If we could combine the second halves of last weekend’s games and make them a full 90, we would beat most teams in this country, no doubt about it. Unfortunately, that’s not how soccer works. Plying well for 45 minutes isn’t enough, when you made preventable, childish mistakes before. That’s exactly what happened to us during the weekend – twice. In both games, we simply didn’t play hard enough, good enough, focused enough to win the game.
On Friday against Utah Valley University, we weren’t on the field for the first half, neither mentally nor physically. Down 2:0 after less than 20 minutes, it seemed just a matter of time until UVU would give us the final hit and decide the game early on. However, we managed to survive until halftime. Some instructions from the coaches and captains later, we came out and started the game. Again. From scratch. But with a completely different mentality. Believing in our own strengths and abilities, determined to turn the game around. And we did. In the 58th minute, we cut UVU’s lead in half. A great play on the left flank by Uriel put Jonathan C. in scoring position inside the box, and he was able to shoot the ball past the goalie into the low right corner of the goal. We kept going and got awarded a free kick from 30 yards out. Luis, a Utah native, took the kick, caught the goalie cheating to the near post, and shot it to the far post, where it hit the inside and went into the goal to tie the game at 2:2 with 15 minutes to go.
2:2 with 15 minutes to go… Both teams had chances to win the game. But UVU was the lucky winner this time. In the 87th minute, they got awarded a penalty kick after I fouled their forward inside the box, trying to take the ball from his feet. The very player who scored the first two goals, the one who won the penalty, was the one to convert it and make it 3:2, with under two minutes to go. We weren’t able to come back from that. Hopefully, we will play UVU again in the conference tournament and then we’ll be the ones to take away the three points.
The story of Sunday’s game was similar: we “slept through” the first half against Seattle U, going into halftime 0:1 down. Just minutes into the second half, we got awarded a penalty kick after Rory was fouled in the box. However, he wasn’t able to convert the penalty and we continued to chase the equalizer throughout the remainder of the game. With a couple more scoring opportunities being left down the line, the game ended in a 0:1 loss.
The Seattle U game report is available here.