Vermont Green FC defied the odds on Friday night, defeating Lionsbridge FC 2-1 in the opening round of the USL League Two playoffs.
Vermont finished the season on a three-game winning streak to grab a wildcard spot. Their reward was a match against Lionsbridge, who was first in the Chesapeake Division with an undefeated record of 12-0-2. The game was played in Newport News, Virginia.
Despite Lionsbridge having home-field advantage, the Green received plenty of love online from MLSSoccer.com’s Calen Carr, Men in Blazer’s Roger Bennett, our site manager Sam Minton, and more. There was also a passionate group of supporters who attended a watch party at Vivid Coffee in Winooski, VT.
COME ON YOU BOYS! @VermontGreenFC @GreenMtBhoys @USLLeagueTwo pic.twitter.com/RHhxdNC4Lk— Vivid Coffee (@vividcoffee) July 23, 2022
The Green withstood early pressure from Lionsbridge before scoring the game’s opening goal. Joe Morrison provided a picturesque meg before Charlie Adams slotted the ball home.
Morrison with the meg. Adams with the finish. @VermontGreenFC up 1-0 #UpTheGreen pic.twitter.com/rHopsPDT9B— Seth (@SethMan31) July 23, 2022
The Green were unable to make it to halftime with a lead, as Nathan Messer was deemed to have committed a foul in the box. Sam Hall stepped up to bring the game even at 1-1.
.@LionsbridgeFC scores from the spot, though @VermontGreenFC’s Silveira guesses right. Game is now level at 1-1. #UpTheGreen pic.twitter.com/61BhAjW5aP— Seth (@SethMan31) July 23, 2022
Vermont’s status as the underdog grew in the 59th minute when Jack Cloherty was shown his second yellow of the night. This reduced Vermont to ten men.
Cloherty given his second yellow of the night on this play. Thoughts, @JCatanese43? #UpTheGreen pic.twitter.com/te2aLdMtXV— Seth (@SethMan31) July 23, 2022
Undeterred, the visitors got the game-winning goal in the 63rd minute via Sam McCann. The passionate celebration showcased how much this moment meant to the first-year club.
.@VermontGreenFC might be down a man, but they’re up a goal. 2-1 #UpTheGreen pic.twitter.com/hGoBBDsgFQ— Seth (@SethMan31) July 23, 2022
A moment of controversy occurred late in the game when a Vermont player redirected a Lionsbridge cross. While some might have seen it as a handball, the referee didn’t, ensuring that the 2-1 score line persisted.
Is this a handball, @JCatanese43? #UpTheGreen pic.twitter.com/3YGHuwIU4l— Seth (@SethMan31) July 23, 2022
The final whistle blew soon after this moment, giving Vermont players plenty to celebrate. They will hope for similar jubilation when they face the Rough Riders on Sunday at 7 pm.
I think it’s safe to say this game meant a lot to @VermontGreenFC players and staff.— Seth (@SethMan31) July 23, 2022
No idea if any maple syrup was chugged. #UpTheGreen pic.twitter.com/XFKnuLSI2T