Two second-half goals power Triumph to fourth win in last five matches
Greenville, SC (June 25, 2022) – The Greenville Triumph used two second half goals and late defensive strength to hold off expansion club, Northern Colorado Hailstorm in a 2-1 victory at home Saturday night. With the win, Greenville moved to the top of the table for the second time this season with a 6-4-2 record.
Greenville got off to a hot start, threatening Northern Colorado’s defensive third from the opening whistle. The Triumph pressured Hailstorm keeper Thomas Olsen with multiple shots in the opening five minutes but couldn’t put the ball in to the back of the net. Greenville continued to threaten for the duration of the opening half, but the match stayed scoreless into the halftime break.
The second frame began heavy on action, as Triumph midfielder Don Smart was fouled inside the box to earn a penalty kick. Smart showed his veteran calmness, easily slotting the ball past Olsen to put the Triumph on top 1-0 in the 53rd minute. The lead was brief, though, as a powerful header from Northern Colorado’s Irvin Parra leveled the match just four minutes later. Greenville responded in the 74th minute when winger, Jesus Ibarra found the Hailstorm side netting for a go-ahead goal. The Triumph, hungry to expand their lead, continued to press the away team’s defense before Northern Colorado sparked a late rally in the final ten minutes. Despite the Hailstorm’s efforts, the stellar Triumph defense that’s been the hallmark of the club since 2019 held strong to close out the match and earn the victory.
“A great finish from Jesus on his goal,” said Head Coach John Harkes. “We played five subs tonight – we needed it. We’ve got the game Wednesday as well, so we have to rotate players. It’s a great win, and we really fought tonight.”
The Greenville Triumph play at home again this Wednesday, June 29th for 90’s Night in Triumph Stadium at 7:00pm.
John Harkes, head coach: It’s always tricky in this game when you want to go and push the game a little bit but you still have to have that subconscious thought in the back of your mind, thinking you can’t expose yourself too much there as you go for the win. A great finish from Jesus on his goal. We played five subs tonight – we needed it. We’ve got the game Wednesday as well, so we have to rotate players. It’s a great win, and we really fought tonight.
Jamie Smith (D), on his first match back from injury: It was unbelievable failing to be fair – it’s been a long time, ten weeks, but you know the boys have been very supportive and I’ve been able to support the boys from the sides. To get on the field today and get those ten, or so minutes in was honestly a relief. Also a really good feeling that we got the result as well in the end, which is huge for us and takes us I think back to the top of the table.