CARY, N.C. (Oct. 28, 2023) — North Carolina FC are headed to the USL League One Final after defeating Northern Colorado Hailstorm, 3-1, Saturday night in a semifinal at WakeMed Soccer Park. This is the second-ever league final in club history and first since 2010.
NCFC will host in-state rival Charlotte Independence on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 8:30 p.m. ET. Tickets for the final are available here. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. The Independence advanced past Union Omaha in penalty kicks, 5-4, after a scoreless draw in the other semifinal.
North Carolina FC started on the front foot, garnering multiple early chances that went just wide or were turned away by the Northern Colorado goalkeeper before David Garcia opened the scoring for the hosts in the 31st minute.
North Carolina recycled the ball wide after a corner to Rafa Mentzingen, who put the ball back into the box. The ball fell to Raheem Somersall at the edge of the box and David Garcia redirected the hard-hit shot into the back of the net.
Garcia doubled North Carolina FC’s advantage in the 49th minute, knocking home a corner insert from Mentzingen.
Louis Perez punctuated the win with an 87th-minute strike from the edge of the box. Mentzingen picked up his second assist of the game on the goal, playing an excellent ball across the top of the box to find a wide open Perez.
The Hailstorm got a consolation goal in stoppage time via Mark Hernández.
- North Carolina FC is now 4-7 in lifetime post-season matches
- David Garcia is the third different NCFC player with a brace this season, joining Rafa Mentingen and Oalex Anderson
- All three of David Garcia’s goals in 2023 have come against the Hailstorm.
Next Match: North Carolina FC will host the Charlotte Independence in the USL League One Championship at WakeMed Soccer Park on Sunday, Nov. 5 at 8:30 p.m.
NCFC (5-4-1): Brooks Thompson, Nelson Blanco (DJ Benton – 88‘), Gustavo Fernandes, David Garcia, Christian Lue Young, Louis Perez (Luis Arriaga – 88‘), Mikey Maldonado, Raheem Somersall, Rafa Mentzingen (Max Flick – 88‘), Oalex Anderson (Nathan Ntalu – 81‘), Garrett McLaughlin (Jaden Servania – 81‘)
Subs Not Used: Tor Saunders, Daniel Navarro
NCO (3-5-2): Edward Delgado, Lucky Onyebuchi Opara, Leo Folla (Mark Hernández – 46’), Robert Cornwall (Stefan Lukic– 74’), Bruno Rendón (Brecc Evans –64’), Nortei Nortey, Arthur Rogers, Billy King (Irvin Parra – 74’), Danny Robles (Jackson Dietrich – 46’), Noah Powder, Trevor Amann
Subs Not Used: Johan Penaranda, Enock Kwakwa
NCFC: D. Garcia – 31’ (R. Somersall), 49’ (R. Mentzingen); L. Perez – 87’ (R. Mentzingen)
NCO: M. Hernández – 90’+ (J. Dietrich)
NCFC: N. Flores Blanco – 15’, L. Perez – 85’
NCO: L. Folla – 22’, B. Rendón – 56’