PONTIAC, Mich. — The historic 2016 season for Midland/Odessa Sockers FC came to an end in the Premier Development League National Semifinals with a 3-0 loss to the Michigan Bucks at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas.
The Bucks, who had not allowed a goal at home all season, showed their dominance early on as they controlled possession and played in the attacking half. After missing on a couple opportunities, Michigan scored the first goal of the night in the 19th minute when Brad Ruhaak's cross into the box was followed by a beautiful header by Andre Landell to the far post to give the Bucks a 1-0 lead.
Sockers FC were able to settle down after allowing the early goal, but were not able to find any scoring chances before halftime.
Michigan, two-time champions of the PDL, put the game out of reach in the first part of the second half when they scored two goals in the span of five minutes.
In the 61st minute, Russell Cicerone blasted a shot that was saved by Russ Klabough but Landell came in to clean up the rebound and finish it to make it a 2-0 game. In the 66th minute, Francis de Vries scored off of an assist from Lalas Abubaker after a Michigan corner kick.
The Sockers were outshot, 16-8, including 9-5 with shots on goal and had the disadvantage on corner kicks at 6-2.
Despite the defeat, it was arguably the greatest season in the history of the Midland/Odessa Sockers FC franchise. The 2016 season saw the team tie its all-time mark for both regular season wins and points and the Sockers advanced the farthest that they ever have in the PDL playoffs by capturing the Southern Conference Championship and earning a trip to the National Semifinals.
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