Damus hat trick, Guzman goal secures third-straight postseason appearance
SAN DIEGO (Sept. 30, 2023) – San Diego Loyal is back in the postseason.
SD Loyal secured its third-consecutive berth in the USL Championship playoffs with a 4-1 win against visiting Monterey Bay F.C. Saturday night. Ronaldo Damus scored a hat trick and Carlos Guzman also found the net in the Western Conference match.
The win gives Head Coach Nate Miller’s squad three more points in the standings as it fights to secure a home playoff match with a top-four finish. The club clinched its third-straight postseason berth in front of a sellout crowd at Torero Stadium on Hispanic Heritage Night
Monterey Bay (11W-13L-8D, 41 points) took a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute when Morey Doner sent a shot off the right post and into the net. It was the visitors’ only highlight of the match as SD Loyal began to mount its relentless comeback seven minutes later.
SD Loyal (14W-9L-8D, 50 points) tied the match with a header by Ronaldo Damus. The speedy forward charged in on goal and connected on a pin-point cross by Blake Bodily from left to right. It was the Haitian’s eighth goal of the season.
The homeside continued to pressure and attack, taking the lead for good with a goal by Carlos Guzman in the 29th minute. The Michoacan, Mexico native found the back of the net on a Charlie Adams corner kick. The defender’s header from 16-yards out snuck past Monterey Bay goalkeeper Carlos Herrera and was his first in USL Championship play.
Damus scored his second of the night in the 73rd minute when he tapped a ball past Herrera off a pass from Joe Corona near the six-yard box. The striker completed his hat trick in stoppage time, sending in a low shot inside the right post off a breakaway.
SD Loyal will continue its quest for a home playoff match as it next travels to Texas Wednesday to face El Paso Locomotive FC (6 p.m.). The team will then return for its final regular season home match against Oakland Roots SC on Saturday, Oct. 7 (7 p.m.). Tickets to the match are on sale now at sdloyal.com/tickets.
GOAL SCORING RUNDOWN
MB – Morey Doner (James Murphy), 19th minute: Doner sent a low shot off the right post and it ricocheted into the net to open the scoring. SD 0, MB 1
SD – Ronaldo Damus (Blake Bodily), 26th minute: Damus charged in at goal and sent in a header off a cross by Bodily. SD 1, MB 1
SD – Carlos Guzman (Charlie Adams), 29th minute: Guzman connected with a header sending his shot past Herrera for the lead. SD 2, MB 1
SD – Ronaldo Damus (Joe Corona), 73rd minute: Damus tapped in a ball from near the six-yard box off a pass by Corona. SD 3, MB 1
SD – Ronaldo Damus, 90+6: Damus curled in a low shot inside the right post to finish a breakaway and seal the scoring for the night. SD 4, MB 1
- Ronaldo Damus scored his eighth, ninth and 10th goals of the season to share the team lead with Evan Conway. The hat trick effort was the second recorded in SD Loyal history (Rubio Rubin, Sept. 19, 2020 at Phoenix Rising FC).
- Carlos Guzman scored his first career goal in USL Championship play.
- Blake Bodily recorded his team-leading seventh assist of the season.
- Charlie Adams recorded his sixth assist of the season.
- Joe Corona recorded his second assist of the season.
Palomar Health Man of the Match: Ronaldo Damus