New England Revolution II returned to USL League One action Saturday night as they hosted North Texas S.C. at Gillette Stadium.
Revs II looked to build upon the momentum generated after picking up a 2-0 victory over Forward Madison FC in their previous outing with help from Noel Buck and Michale Tsicoulias.
There was one change to the Starting XI for Revs II as Colin Verfurth started on the backline. Saturday’s match was Verfurth’s first start for Revs II in 2021.
Verfurth would make his first appearance for the club last week after coming on in the 77th minute. Verfurth has been working to return to full fitness after being sidelined with a lower-body injury.
The game got off to a chippy start, as Michel received a yellow card in the 4th minute after fouling North Texas S.C. defender Rio Ramirez.
Overall, there were some good chances for Revs II to put one on the board in the first half but were unable to do so as Colin Shutler shuttered the Revs II offense with some incredible goalkeeping abilities. Michel’s cross would find a waiting Justin Rennicks inside the box, who headed the ball towards the North Texas goal but was deflected out of play by Shutter.
16-year-old Academy product and leading scorer Buck looked for his 4th goal of the season, but his shot was a tad left and ricocheted off the side netting. Defender Ryan Spaulding looked to score his first goal of the season with a left-footed shot from the top of the box but was denied by the North Texas keeper. Connor Presley looked to get onto the end of a pinballing ball from only a few yards out from goal, but Shutler’s reflexes were on point and prevented the ball from finding the net.
It was a dominant first half for Revs II as they entered the locker room with 65% of possession with seven shots in total with two shots on net. Most importantly, Revs II held North Texas SC shotless through the first 45 minutes of action.
After coming close to scoring on numerous occasions in the first half, Revs II was able to open the scorebooks in the 58th minute. After saving the ball from rolling out of play, Michel would pass it back to Sean O’Hearn, who found a darting Presley in the box. Under pressure, Presley would send it forward to Rennicks, who tapped it past Shutler and into the back of the net.
After being denied in the first half, Spaulding would score in the 61st minute. A group effort as one-touch passes from Michel, Presley, Rennicks, and Rozhansky found Spaulding just outside the box. Spaulding would advance in the box, where he cut inward and shook off his defender for a split second. That was enough time for Spaulding to lob the ball towards the upper right half of the net and put it past Shutler giving Revs II a 2-0 lead.
Revs II was presented with a golden opportunity in the 64th minute as they received a penalty kick after Damian Rivera was brought down inside the box by Alisson Dos Santos. Rivera would be the one to step up to the spot and take the penalty kick. Rivera would strike the ball to the upper right side of the goal and lasered it into the back of the net, giving Revs II a 3-0 lead over North Texas.
A double substitution came in the 68th minute as Hikaru Fujiwara and Ryan Sierakowski would come on for Michel and Rennicks.
O’Hearn would receive a yellow card in the 73rd minute after fouling Hope. A third substitution came in the 76th minute as Tyler Freitas would come on for O’Hearn.
Revs II’s final substitute came in the 78th minute as Dennis Ramirez would come on for Buck. Goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. received a yellow card in second-half stoppage time for time-wasting.
It was a well-rounded performance for Revs II as they pick up a 3-0 shutout victory over North Texas SC. A good outing for Rennicks, Spaulding, and Rivera, who notched their first goals of the 2021 season.
It was also another strong outing for the Revs II defense as they prevented North Texas from getting a shot on net. Revs II also kept a hold of the ball as they ended the match with 60% possession.
Saturday’s win puts Revs II inside playoff contention as they sit in 6th place with 13 points and a 4-4-1 record. Revs II will look to climb the standings on Wednesday, June 30th, as they return to Breese Stevens Field for the second time in 11 days as they take on Forward Madison FC at 8:00 PM EST on ESPN+.