Harrisburg City Islanders News Release -- www.cityislanders.com
Friday, May 18, 2012
HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Harrisburg City Islanders (1-1-3) will welcome the Dayton Dutch Lions FC (0-3-2) to Skyline Sports Complex on Saturday at 6 p.m. The City Islanders hope to duplicate last year’s success against the Dutch Lions, when they posted a 2-0-1 record including a 4-1 victory at home on June 8. Playing twice this week – both at home – the Islanders will look to add three points after recording draws in their last two contests. Saturday’s match will be the second of a six-game home stand for the Islanders, who played three of their first four games on the road.
On Wednesday, Harrisburg hosted in-state rival Pittsburgh in a game defined by the brilliant play of both goalkeepers. In a match that saw a combined 19 shots on goal, 16 corners and several defensive breakdowns, neither keeper would fold, much to the chagrin of both offenses. Pittsburgh's Hunter Gilstrap was particularly stingy, turning aside eight shots in the 0-0 stalemate.
The Islanders’ Bilal Duckett, who played a full 90 in the tie, remained positive about his team’s prospects going into the weekend.
“Saturday we need to put it all together,” he said. “I thought that we came very close against Pittsburgh on Wednesday; we just couldn't find the back of the net. Their goalkeeper did well to keep them in the match, but I felt that we outplayed them and did well to get a number of chances.”
The Islanders will try to tame a hungry Dutch Lions team hunting for their first victory of the season. In their May 11 game against Los Angeles (3-2-1), Dayton matched the road team’s intensity, but could not overcome a Allan Russell goal in the 73rd minute. Strong performances from the Dutch Lions’ Joel DeLass and Gibson Bardsley, five second-half shots and five stoppage-time corners were not enough as the Blues held on to win 1-0.
The Islanders will have extra preparation time going into Saturday’s game, having a scheduled off-day on Thursday and practice on Friday morning at In The Net Sports Complex in Palmyra, Pa. The Dutch Lions, meanwhile, will be playing their second game in as many nights, visiting both Rochester’s Sahlen’s Stadium and Harrisburg’s Skyline Sports Complex within a 24-hour period.
“They [Dayton] play on Friday night in Rochester, so it will be very important for us to take advantage of their road-weary legs and get the home victory that we have been searching for all season,” Duckett said.
Each team is keen on swiping a victory. Currently, the Dutch Lions sit at the bottom of the USL PRO standings with the Islanders ahead of them by four points.
Head Coach Bill Becher is not taking the winless Dutch Lions lightly, however.
“We are in the midst of a long home stand where we must get wins," he said. "Dayton is much improved from a year ago, and we know it will take a great effort to get the win on Saturday night.”
The third home game for the Islanders this season, Dayton’s trip will be a festive one as the visitors and the Islanders’ faithful converge on City Island during “Reggae Night.” The evening will feature an eclectic mix of events, including visits from the Eastern Pennsylvania Youth Soccer Association, the Central Pennsylvania Blood Bank and the Soccer Collies.
Kickoff for Saturday’s game against Dayton will take place at 6 p.m., with gates opening at 4:30 p.m. Single-game ticket prices are $14 for adults, $7 for youths and $12 for senior tickets. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.cityislanders.com or call 717-441-GOAL.