Energy Set Record in Win

The Oklahoma City Energy FC defeated the Las Vegas Lights on July 12, 6-4, at Taft Stadium in the highest combined score in Energy history.

The Energy came into the matchup on a five-match unbeaten streak 3-0-2, 19-6-10 on the season, in fourteenth place, two spots behind the Lights in the division. After their win Energy moved past the Lights to the 12th spot in the USL Western Conference Standings with 15 games remaining in regular season play.

The match was the first time the Lights battled the Energy in Oklahoma City. Going into the matchup, the Lights had only won one road game all season and allowed thirty goals, which is sixth worst in the league.

“They are a team who can absolutely catch fire at any moment and score goals,” said Steve Cooke, Energy head coach. “But I think also they give you opportunities.”

OKC scored six goals on the night, the most in franchise history.

Alex Dixon, who returned to the starting lineup this week from injury, was named Man of the Match after he scored two goals and assisted on one for Energy, while Lights Midfielder Raul Mendiola scored three of the four goals for the Lights.

Goal one of the game came by Dixon in the 12th minute when he received the ball near the penalty spot from a header pass from Jaime Siaj and kicked it past the Vegas goalkeeper Ricardo Ferrino. The goal was featured at number five on ESPN’s Top 10 Plays later that night.

Just under three minutes after Dixon’s goal, the Lights tied the match when former U.S. National Team member Freddy Adu, passed a corner kick to Carlos Alvarez and scored a curving ball to the far post past the Energy goalkeeper Bryan Byars. He was filling in for starting goalkeeper Matt Vanoekel, who was injured in the second half against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks. Byars had six saves out of 10 shots on goal on the night.

Just before the end of the half in the 44th minute, the Energy scored again as Defenseman Atiba Harris, who was playing in his first match with Energy, scored on a cross from Dixon to give them the 2-1 lead.

The teams combined for seven goals in the second half, five of which came in a 21-minute span.

Starting in the 50th minute, with a pass from the right wing from defender Christian Ibeagha, Siaj scored his fourth goal of the season with a header to the back of the net. Seven minutes later, Francis Atuahene scored his second of the season, to an empty net off a deflection by Dixon, who brought the goalie out on a rush and tried to chip it over him, to give the Energy a 4-1 lead.

Lights’ Mendiola would then answer by scoring twice in just over a four minute span, once to the left side of the net in the 65th minute and the other to the right side in the 70th minute.

Dixon would score his second goal of the night and team leading fifth of the season in the 72nd minute, after being taken to the sideline due to a head-to-head collision with a Lights player. The play was assisted by Jose Barril.

Mendiola would then score his third goal near the end of stoppage time in the 90th minute, marking the third time an Energy opponent has scored three goals in a match against them this season.

However, Christian Volesky’s header goal in the 92nd minute gave the Energy six goals on the night.

The win extends Energy’s unbeaten streak to six matches with a record of 3-0-3.

“It was a crazy one, you know, six to four,” Dixon said. “We’d rather not give up those goals, but it was good to finally put in a collective offensive performance as a whole, so we’re happy about that and just want to keep this six game unbeaten run into Sacramento.”

The Energy have also scored a goal in 10 consecutive matches, the third longest streak in franchise history.

The Energy’s next matchup is against Sacramento Republic FC on July 21 at 10 p.m.

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