RICHMOND, VA (Via Richmond Strikers) – Despite goals from Conor Shanosky and Jason Yeisley, the Kickers were unable to overcome the lead built by Harrisburg City Islanders, falling to the team 3-2 in the USL PRO semifinals at City Stadium Saturday evening.
Harrisburg was able to break through with a goal during the halfway point of the first half, thanks to City Islander midfielder Morgan Langley. In the 27th minute, Langley was able to beat a Richmond defender and drive into the Kickers’ 18-yard box. His quick shot beat Richmond goalkeeper Ryan Taylor and elevated the City Islanders to a one-goal lead.
Minutes later, Richmond responded. Midfielder Shay Spitz was able to dish the ball to an attacking Jason Yeisley, who was able to turn and charge on goal, getting a one-on-one opportunity with Harrisburg goalkeeper Nick Noble. Yeisley was able to direct his shot into the back of the net, helping Richmond tie the game in the 32nd minute.
The City Islanders were able to break the tie before the start of stoppage time in the first half. A turnover in the Richmond zone led to Harrisburg defender Matt Bahner getting to the ball and gaining the zone with midfielder Jamiel Hardware to his left on the rush.
A well-placed ground cross from Bahner to Hardware in the Richmond penalty box led to Hardware being able to score cleanly in the box, giving the team a 2-1 lead entering the second half of the match.
Harrisburg would extend their lead further in the second stanza of the match thanks to a 76th minute play from midfielder Danny DiPrima. While turning, DiPrima was able to get the shot away, beating Taylor and giving the City Islanders a two-goal advantage.
It took only three minutes for Richmond to counter with a goal of their own. After taking several attempts to get the ball into the penalty box of Harrisburg, Kickers midfielder Spitz was able to find the ball again and send it over to defender Conor Shanosky. Rising over several defenders, Shanosky directed the ball on goal with his head and beat Harrisburg goalkeeper Noble, cutting the City Islanders’ lead back to one.
Despite several tries by Richmond to break through to tie the match, the Kickers were unable to tie the game and fell to the City Islanders 3-2, ending Richmond’s run in the USL PRO playoffs.