A first half goal by Zak Boggs is all The Bradenton Academics needed to secure victory over Central Florida Kraze in a conference showdown at the IMG Academy soccer program Monday night. Both teams entered the contest with undefeated records and a U.S. Open Cup birth on the line.
Each team started the match with a defensive mindset not allowing a shot for the first 15 minutes of the contest. With Bradenton carrying much of the play in the first half, the Academics were able to capitalize on a good individualized effort from Ryan Maxwell. Maxwell was able to maneuver past two defenders and send a ball across the box capped off by a Zak Boggs strike 10yds from goal.
The Kraze came back on the attack fielding good chances in the 35th and 38th minute however; were unable to pinpoint their shots on goal. A little more pressure on their behalf caused Bradenton to step up its defense and regain control of the game. After a 1-0 halftime score, the Academics wasted no time in the second half taking advantage of a counter attack opportunity off a Kraze corner kick. Forward Ryan Maxwell once again used his speed to push by a couple defenders down the field and combining with Eugene Starkov, the Academics notched home their second goal just 3 minutes into the half.
The game was put out of reach in the 64th minute off a set-piece taken by Anthony Ampaipitakwong. A wide service from the end-line found the head of defender Christian Ibeagha for his first goal on the season. The Central Florida Kraze continued to battle most of the game and saw their best chance of the half come in the 68th minute when forward Carlos Arvajo beat several Bradenton defenders however; his shot was deflected wide of the goal. This was the last opportunity the Kraze would see for the match.
With the win, the Bradenton Academics improved their record to 3-0-1 on the year. The Academics will be back in action this Friday at 5:30pm when they play host to the Cary Railhawks.