A win and two ties not enough for Red at Superclubs,,,

Posted by Tammy Lamberson on May 07 2006 at 05:00PM PDT
Red entered Superclubs without the services of John and Chase, but were up to the task for strong Regional play. Our first game against West Tn. Dragons was not our best as defensive mistakes allowed two easily prevented goals. We missed having John in the back, but at the same time, our learning curve was ramping up in a way that would be critical in the next games. Fortunately, we found a way to get two in to bring us to a tie against a team that plays good soccer, but does not match up that well physically. Our first goal was a nice far post grounder from the left wing. The 2nd goal that tied us at 2-2 was a great lesson that effort and persistence will often yield a goal, as our right forward pressed on when their keeper did not grab the loose ball in the box. Our second game of the day Saturday was a little better. We played TNFC from Nashville who we had played to a 0-0 tie in the fall at the GIT. Incredibly, our stopper fired a worm-burner from long distance that got under the keeper's hands for a goal only 30 seconds into the game! After closer inspection, we noticed that the TNFC keeper was actually the NW Arkansas keeper guesting for TNFC. The game was a good one with a lot of back and forth play leading to a couple of nice looks that we could not finish (one off a perfectly disguised heel pass that set our forward with room and no pressure). Finally, we got a good laser from the left forward that found the back of the net. We finished with a win 3-2 on a very nice effort. Our right wing forced his way past two defenders who tried to out-muscle our strongest player. After getting past them, he got off a nice driven cross just before a 3rd defender could clear and our left wing flew to the ball for a perfect left-footed volley goal to finish the scoring. This game was also noteworthy for our keeper play, who saved several tough shots on goal from close range to preserve the victory. Sunday morning we faced the #2 team in Tennessee, the Gryphons from Memphis. They won 7-0 over the same team we tied 2-2. This left us in a must win to move on scenario. Coach's previous day's manhood challenge to Red worked as we played our best soccer of the weekend. We tied them last fall in our only meeting as team United in Little Rock. This game was tight as expected, and well-played by both teams. 0-0 at the half. Our defense had now jelled and was keeping out the opposing attack well enough that our keeper did not have near the work of the previous two games. We got a goal in midway through the second half on another persistent effort goal from the left forward. Jubilation was high as we envisioned the semis. But with 5 minutes left in the game, the smallest player on the field found himself unmarked on the back side and headed in the tieing goal that put us out of the semis. Coach was pleased overall with the improvement made by our last game and now we can focus on the big State tourney in less than a month...Go United!!


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