While 2020 marked the debut of the Fairbanks Soccer Club men’s team, Saturday still marked several new beginnings.
For the first time this year, there was semi-pro soccer in Alaska. For the first time in its existence, the FSC hosted a home game. For the first time ever, Fairbanks fielded a semi-professional women’s team.
It was quite literally the dawning of a new day in Fairbanks soccer history.
FSC hosted the Alaska Timbers of Anchorage for the opening game of the United Premier Soccer League season. It was the first game of the second season for the men’s team, and the first game ever for the women’s team.
Both teams were just excited to be playing.
“It feels great,” said men’s head coach David Powers. “It’s our first home game and everyone’s excited. I’m really excited. Last year we played every single game on the road. We went to Anchorage I don’t even know how many times. Just to be here and have it not be raining on a beautiful day playing soccer is awesome.”
What was even more awesome for the men’s squad was picking up a 2-0 win. Nick Herzberg scored a goal in the 14th minute to make it a 1-0 game for FSC early and Kevin Martinez Garcia added a goal in the 88th minute to give the club a 2-0 victory.
“It feels really good (to be back out here),” said Herzberg. “I’m getting a little older, but it’s good to be out here. These kids keep me young and keep me working hard. It turned out to be a beautiful day and we had a beautiful crowd so it was good.”
The women’s team played following the victory for the men’s team. Many high school clubs in Fairbanks are forced to play with coed teams due to insufficient numbers. The fact that the ladies were able to field a team of their own had them feeling excited.
“It’s exciting to be a part of something new and to have something for the younger (players) to look up to,” said player Brittany Rozier. “I’m super pumped about the first game.”
Rozier’s teammates Desi Dutra echoed Rozier’s sentiment.
“I’m kind of excited to be honest,” she said. “It’s a great way to represent the women of Alaska and show people what we can actually do. We can do more than people think.”
As for the game itself, Dutra managed to score a goal for FSC, but they ended up on the losing end of a 2-1 game.
Both teams will play again next week in Anchorage against Cook Inlet.
Contact sports reporter Hart Pisani at 459-7530 or follow him at twitter.com/FDNMSports.