SAN ANTONIO - The San Antonio Scorpions made history on Saturday night, picking up their first home win in franchise history with a 2-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rowdies with second half goals from Hans Denissen and Aaron Pitchkolan.
The team will look to build off its history-making victory next weekend on May 12 when they travel to Tampa Bay to complete their home-and-home set with the Rowdies.
A crowd of 9,536 was on hand to witness the second consecutive win for the Scorpions, who are now tied with the Rowdies in the NASL standings and are two points behind the first-place Puerto Rico Islanders.
“We want to be a very possession-oriented team and our possession was much better in the second half,” head coach Tim Hankinson said. “There is a layer of trust that players have to develop… as we gain confidence and get results like tonight, that starts to lock in. If you can learn on the job and win, that's the way to do it.”
The Scorpions wasted little time going on the attack and putting pressure on the Rowdies backline, establishing an aggressive offensive approach early on in the match.
In the 6th minute of play, Pablo Campos fed Denissen in the box, but Rowdies keeper Jeff Attinella got a hand on the ball with a diving save to deflect the ball off net. On the ensuing corner kick, Attinella denied a Wes Knight header on goal to keep the game scoreless.
Scorpion keeper Daryl Sattler did not see a lot of action for the better part of the first half, but finally faced some in the 29th minute when Frankie Sanfilippo fired a shot that went wide of the goal. Sattler picked up three saves on the night to pick up his second shutout in as many starts and remains unbeaten in net.
Denissen had one of two other golden first half opportunities after receiving a long ball and was one-on-one with Attinella in the 35th minute, but Attinella denied him with a save. Denissen struck again two minutes later with a shot from 25 yards out, but a diving save from Attinella kept the Scorpions off the scoreboard.
The Scorpions attack finally broke through in the 53rd minute when Campos was taken down in the box, setting up a penalty kick for Denissen, who finally beat Attinella for his second goal of the season.
Pitchkolan gave the Scorpions an insurance goal in the 65th minute with a header that went past the Rowdies keeper to make it a 2-0 game. Ryan Cochrane picked up the assist on the goal.
The Scorpions ended up outshooting the Rowdies 15-3 in the match against the defense-heavy Rowdies, who had only allowed four goals all season before Saturday’s match.