CARY, N.C. - No. 2 North Carolina FC downed No. 3 Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC, 3-1, on Saturday evening at WakeMed Soccer Park to advance to the club's first USL League One Final.
Already confirmed as the biggest jump up the table from one season to the next in league history (11th to 2nd), NCFC will aim to cap off a special season by lifting the USL League One Final trophy ahead of its return to the USL Championship in 2024. The 2023 USL League One Final will be the first final the 17-year-old NCFC has participated in since falling to the Puerto Rico Islanders in the 2010 USSF Division 2 Professional League Final.
RCD Mallorca academy product and Florida International University standout defender, David Garcia, was the difference-maker in NCFC's victory over the Hailstorm. The first-year professional tallied an 18-minute brace - the first of his professional career - to push North Carolina to the brink of victory. Late goals by Louis Perez and Marky Hernández would see the match end in favor of North Carolina FC, 3-1. With the win, NCFC moves to 2-6-1 in semifinal matches across its 17-season history.
D - David Garcia (NC) – The first-year professional proved to be incredibly important in North Carolina's massive semifinal victory. The Spanish defender notched his first professional brace and added seven duels won, four clearances, one interception and completed 86% of his passes.