PHOENIX RISING FC

Andre Rawls’ 9 stops saves a point for Phoenix Rising in scoreless draw

Aug 21, 2021, 11:12 PM | Updated: 11:15 pm
Phoenix Rising FC goalkeeper Andre Rawls. (Phoenix Rising FC Photo)....
Phoenix Rising FC goalkeeper Andre Rawls. (Phoenix Rising FC Photo).
(Phoenix Rising FC Photo)

CHANDLER, Ariz. — Phoenix Rising FC goalkeeper Andre Rawls made a season-high nine saves in a 0-0 draw against Sacramento Republic FC on Saturday night.

The nine stops mark the most for a Phoenix Rising GK on the 2021 USL Championship campaign, which keeps PRFC unbeaten (7W-3D-0L) at Wild Horse Pass.

“Defensively, we were unbelievable. Andre Rawls was fantastic,” Rising manager Rick Schantz said postgame. “I feel like I made the right decision tonight to give him the game and he stepped up.

“There were moments when we got a bit frustrated. We put our heads down. There were some second balls where we let them have opportunities. He saved our butts tonight. We all owe Andre a very big thank you. We’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

Phoenix held a 4-1 edge in corner kicks through the first 22 minutes of the match and produced three shots on goal while Sacramento had none.

The Republic’s first shot of the match came in the 28th minute following a foul by Rising center back James Musa 40 yards from goal. Dariusz Formella set up the chance for the visitors by playing a centering pass to the top of the box for Mario Penagos. Penagos turned to his right and struck a low, hard shot toward the near post but Rawls was in position to make a diving save to his right side to block the attempt.

Sacramento nearly went ahead two minutes into the second half when Penagos spun his defender at the top right corner of the area and blasted a shot toward the far post. Rawls looked back to track the shot and watched as it smacked off the woodwork, keeping the match tied at 0-0.

Rawls was tested again in the 53rd minute, making a diving save to his left side on a free kick taken by Formella from just outside the area.

Schantz tried to swing the tide with three substitutions in by the 62nd minute. Prince Saydee, Arturo Rodriguez and Joey Calistri — all of Phoenix’s available offensive options — were sent into the match with 28 minutes left to play.

“We didn’t shoot. It’s not that it’s not clicking, teams are playing with nine guys behind the ball,” Schantz said. “We’ve worked on it this week. We’re seeing five on the back line and we weren’t getting crosses in. We weren’t getting guys into the box. They weren’t committing. There were no cutbacks.

“When you get a team pinned back like that, you got to be willing to shoot. We’re looking for the perfect opportunity to score rather than just letting it rip. It’s something that hopefully with Darren [Mattocks] here, we’ll have an experienced forward. I think that he will take those chances. David still has to learn to be more dangerous. Overall, Solo [Asante], Santi [Moar], all the midfielders, when we start to struggle, they take too many touches. When we play slow and try to make it an individual game, we’re in trouble. We have to get back to two-touch and movement off the ball.”

Rawls made his seventh save of the night, slapping a hard shot from distance over the bar in the 80th minute and his eighth in the 83rd minute, setting up a chance for Rodriguez to score a game-winner in stoppage time.

“Exhausted. Tiring game, long game, frustrating game,” Rawls said. “We had our moments. We had strong moments. We were really good in the first half. We battled in the second half.

“We really wanted three points. We could have had three points there but at the end of the day, I’ll take the point. I’ll take the clean sheet. It was great work from the defense. We’ve got a tough week up ahead. We have to put this behind us and focus on Oakland on Wednesday.”

EXTRA TIME

PRFC captain Asante was taken out of the match in the 52nd minute due to an apparent non-contact injury, which Schantz didn’t have an update on after the match.

UP NEXT

Phoenix Rising hits the road to take on Oakland Roots SC on Wednesday night, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. Catch all the action on ArizonaSports.com or the Arizona Sports App.

Phoenix Rising FC contributed to this story.

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Phoenix Rising FC

Phoenix Rising FC forward Darren Mattocks challenges for a ball in a 1-1 draw against Sacramento Re...
Jake Anderson

Draw keeps Rising’s home unbeaten streak, regular-season title hopes alive

In front of 9,236 fans at Wild Horse Pass -- the most ever in attendance in club history -- PRFC rescued a point from Sac Republic at 1-1.
5 days ago
Phoenix Rising FC manager Rick Schantz (Arizona Sports/Ashley Orellana)...
Arizona Sports

Phoenix Rising FC extends HC Rick Schantz through 2024

Phoenix Rising FC and head coach Rick Schantz have agreed to a contract extension that will keep him with the club through 2024.
6 days ago
Phoenix Rising center backs Niall Dunn (left) and Joe Farrell (middle) defend against Las Vegas Lig...
Arizona Sports

Rising FC wins goal-fest in Vegas, keeps pressure on Tampa for No. 1 spot

Phoenix Rising reclaims the No. 1 spot in USL Championship on 65 points with two matches remaining -- meaning a max of 71 points possible.
12 days ago
(Photo courtesy of Phoenix Rising FC)...
Arizona Sports

Phoenix Rising loses control of home-field advantage after loss to OC

Phoenix Rising FC dropped a 1-0 decision away to Orange County SC on Wednesday night at Championship Soccer Stadium in Irvine, California.
15 days ago
Phoenix Rising FC goalkeeper Andre Rawls in PRFC's 1-0 win over Oakland Roots SC on Oct. 9, 2021 at...
Jake Anderson

Andre Rawls, Phoenix Rising extend unbeaten runs with shutout home win

The win brings Phoenix Rising's 2021 home record to 11W-3D-0L and goalkeeper Andre Rawls' record to 14W-4D-0L when starting in net for PRFC.
19 days ago
Phoenix Rising FC manager Rick Schantz celebrates winning the Pacific Division with captain Solomon...
Jake Anderson

Phoenix Rising crowned Pacific Division champs after win over Orange County

Phoenix Rising FC was crowned 2021 champions of the Pacific Division following a 1-0 win away to Orange County SC on Saturday night.
25 days ago
Andre Rawls’ 9 stops saves a point for Phoenix Rising in scoreless draw