Club continues on the road next week at Phoenix Rising FC
SACRAMENTO (March 25, 2023) – San Diego Loyal SC traveled north to the capitol of California for its first road match of the 2023 season and played to a 1-0 loss against Sacramento Republic FC Saturday night at Heart Health Park.
Luis Felipe scored in the 41st minute for the homeside to help Sacramento earn three points, handing SD Loyal its first defeat of the 2023 USL Championship season. SD Loyal began the season undefeated with two consecutive home wins, both of which were shutouts. Head Coach Nate Miller’s team will have a chance to earn its first points on the road when it visits Phoenix Rising FC next Saturday, April 1 (6:30 p.m.).
In the Western Conference showdown Saturday, Felipe out jumped his defenders and connected on a header off a free kick by Rodrigo Lopez. Felipe’s header bent just out of the reach of a diving SD Loyal goalkeeper Koke Vegas. It was the first goal allowed by the Spanish goalkeeper this season, who earned Team of the Week honors after his second-consecutive shutout against Phoenix last week.
Vegas had multiple standout saves against Sacramento Saturday night. He blocked a shot by Russell Cicerone on a set piece in the 70th minute and made a huge save when the hosts began to move up its lines and build an attack. Vegas kept the match scoreless with a one-hand save in the 31st minute to deny Sacramento’s Sebastian Herrera. Vegas made tha save after Herrera sped into the heart of the penalty box, taking a bouncing ball and firing it at the SD Loyal goal.
SD Loyal (2W-1L-0D, 6 points) had its best chance to tie the match in the 52nd minute when Elliot Collier, making his first start with SD Loyal, hurried into the penalty box and fired a quick shot that hit the outside of the right wall of the Sacramento (2W-0L-1D, 7 points) net. Working hard for an equalizer, Miller’s team nearly capitalized in the 77th minute off the head of second half substitute Camden Riley, whose shot was just off the mark as he charged in and connected off a corner kick. Collier nearly scored again in the 85th minute when his volley was slapped away by Sacramento goalkeeper Danny Vitiello.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
SAC – Luis Felipe (Rodrigo Lopez), 41st minute: Felipe connected via a header and sent it past Koke Vegas off a free kick. SAC 1, SD 0.
Palomar Health Man of the Match: Joe Corona