Rising capture first win of season with second consecutive shutout

Apr 13, 2019, 9:56 PM | Updated: Apr 14, 2019, 12:21 pm
Junior Flemmings. (Photo by Arianna Grainey)...
Junior Flemmings. (Photo by Arianna Grainey)
(Photo by Arianna Grainey)

Phoenix Rising FC secured its first win of the season Saturday night away to USL Championship newcomer Locomotive FC.

Rising FC was coming off of its best defensive performance of the year after shutting out Fresno FC last week.

PRFC manager Rick Schantz deployed the same starting lineup as the last match with the exception of two changes: Mustapha Dumbuya and Jose Aguinaga. The two replaced Tristan Blackmon and Jon Bakero, respectively, and neither of the MLS loanees was on the bench for Saturday’s contest.

If he hadn’t already, Schantz has found the formula to his side’s success defensively, as Phoenix collected its second consecutive clean sheet with Zac Lubin in goal and the center back duo of Joey Farrell and A.J. Cochran.

Cochran was also able to notch his first assist while donning the PRFC kit when his longball to Junior Flemmings in the opening minutes of the game resulted in the easiest goal of the Jamaican’s life after El Paso’s goalkeeper Logan Ketterer slipped and fell before getting to the ball.

The match was played exactly how most would have predicted it. Locomotive FC dominated possession with 63 percent, but El Paso wasn’t able to get a shot on target until the dying minutes of the game. And although Lubin may not have been tested on paper, there were a few nervy moments as Locomotive FC’s shots continued to miss wide.

Schantz won the tactical battle Saturday night, as Phoenix Rising’s ability to defend and apply continuous pressure allowed for PRFC to exploit El Paso’s possession game on the counterattack which was never more evident than on Solomon Asante’s assist to Ben Spencer for an easy tap-in.

PRFC was able to fire 12 shots at the El Paso goal, two of which were miraculously saved by Ketterer and will most likely add to the list of Save of the Week nominees against Phoenix.

In all, Rising is continuing to improve every match defensively. And although the scoring pace has slowed down the last two games, PRFC not playing from behind is a major contributor, as the team doesn’t have to push up to equalize like it did in the first three matches of the season. Schantz will be happy with his side’s performance, as their talent is finally being rewarded with results.

Phoenix Rising FC ends the Texas road trip on Wednesday as Phoenix take on another USL Championship newcomer in Austin Bold FC.

The match has a 5:30 p.m. kickoff time and can be viewed on CW, ESPN+ or streamed on

Penguin Air

Phoenix Rising FC

Phoenix Rising FC. (Ashley Orellana Photo)...
Jake Anderson

Phoenix Rising FC’s future at Wild Horse Pass remains an uncertainty

Phoenix Rising FC may have to find a new home following the conclusion of the 2022 USL Championship season.
6 days ago
U.S. forward Jesus Ferriera (9), center, celebrates his fourth goal against Grenada with Cristian R...
Associated Press

United States throttles Grenada in World Cup sendoff

Jesús Ferreira had a night to remember against an overwhelmed opponent in the United States' World Cup sendoff.
25 days ago
Phoenix Rising FC midfielder Irakoze “Koze” Donasiyano on loan from MLS side Nashville SC. (Pho...
Jake Anderson

Phoenix Rising FC signs Irakoze Donasiyano on loan from MLS side Nashville SC

Phoenix Rising FC announced on Friday the loan signing of midfielder Irakoze “Koze” Donasiyano from MLS side Nashville SC.
1 month ago
Phoenix Rising FC manager Rick Schantz walks out of the tunnel prior to a USL Championship match ag...
Jake Anderson

Rick Schantz eager to right Phoenix Rising’s ship: ‘It’s our Sparta moment’

Phoenix Rising FC manager Rick Schantz is eager to right the ship of his club, which has now lost three straight matches in all competitions.
1 month ago
Phoenix Rising FC goalkeeper Ben Lundt walks off the pitch after a 1-0, five-save clean sheet win o...
Jake Anderson

Phoenix Rising FC’s match away to New Mexico United postponed

Phoenix Rising FC's match away to New Mexico United on Saturday has been postponed, USL Championship announced on Friday.
2 months ago
Phoenix Rising FC midfielder Luis Seijas celebrates after scoring the game-winning goal in the 88th...
Jake Anderson

Luis Seijas’ worldie lifts Phoenix Rising FC over Miami for 6th straight win

Phoenix Rising FC won its sixth straight match in all comps after a 2-1 win over Miami FC at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler on Saturday night.
2 months ago
Rising capture first win of season with second consecutive shutout