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Villa Shuts Down Visiting Dayton in 1-0 Win

By Jon Sicotte, 06/02/24, 3:15PM HST


Taylor Dyson's Free Kick makes the Difference

Toss out those first two road matches, this is the Toledo Villa FC squad that was expected and Taylor Dyson says you can see a difference.
"We've got a great group of lads," the England-born midfielder who plays collegiately at Bowling Green State said after a 1-0 win Saturday night over Dayton Dutch Lions. "The more we play together and the more we train together, the more we'll gel together.

"You can definitely see on the pitch from the first game to this game now, we're a completely different team and we've got high hopes for the rest of the season."

Dyson scored on a free kick in the 58th minute from distance while Sebastian Doppelhofer had the clean sheet for Toledo's second straight victory.  The backline, said the Austrian-born Doppelhofer, was much more secure than in the 4-1 season-opening loss at Buffalo.

"It was way easier now because we had only about three weeks of practice before the season," Dopplehofer said. "We've gotten to know each other more. We are a unit now and it was a way, way better experience, to be honest."

Toledo was able to control for the most part but was unable to find the back of the net in the first half. A switch of having Chris Philibin play the left-side wingback seemed to cause a spark for Toledo as he continued to find room to maneuver and send the ball into the six-yard box time after time.

But it was Jaland Larmond being tackled for a free kick in the 58th minute that helped set up the goal. Larmond was taken down around 30 yards out and Dyson lined up to take the shot.

"That's normally a little far out for me," Dyson said. "I always aim for the furthest guys to the right (of the wall) and trust my technique. Hopefully, it goes in the back of their net."

This one did, curling around the defense and past a diving Guilherme Pipolo, the keeper for Dayton.

Other than a few strong moves from Dayton's Bonheur Kikonda that had Doppelhofer making a few saves, for the most part, the Toledo defense played well to help preserve the clean sheet.  "I was 100% more comfortable playing from the back," Dopplehofer said. "Especially because (Dayton) didn't press, but (also) we had time to practice.  We're all really good in shape."

An interesting note for Villa, the second win in a row at home this year eclipsed the home win total for the whole season at Paul Hotmer from the 2023 campaign. Last year Toledo fell victim a few times to late goals by the visiting side and ended up with four draws at home along with a win and loss. This year Toledo is 2-0-0 at home so far.

Cleveland is next on the docket for Villa with a tilt this Tuesday on the road. The Force will become a familiar face the rest of the season with three of the final eight games this year being Toledo's opposition. These three matches could factor heavily into the Valley Division standings as well, much like last year when the two played for a playoff berth in the final match of the regular season.