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Hurricanes Shut Out Smokies, Stay Perfect
Oct. 21, 2018
⚽️ Hurricanes 3 Smokies 0
The BSYSL's U15 league-leading Ocala Hurricanes showed up early for warm-ups on dew-drenched Field 3, spreading out for pre-game passing drills in their Navy blue and white jerseys. This was their first early match of the season, allowing them a full preparation complete with Spotify jams punctuating their bench under the canopy for the rising sun. GiGi Leon, Logan Richie, and Chase Richie were chosen captains of the day after their excellent week of practice, and speaking captain Chase reported that the Hurricanes lost the toss and would face the low sun with the first kickoff. The first quarter unfolded as a tough scoreless battle with five fouls between the two squads, two corner kicks for the Canes, and the Canes out-shooting the Smokies, 4-1. "It was a skirmishy first quarter," said Coach Miley. The Gray squad ran hard at us, and we ran hard at them. We got a bit caught up in their one-on-one style, and didn't really put our signature on the match till after the first water break."
Central midfielder Tre Ward opened the scoring shortly after the break, with an unassisted breakaway. "Tre clearly wanted a statement goal to pick up the first edge," Coach Miley said. "You could see that in his body language on that decisive breakaway and nonchalant finish. That put our squad back onto our own business plan." Just before halftime, left midfielder Ryan Gorman made it 2-0 on a scrappy assist from Tessa emerging from some thick traffic at the top of the Smokies box. The second quarter took six more Canes shots to pan out those first two goals.
Ryan inserted another halftime pep talk on playful request from his teammates, and then promptly added the final tally for his team after being moved to the striking line about ten minutes into the second half. Ryan (#11) took a hard won feed from Mia -- her team-leading fifth assist on the season. Mia worked the ball down the right flank past two defenders before her perfect cross. Ryan moved in from the left side and took that cross past resistance from a defender and the Smokies goalkeeper at the far post, for the highlight goal of the day. The two slapped hands after the beautiful play. "That's the stuff we practice," said Miley. "That play was exactly who we are."
Ryan's second goal was the fifth Canes shot of the quarter, and fifteenth of sixteen that his team would take this day. It was the play that locked things down for the Canes before the final water break. Everything after that would settle mostly back into the trenches at midfield. "That's the moment we took the match for our own," said Miley. "Ryan practices what he preaches. He has seven goals for his squad, and each of them meant more to his team than just a score. His goals swing his team forward to victory. Ryan is not just a winner. He moves his team to winning ways."
The Hurricanes then held onto the U15 league's first shutout of this spring season. The Hurricanes defense silenced the Smokies especially in the second half, allowing no shots at all. "They had two scary good chances on our net," said Miley, "and we squandered more than our fair share, so we have some work to do. Thirteen of our shots on goal were saved, and we knocked three over the bar from close range -- we will be working more on our shots. Josh Gangelhoff had a good day in goal, and our diamond defense picked up the league's first shutout of the season today. Our defense is coming along nicely."
Handling their first rematch with strong focus and resolve against the hard working Smokies, the Hurricanes maintain their perfect start, outscoring all opponents so far, 29-7. It would appear that their teamwork and confidence continue to build momentum for more heavy impact. "We know the difference between respect and fear," said their coach. "We respect how hard that squad worked and the way they came at us with all they had. But we also knew we had nothing to be afraid of if we just went on with the business of who we are together -- we are very simply a hard-working, passing team. That is what we expect of ourselves."
The 6-0 Ocala Hurricanes face Burgundy for Game 7 at 11:00 on Field 4.
⚽️ MATCH #6 TEAM STATS, 10/20/2018
FOULS CK SAVES SOG GOALS
CANES 5 4 3 16 3
GRAY 4 2 13 3 0
BOX SCORE 1ST HALF 2ND HALF FINAL
CANES 2 1 3
GRAY 0 0 0
~ 1st water break (0-0) ~
HALFTIME: CANES 2 GRAY 0
2nd half: Ryan/Mia
~ 2nd water break (3-0) ~
FINAL: CANES 3 GRAY 0
Mid-season team video -- "Keep the Momentum":
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