#SLCvSAC: Monarchs earn first-ever win, 1-0 over defending champs

April 29th, 2015 | by Sean Walker

Real Monarchs  SLC waited six games for the club’s first win in franchise history.

The wait is finally over.

The Monarchs (1-4-2) got a goal from international striker Max Rauhofer, his second in three matches with barely two weeks under contract with the club, to surge in front of defending USL champions Sacramento Republic FC, 1-0 on Wednesday night at Rio Tinto Stadium.

In the 67th minute, Fito Ovalle’s shot from the top of the box knocked into Rauhofer’s boot, and the Uruguayan back-heeled the carom past Republic FC goalkeeper Patrick McLain.

“It was one of those plays where I was just in the right place at the right time,” Rauhofer said. “Fito took a good shot, and I just wanted to backheel the ball into the back of the net, and that’s exactly what I did.”

Rauhofer scored his first goal on the road against the Colorado Springs Switchbacks, a blazing shot he took with no practices with the squad in his first start in the United States. The goal scorer did more of the same Wednesday night, putting up a match-high seven shots — more than every player at Western Conference-leading Sacramento (4-4-0).

The Monarchs outshot Republic FC, 15-6, including a 6-3 margin in shots on goal.

“We’ve been talking about this for 3-4 weeks of very good training,” Monarchs coach Freddy Juarez said. “I think the last two games, we took another step forward. It was a great goal, and we could’ve had a couple of others in the game. Overall, the guys are hungry. They are training well, they are eager to get back to training, and it’s a credit to them. They battled, brought the energy and got a result.”

Real Salt Lake midfielder John Stertzer played the final 30 minutes for the Monarchs, replacing starter Alec Sundly after the Maryland product was ruled ineligible for Friday’s home match against San Jose. Stertzer was fined and suspended by the MLS Disciplinary Committee for a hard tackle against New England’s Juan Agudelo in the opening 10 minutes of last Saturday’s 4-0 road loss.

Monarchs forward and RSL preseason standout Emery Welshman made his much-anticipated debut with the third-division side, replacing Maikon Orellana in the 70th minute to a rousing ovation from the announced crowd of 2,477. Welshman was called up by Guyana and missed the first two Monarchs matches of the season, then missed four more with an injury suffered during international duty.

Welshman’s first official touch as a Monarch nearly doubled the home side’s advantage. The Guyanese international dribbled once, then released a ball that McLain rushed out and snatched before any further chance could be had.

Rauhofer’s night ended in the 83rd minute, finishing with his one goal on FIVE shots as the Monarchs took a 1-0 advantage into the final seven minutes of regulation.

“I had a few chances this game, just tried to move a little different than the last game,” Rauhofer said. “I just had to finish my chances.

“It’s a great feeling. The team has been fighting each and every single day. It’s great to be able to come out with a win, and the guys have been fighting extremely hard. We’re happy to get out from the bottom of the table.”

The Monarchs head to Austin on May 9 for the club’s next game against former RSL coach Paul Dalglish and the Aztex.

Sean Walker

Sean Walker

Salt City FC editor-in-chief Sean Walker has been covering soccer at all levels since 2007. He began his career in Las Vegas, and has since written for publications from the Intermountain West to Central New York, where he attended graduate school in 2012. Currently, Sean covers Real Salt Lake and Major League Soccer for KSL.com. A struggling Evertonian by birth, Sean follows European soccer through the blue lens of the Toffees, and has strong feelings toward the UEFA Europa League.

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