Forward Henry Cromack delivered a brace as Lane United defeated FC Swoosh 3-0 in an Oregon Open Cup semifinal match Saturday night to clinch a spot in the final on Wednesday, July 28th.
Cromack, who celebrated his 18th birthday on Tuesday, drew a penalty in the 29th minute, however his ensuing spot kick was saved. The striker would redeem himself and put the Reds up 1-0 just nine minutes later, finishing a cross from BJ Romac from inside the 6-yard box into the top right corner.
Defender Milan Bobek doubled the lead just before halftime, taking a beautiful switch from midfielder Yeonhyuk Kwak before cutting inside and hitting a right-footed shot from distance that deflected past the Swoosh goalkeeper.
“I saw there was a lot of open space down the left-hand side,” Bobek recalled. “The ball came into Kwak; I just made a streaking run down, he found me with a perfect one-touch, I chested it down along the side, took some touches in. Some space opened up and I took the shot.”
Lane United continued to dominate the game in the second half and Cromack slid his second goal through in the 75th minute off an assist from substitute midfielder Charlie Lacey.
“It was pretty tough at the start... little mis-kick on the penalty but I kept my head up,” said Cromack. “A few minutes later, good ball in from BJ on his debut [for the first goal that I] finished and it went well for us. Kept a clean sheet, Milan popped one in, and then [I] happened to get another bounce myself.”
With many senior players having returned home, Lane United called up five Eugene Timbers FC Select Academy players for this tournament as well as former Reds star fullback BJ Romac and training players Irwin Leon and Milan Bobek.
Bobek and Romac started at the outside back positions, while Leon and Whitney Schatz started in midfield. Schatz made his LUFC debut last week against Timbers U23.
“It’s a good experience for me, especially this whole summer when I’ve been training with them,” Bobek commented.
Ariel de dios Cruz, Charlie Lacey, Peter Conrad, and Roy Arroyo all came off the bench for the Reds in the second half.
“I can remember not too long ago when I was one of them...they were fantastic,” Cromack offered. “A lot of them didn’t step wrong. Great learning experience for them.”
With debuts for some came farewells for others. Midfielder Tommy Case, who suffered a knee injury in the first match of the season, made a return to the pitch as another substitute.
Defender Matt King made his final appearance of 2021 in a Lane United shirt before his departure on Wednesday morning.
“I’m kind of ecstatic,” he said. “To come out like this and give a really good performance, get a clean sheet, I think it just caps off the season quite well.”
LUFC’s second win of the season was also their second clean sheet. Goalkeeper Kieran Brown made five saves in the first half. On offense, FC Swoosh—who defeated Oregon Valley Futbol Alliance II in the quarterfinal—were spinning in circles between sharp Lane United passes.
“Sometimes during the season we were too slow. [Tonight] we tried to keep it two-touch, just find the middle players, get it through,” King recalled. “But actually there were a few times today where we found some good balls through over the top—I think those actually broke them down quite well in the first half.”
Lane United will face OVF Alliance U23 on Wednesday, July 28th at 7:30p. The match will be held at George Fox University in Newberg (Austin Sports Complex) once again.