Real So Cal U-15/16 Stays Alive With 2-0 Win Over Capital Area Railhawks - CASL

Westfield, Ind. (June 24, 2017) - A goal on each side of halftime helped lift Real So Cal to a 2-0 victory over Capital Area Railhawks - CASL on Saturday afternoon in the feature game of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-15/16 Playoffs. Matthew Nocita and Jake Charles Means found the back of the net as Real So Cal picked up its first points in Group D.

"I thought that our boys really competed hard and executed the game plan," said Real So Cal coach Zach Feldman. "A lot of our players made big-time contributions to the game. Matt (Nocita) had a goal and save one off the line, John (Pulskamp) had an incredible save at the end, Adam (Jesus Esparza Saldana), a 2002 in there, it was his first start in a while and he came through big for us. Jake (Charles Means), another '02, scored and helped solidify the game for us."

In a game with very limited first half chances, it was Real So Cal that broke the deadlock in the 22nd minute. Adam Jesus Esparza Saldana whipped in a corner to the back-post inside the six-yard box and Nocita rose highest to meet it, beating Capital Area Railhawks goalkeeper David Merola to give Real So Cal the opening goal of the game.

Ten minutes later Real So Cal nearly doubled its advantage. Esparza Saldana played another dangerous ball across the Capital Area Railhawks goal from a free kick near the end line, but the back-post header was held by Merola as Real So Cal took a 1-0 lead into halftime.

In the 54th minute, Capital Area Railhawks nearly pulled even. An excellent turn of a defender in midfield by Gabriel Findley created space and led to a chance for Orlin Roque that was saved by Real So Cal goalkeeper John Pulskamp. The rebound fell kindly to Miles Peay but his shot was saved off the line by Nocita.

Just a minute later, Real So Cal doubled its advantage. Means collected a low cross inside the box and slipped a shot past Merola to give Real So Cal a 2-0 lead.

Capital Area Railhawks pushed to get back in the game and nearly cut the Real So Cal lead in half in the 80th minute. A cross from Robert Screen found Daniel Wu but hit shot was tipped just over the crossbar by Pulskamp and Real So Cal preserved its shutout and claimed a 2-0 victory.

"Being the feature game, in the arena setup, the kids loved it," Feldman said of Saturday's environment. "When we walked on the field I don't think one kid didn't pull their phone out to take a picture. Our club is honored that U.S. Soccer selected us to represent the Academy in the U-16's feature game and the kids brought a lot of juice out here on the big stage."

In the other game in Group D, Bethesda SC and Oakwood Soccer Club played to a 1-1 draw to remain on top of Group D with four points. Real So Cal is third in the group with three points while Capital Area Railhawks have yet to record a point in Group D. In the final group games on Monday, Capital Area Railhawks will face Bethesda SC and Real So Cal will meet Oakwood Soccer Club, with both games kicking off at 3:30 p.m.