Héctor Jiménez was not the only member of the Columbus Crew to score a match-changing goal this weekend. Aaron Schoenfeld conjured some heroics of his own for the Crew's USL PRO affiliate, Dayton Dutch Lions FC. Schoenfeld converted a penalty kick in the 41st minute to give the Dutch Lions a 1-0 lead over the Harrisburg City Islanders, which would hold until the final whistle. It was Dayton's first victory in Harrisburg in seven attempts.
The PK was set up by Schoenfeld's ability to quickly transition into a counter attack. Eli Garner dispossessed a City Islander at the halfway line. Garner was unceremoniously upended by a Harrisburg defender, but the ball fell to the feet of Schoenfeld as he streaked down the center of the pitch. The referee waived advantage, and Schoenfeld beat every defender in a race to the box, which drew Islander goalkeeper Nick Noble off his line. Noble went down to make a play on the ball, but tripped Schoenfeld in the process.
Actually, there may have been some embellishment by Schoenfeld, but it's difficult to discern on the video. Regardless, Noble was issued a caution and the Dutch Lions were awarded the PK.
Schoenfeld stepped over the ball to take the kick he'd earned. He got Noble leaning and buried the shot right down the middle.
Despite the fact that this was the first goal he netted for Dayton, Schoenfeld has proven himself to be a genuine scoring threat for the Dutch Lions. Moreover, he's putting in the work and doing the little things that make him a more complete player. This has not gone unnoticed by those who follow USL PRO closely.
Nicholas Murray, USL Communications Coordinator, said, "Schoenfeld has been very good both tonight [at Harrisburg] and in Charlotte. He's won his fair share of possession and connected things well when he had the chance."
Schoenfeld was joined in the starting XI by fellow Crew loanee, Kevan George. It was another good night for the central defender who has played every minute of every Dutch Lions match this season. George and his defensive mates did an excellent job of stymieing the Harrisburg attack, keeping everything in front of them and not allowing many clear looks at goal.
- Schoenfeld was subbed out after 79 minutes, when Eddie Hertsenberg came on with fresh legs in a move to protect the late lead.
- Ryan Finley entered the match at the half for Sebastian Thuriere, who had been occupying a more defensive spot in the midfield. Interestingly, Finley appeared to take on the same role that had been vacated by Thuriere.
- Neither Matt Walker nor Ross Friedman appeared for the Dutch Lions against Harrisburg.
As always head to Reckless Challenge for our staff has comprehensive coverage on the Dayton Dutch Lions FC and the rest of USL PRO.