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Hartford Athletic ends long road trip with eighth straight loss

Hartford’s Sem De Wit, left, and Phil Rasmussen (10) try to slow down a North Carolina FC player in Saturday’s United Soccer League match in Cary, North Carolina. Hartford dropped a 4-1 decision. (Rob Kinnan photo courtesy of Hartford Athletic)

CARY, N.C., April 27 – Perhaps playing at home will help the Hartford Athletic soccer club.

The struggling United Soccer League (USL) expansion franchise dropped their eighth straight match Saturday night in a 4-1 loss to North Carolina FC at Ahlen’s Stadium.

Hartford has begun their first season with eight straight road games – all defeats. The Athletic (0-8) have scored just four goals and have allowed 22 – the most in the 18-team Eastern Conference.

Hartford’s Alex Dixon, a 5-foot-8 midfielder from Texas, scored his first goal of the season with an incredible strike from just outside the box to put Hartford on the board early in the second half. But North Carolina FC (4-1-2) was too strong. They had a 3-0 lead before Hartford scored.

They took a 1-0 lead in the first five minutes of the match when Mario Lomis got free on a run and got a shot past Hartford goalie Frederik Due, making his debut with the squad. In stoppage time at the end of the first half, North Carolina made it 2-0 when Sam Brotherton found some open space off a corner kick.

Hartford returns home on Saturday night to play their first-ever home against the Charlotte Independent (1-5-2) at Rentschler Field in East Hartford beginning at 7 p.m. Hartford is scheduled to play their first seven home home games at Rentschler Field as renovations to Dillon Stadium in Hartford continue. Seven of Hartford’s next nine games will be in East Hartford.

The first game at Dillon Stadium is scheduled for July 13.

North Carolina FC 4, Hartford 1
At Cary, N.C.
Hartford (0-8)                                0  1  — 1
North Carolina FC (4-1-2)          2  2  — 4
Goals: NC – Marios Lomis 4 (Steven Miller), Sam Brotherton 45+2, Steven Miller 47, Robert Kristo 81 (Manny Perez); H – Alex Dixon 58 (Mac Steeves); Shots: North Carolina 16-13; Shots on net: NC 10-4; Corner kicks: Hartford, 5-4; Saves: Frederik Due (H) 4, Alex Tambakis (NC) 2
NORTH CAROLINA
Alex Tambakis; Aaron Guillen, Sam Brotherton, Alex Comsia, DJ Taylor; Steven Miller (Yamikani Chester 74′), Graham Smith, Manny Perez; Dre Fortune, Ben Speas (Viktor Igbekoyi 83′); Marios Lomis (Robert Kristo 55′)
HARTFORD ATHLETIC
Frederik Due; Kyle Curinga, Sem de Wit, Nikolaj Lyngo, Giuseppe Gentile (Sebastian Dalgaard 65′); Nicky Downs, Alex Dixon, Phil Rasmussen (Mads Jorgensen 73′), Collin Martin (Ryan Williams 73′), Jonny Brown; Mac Steeves

USL Eastern Conference W-L-T Pts GF GA
Saint Louis FC 5-1-2 17 12 6
Tampa Bay Rowdies 4-0-4 16 14 4
North Carolina FC 4-1-2 14 15 6
Charleston Battery 4-1-2 14 11 7
New York Red Bulls II 4-1-1 13 14 8
Indy Eleven 4-1-0 12 11 5
Nashville SC 3-2-2 11 11 7
Birmingham Legion 3-2-1 10 7 7
Bethlehem Steel 3-4-1 10 12 13
Atlanta United II 3-3-1 10 9 11
Louisville City FC 3-3-1 10 8 10
Pittsburgh RIverhounds 2-1-4 10 10 9
Ottawa Fury 2-2-1 7 4 5
Loudoun United 1-3-2 5 4 7
Memphis 901 1-5-2 5 5 10
Charlotte Independence 1-5-2 5 9 16
Swope Park Rangers 0-4-2 2 8 15
Hartford Athletic 0-8-0 0 4 22
Three points for a win, one point for a tie. Top 10 teams earn a berth in the USL playoffs.

Upcoming matches
Saturday, May 4: Charlotte at Hartford (Renthschler Field), 7 p.m.
Friday, May 10: Memphis at Hartford (Renthschler Field), 7 p.m.

Since 2009, the Collinsville Press has been providing award-winning coverage of sports and news in the Farmington Valley and across Connecticut.

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