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MEN’S SOCCER GERHARD MENGEL STATE CUP: Flint City rolls Lions, advances to semifinals



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FLINT – Of little resistance.

The Flint City Bucks picked up little resistance Saturday night in the Gerhard Mengel State Cup quarterfinals and the end result was a dominating effort.

The Bucks posted a 33-1 shots edge, 20-1 with shots on frame, picked up a 7-3 edge on cornerkicks and had seven different players score goals in an 8-0 shutout of the Iraqi Lions in the Gerhard Mengel State Cup quarterfinals at Flint’s Atwood Stadium.

Flint City (7-0-0, 5-0-0 USL-League Two) pulled up several players from its reserve roster for the game and rested its regulars. It didn’t matter.

The Bucks scored the game-winner in just the eighth minute and led 5-0 at halftime, keeping possession of the ball for over 90 percent of the game and rarely allowing the Lions to even penetrate the final third of the pitch all night.

“The guys are all itching to get games, and all are waiting for their opportunity and some of them got it tonight,” offered first-year Bucks coach Paul Doroh. “I thought some of them performed really well. We were the better team but guys individually had some really good performances and we played well as a team so that’s what we’re looking for. Everybody’s bought into the system and bought into being a part of the Bucks and they shined tonight. It was a solid performance.”

Flint City, ranked fifth out of 122 clubs in the USL-League Two which encompasses the U.S. and Canada, has not participated in the Gerhard Mengel State Cup in several years and will face an undetermined opponent later this summer.

The Bucks came out of the gate immediately controlling the ball and buzzing the Lions’ net. The persistence more than paid off at the 7:58 mark when Cade Thompson (Xavier University graduate) finished off a feed from Brady Walker (Hartland/Saginaw Valley State) and blasted a low shot inside the left post.

Walker set up the second goal as well at 18:34, as his long pass down the left side was corralled by Jonny Monney (Kitchner-Cameron Heights/Saginaw Valley State) and the speedy Monney went in alone before depositing his shot inside the left post.

It was Francis Atuahene (University of Michigan) who got involved in the scoring act at 24:35, as he finished off a pass from Lukas Hackaa (IUPUI).

Hackaa, who finished the night with two goals and assist, uncorked a bending 30-yard shot into the upper 90 near the right post at 37:47, while Hackaa’s flick in the box was eventually redirected into the net by Brock Pickett (Wright State) on a close-range shot at 41:36. Several players touched the ball within the box on the play.

The Bucks, who have outscored the opposition 28-2 this season – 16-0 in the Gerhard Mengel State Cup and 12-2 in USL-League Two play – continued to dominate play and pour it on in the second half.

Hackaa netted his second tally of the game at 62:16 off a Atuahene cornerkick for the 6-0 lead. Max Jasper (Olivet Nazarene University) picked off a pass and went in alone before finishing off his breakaway attempt at 71:56, while Ben Adamson (Saginaw Valley State) capped the scoring after blasting home his opportunity off a pass from Malik Henry (University of Akron) at the 83:14 mark.

The Iraqi Lions’ sole hope came in the 25th minute when a long-distance shot was routinely snagged in the air by goalkeeper Brendan Graves (Bowling Green State University), who earned the clean sheet on the one save. The Bucks now own five shutouts on the season – three in USL-League Two play and two in the 16-team Gerhard Mengel State Cup.

The Bucks are getting production from up-and-down its entire roster, from the regulars to the reserves – and have played close to 30 guys already this season over seven games.

“We are (getting production),’ smiled Doroh. “We’re really deep this year. Yu never want injuries or players being out or anything like that to happen, but they all have a next man up mentality and they are all making the most of their opportunity.”

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