On Saturday, Redlands FC dominated Ventura County FC 4-1 to claim the southwest title and a ticket to the USL 2 postseason.
The scenario for Redlands was a win at all costs. On Wednesday, they visited SoCal Seahorses and got 3 points from a single goal. This win placed them one point over FC Tucson and below already-qualified Ventura County. With a point advantage for RFC over FCT, they needed a win or tie over VCFC to claim their postseason ticket.
The picture could not have been painted better for RFC hosting Ventura. Within the 1st minute of play, the home side got a goal from a forced turnover, the transition led to a pass to the middle of the box, and Elegersma tapped it in.
Setting the pace for the rest of the match, RFC continued forcing turnovers, grabbing interceptions, and smothering VCT with offensive pressure. VCT woke up to this reality later in the game, and it appeared they didn’t want to spoil RFC’s road to the next round.
RFC struck again in the 34th minute off a corner kick that saw the ball land to Ruvalcaba in the heart of the box, and he headed it in before the keeper could punch it out.
Seven minutes after the second goal, Redlands get goal number three from a brilliant 1-2 pass play outside the box with a lob service to Elegersma alone in the box, and he slots it in for his 2nd in the game. Redlands finish the half 3-0.
Like the first half, RFC gets another quick start goal 90 seconds after the whistle from a cross to the box, and Kibom heads it in. The match after that point was the hosts taking the foot off the gas pedal, and VCF struggled to get past RFC’s defense.
The visitors get one goal before the final whistle. The game ended to the crowd’s cheer as Redlands FC won, clinched the playoffs, and placed 1st in the southwest.
The Redlands players splash coach Cody in celebration of RFC’s first-ever season as a club, achieving a lot on and off the field.
“We are ecstatic and couldn’t imagine a more ideal inaugural season,” said the owner and operator of RFC, Ryan Whiley.
Redlands finish the regular season with an 8-2-2 record, scoring 22 and allowing 13 goals. The top goal scorer is Omar Yehya, with 5 in the season.
Placing 1st in the southwest allows RFC to host their first playoff match next Friday at 7 pm. Their opponents are yet to be determined.