Orlando Lions take semis in shut-out

By Rofkens Petit-Homme
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A stadium of 8,304 fans fell in line to support the Orlando City Lions, Saturday night.

In a well played match with the Richmond Kickers, the Lions made sure the kicking was done by them, in a 3-0 win to take them to the title game.

A sluggish start had the Lions on the ropes with a majority of shots coming from the Kickers, but the tide turned as soon as Orlando scored their first goal 19 minutes in.

At the half the Lions stepped into the locker room with a 2-0 lead.

The ball movement was a major factor in the win.

“New Castle found it difficult, Bolton found it difficult,” stated Head Coach Adrian Heath. “We were better at moving the ball than they were.”

Defensemen Jerome Mecheck pulled a great goal in the 45th minute, a shot from 35 yards out that smacked off a tottering goalies glove into the back of the Richmonds net.

Speaking to Jerome at the end of the game he said, “I have been looking for that goal since the beginning of the season.”

Despite the win, the Lions still suffered a big loss when Bernard Kieren pulled a hamstring. Kieren is out for the rest of the season, which puts the Lions in a tough place for the final game.

With the big game this Saturday Sept. 3, the players are focused on winning and effort.

“It’s an accumulation of us being excited about winning the championship, and we are not just gonna show up and give it away,” forward Jamie Watson said.

Orlando faces Harrisburg for the title game. The Lions beat the Islanders 7-1 in the regular season.

Photo by Stephen M. Dowell, Orlando Sentinel / MCT