The Richmond Kickers lost to the Harrisburg City Islanders tonight in front of 3734 fans to end their season with only their fourth loss. A series of defensive mistakes doomed them despite two goals, including one by D.C. United's Conor Shanosky. Despite the loss, it caps another quality season from the Kickers, who have made the postseason in each of the last 11 seasons.
The first Harrisburg goal came right after William Yomby came back on the field after getting a cut above his eye. Harrisburg got free down the wing, and Yomby stepped up to clear the ball. However, instead of clearing it he whiffed and allowed Harrisburg one on one with Ryan Taylor. Morgan Langley put it away far post.
The Kickers responded 5 minutes later, when Shay Spitz picked the pocket of a Harrisburg midfielder. He quickly put the ball out for Jason Yeisley to run onto, and Yeisley sent the keeper the wrong way to tie the game. The gut punch happened in the 45th minute, when Harrisburg scored to turn the momentum yet again. After battling through midfield, the City Islanders played a diagonal ball that just cut the Richmond defense apart. In addition, neither Shanosky nor William Yomby marked the runner in the middle, and it was an easy goal for Jamiel Hardware.
The third Harrisburg goal was the clincher, and it came from a bad defensive mistake by Conor Shanosky. Shanosky played a cross field pass, intended for Stephen Basso. Instead, Harrisburg cut it out and were sent 2 on 2 with the defenders. They were able to break it down and go up 3-1, and Richmond did not have enough offensive firepower to claw their way back.
The Kickers did try, though. Conor Shanosky scored off of a header from Shay Spitz, and the Kickers camped out in the City Islanders' box for the last ten minutes of the game. However, their defense scrambled well and Nick Noble made a number of good saves. The Richmond Kickers will be back next season for their 23rd year of professional soccer, but we do not yet know if they will be D.C. United's USL PRO affiliate. I would assume that, until United create their own USL PRO team, the would work with no one else. With that in mind, see you all next season; I hope you have enjoyed this season with the Kickers.