Minnesota Thunder News Release – www.mnthunder.com
Saturday, August 29, 2009
BAYAMON, PR — The Minnesota Thunder (4-11-8) were unable to add to their one-win road record Saturday as the Puerto Rico Islanders (11-5-8) clinched a playoff berth by defeating Minnesota 3-1 at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium in Puerto Rico.
The Thunder wasted no time securing the first goal as Melvin Tarley sent the ball past Puerto Rico’s keeper in the seventh minute. However, the wet field conditions made it a battle for both teams to keep its feet grounded and the ball under control.
With multiple attempts to even the score, Puerto Rico was not able to execute a goal until the 40th minute. Forward, Nicholas Addlery, found an opening and made a right wing break away through Minnesota’s defense to even the score 1-1.
As Minnesota headed to the locker room to “dry” its wet feet, it was clear that Puerto Rico would not be its only competition, but also the waterlogged field. As the teams took the field to start the second half, the waterlogged field had only worsened.
Between the slipping and sliding, Puerto Rico took the lead in the 65th minute with a goal by Sean Fraser. The muddy pit that had formed in front of Minnesota’s goal made it difficult for Nic Platter to secure his feet to the ground and make the save.
Despite the wet conditions, Puerto Rico continued to dominate the majority of play throughout the entire second half. An unfortunate foul in the penalty box gave Puerto Rico its third goal as the ball sailed past Platter to the bottom corner of the net by Cristian Arrieta in the 90th minute on the ensuing penalty kick.
Minnesota fought hard to put another one past Puerto Rico’s goalkeeper Bill Gaudette, who is second in the league in shutouts (10) and first in the league in saves (99), but was unable to execute.
Tonight’s win moves Puerto Rico closer to the third place spot in the standings, with only four points behind the Charleston Battery before tonight’s victory. The Islanders were able to add to its home field advantage record of 9-1-3 and keep Minnesota’s success on the road to just one win.
The Thunder will return home to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps Friday, September 4th at the National Sports Center. Kick off is set for 7:00pm.