Firsts are usually something you talk about in inaugural seasons. This one took until the third time of asking.
For the first time in team history Lansing United came away from its first match of the season with a victory, a 2-0 win on the road against the Dayton Dynamo. Despite the score line, it was anything but comfortable for head coach Nate Miller in his first regular season match in charge.
“Considering the circumstances with two guys in the first half going down injured, we’re happy,” said Miller after the match. “We’re a young team, we knew if we were patient enough to keep circulating the ball and go through the thirds, they’d go away. Away from home, a clean sheet with two set play goals? You’ve got to take that.”
After a scoreless first half, the Hoops waited until the 54th minute to open the scoring. A throw-in on the narrow Welcome Stadium field gave Dewey Lewis the ability to get the ball to Michael Caccavo in the air, and the midfielder connected with a header that found the bottom corner inside the far post.
“Good effort from the guys especially on the set plays,” said Caccavo, the LAFCU Man of the Match. “It’s not that often that you get that much time, but with a great ball in we just do our part. We found space in the channels and then it’s just get in front of your guy and get a hat on it.”
Lansing wrapped up the points in the 84th minute on another set piece. After an initial corner was cleared by Dayton, Lewis sent the loose ball back into the box where Grant Stoneman stranded the Dynamo keeper and chested the ball into the back of the net.
The only dark clouds were on the trainer’s table, where defenders TC Hull and Neil Slooves both ended up with first half injuries. Their status will be evaluated before the next match, another road contest at Kalamazoo FC on Sunday afternoon.
“The guys will enjoy it but the coaching staff is already thinking about injuries,” said Miller. “We’ll take 30 minutes to enjoy it but then we’re preparing for Kalamazoo.”
A win in the first ever meeting with Kalamazoo would give the Hoops 6 points from their opening weekend, and would lift Lansing into a tie atop the NPSL Great Lakes West Conference with AFC Ann Arbor.
And that’s the kind of “first” that it’s nice to talk about any season.