
“It was important for us to go out there and get the first goal, set the tempo for the game,” said Barnsley, in a press release. “I thought we put the game to bed early, which then made us more comfortable on the ball, we could sit back a little bit and control the tempo of the game.”
Scott Doney, named Man of the Match, would score in the 33rd minute off a Barnsley assist. Doney scored again in the 37th minute to push the lead to 3-0.
“It’s good to see some of the players going on, the style of play that we’re playing and the pace that we’re playing at is going well so far, so we’re going to keep building on that each week,” said Doney. “The more we train with each other the better we’ll be.”
Just after the halftime break, the lead moved to 4-0. In the 54th minute, Noble Sullivan beat the opposing goalkeeper for his first goal of the season.
Midfielder Greg Timmer added goal number five for GRFC in the 74th minute.
“Extremely pleased with our performance because the chemistry was great, the patterns that we’ve developed in our training sessions were displayed – the possession, the defending – and the strategy we put on the board before the game was executed so well,” said head coach George Moni. “Nothing but happy.”
“The coaches brought a big squad in, a lot of players to rotate in and out when we get tired legs, which is really going to suit us well coming into the season when there’s a lot of games going on,” said Doney.
Moni, on the current roster,
“From a coaching point of view, it’s a nightmare because you have to make selections. At the same time, it’s a great problem to have because we have a lot of competitive players, a lot of talented players, and they’re getting better and better with our training. They come from different environments. The mastery of our profession is to try and put all these pieces together and make them coexist and perform as a unit. That kind of competitive drive within a team is going to be the driving force for our performances in the future.”
Next weekend, Grand Rapids plays two NPSL matches, hosting the Michigan Stars on Friday evening at Houseman Field at 7:45 p.m. The team then travels for a Memorial Day matinee game against AFC Ann Arbor at 1 p.m. at Hollway Field.
Barnsley, on facing the Stars earlier this season,
“It was a tough game against (Stars), they came out and they had a game plan. The field was small, they were compact and defensively sound, but I think, bringing them to Houseman Field, with the crowd, with the atmosphere here, it will be a totally different game.”