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Academica men’s team ends season with win over Davis Legacy
Academica men
Academica SC head coach Sergio Sousa rallies the troops ahead of a USL League Two regular season match in April. The Turlock-based semi-professional team finished with the 2023 season with 13 points and a 4-7-1 record (Photo contributed).

The fireworks were still aplenty in Davis, California on Saturday despite the Fourth of July holiday being 10 days removed, as Turlock-based Academic Soccer Club and the Davis Legacy FC combined for seven goals in the final regular season match of United Soccer League, League Two play in 2023. Luckily for local soccer fans, it was the hometown team that came away with the advantage to finish their season on a high note.

Academica trailed early in their eventual 4-3 win on Saturday as Davis’ Adewumi Aladetimi scored in just the 15th minute of play. The early deficit didn’t faze the Turlock team, as they exploded for three goals in the seven minutes immediately after that.

Ashton Escamilla tied things up in the 18th minute while Felipe Lopez gave Academica the lead in the 20th. Daniel Borges piled on with the third goal in the 23rd minute.

After halftime, Davis Legacy FC attempted to stage a comeback as Zane Alafranji put the ball in the back of the net in the 56th minute. But just like the first half, Academica halted their celebrations as Thomas Knierieme made it 4-2 in less than a minute late with his 57th minute goal.

The match remained 4-2 up until the 90th minute when Academica’s Anthoni Martin received a yellow card that opened the door for a Keegan Walwyn-Bent goal. It was just too little too late for the Legacy as the final whistle was blown just a few moments after.

In their inaugural USL League Two season, Academica SC finished with 13 points and a 4-7-1 record, leaving them in sixth place in the seven-team NorCal division. 

"This year reminded me a lot of our first year in the NPSL. Following that inaugural season, we saw what it took to compete. I believe we're in a very familiar spot after wrapping up our first year in the USL. We had some growing pains but these are sometimes necessary to grow. I'm excited for what's to come with this club moving forward, and fans should be as well,” said Academica General manager Michael Rocha.