When Richie Williams was coach of Loudoun United, the team saw a couple of late game goals change the fate of a couple of matches for better and worse, including one at Audi Field. Ryan Martin replaced Williams as coach and in his third game in charge and first at Audi Field, he saw some of this firsthand as an 89th minute goal led Loudoun to dropping a 2-1 game to Indy Eleven in front of 650.
The preceding two games saw Loudoun start Adam Lundegard, Moses Nyeman and Bryang Kayo while Theodore Ku-DiPietro was on the bench. With the quartet preparing for Academy Playoffs next week, Martin played Academy products Nelson Martinez and Alexxon Saaravia as center backs, while using Griffin Yow and Antonio Bustamante for their 4th game (and 3rd start) each between D.C. United and Loudoun United in 10 days.
Things started promising for Loudoun as Yow fed a ball to Kyle Murphy on the left side of the field, who got it to Andrew Lubahn in the middle. Lubahn fired a left footed bomb past Jordan Farr’s left side for a 1-0 Loudoun lead, one that they took into halftime. The second half found Indy virtually dominant in all parts of the field, eventually compiling a 28-6 shot advantage. The dam broke when former D.C. player Dane Kelly nutmegged Saaravia and got past a sliding Noah Pilato, and his shot deflected off Martinez to level things at 1. Things would stay that way until the 89th minute, when Jack-Jean Baptiste lost the ball to Kenney Walker. The ball pinged to Kelly who fired a shot that Colin Miller saved, but Tyler Pasher received the rebound, rounded Miller and put it in the net for the 2-1 lead and win for Indy (8-2-3, 27 points), who ran their unbeaten streak to 7.
“I think it was a game of two halves, when our guys were composed I thought was fantastic and in the second half I think we went away from looking to play,” Martin said. “I think the biggest thing for (Loudoun) is that you can step up on a field toe to toe with Indy and Louisville. It’s been a growth process but I’m happy with the guys, we’re heading in the right direction.”
Loudoun (3-6-3, 12) is off until June 28, when they will host Atlanta United 2 at 7:30 at Audi Field.