The Dayton Dynamo hosted Grand Rapids FC at Welcome Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The teams battled each other and a punishing heat, and Grand Rapids emerged as the ultimate 1-0 victor. A 19th minute goal from Scott Doney was all the visitors would need to prevent the Dynamo from running their home unbeaten streak to three matches in the NPSL regular season.
Contrary to signage on display as the players walked out, the Dynamo knew it would take a near perfect match to earn all three points against Grand Rapids. The visitors entered the match with only one loss on the season, trailing only AFC Ann Arbor in the NPSL Great Lakes West standings.
When perfection is needed, mistakes cannot be permitted. It was a Dynamo miscue that led to the only GRFC goal. Doney got behind the Dayton back line and won the race with Dynamo goalkeeper Corey Whisenhunt to the ball. A little flick sent the ball over the diving Whisenhunt, and it rolled slowly into the net.
Dayton remained patient, working the ball from side to side in the build-up. The approach resulted in multiple opportunities for the Dynamo, but the attack would break down in the final third more often than not. Set pieces were repeatedly turned away by an organized Grand Rapids defense, and GRFC goalkeeper Noah Fazekas stopped every shot the Dynamo put on target.
The loss drops Dayton to 1-6-1 in the NPSL Great Lakes West Conference. With four games remaining in the regular season, the playoffs are realistically out of reach. If the ball bounces the right way a few times, though, moving up a few spots in the standings is manageable.
The next Dynamo home match is a friendly against the Columbus Crew U23 squad on Wednesday evening at Welcome Stadium. First kick is scheduled for 7:00 PM.