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Canes Settle for Split with Blues
Nov. 5, 2018
⚽️ CANES 0 BLUES 2
Saturday, November 3rd, 2018
After a deluge in Ocala the night before, a crisp November morning glittered across the soggy pitch in North Central Florida, for a rematch between the top two squads in the BSYSL U15 Division. The 7-0 Ocala Hurricanes had staved off the well-manned Blues squad, 3-2, in the season opener, and clinched the championship last Saturday with a 9-1 win over Burgundy, extending the club's undefeated course across 25 matches and three seasons since its inception last fall. But today would be another story, as Coach Moreno's #2 Blues, 3-2-2 going into the rematch, were pumped for the upset and firing on all cylinders.
The Hurricanes opened the early match with a good surge and the first two shots, but the Blues made their first counterattack count, drawing the Canes keeper off his line a bit too early, and landing a goal from their right flank. The Canes returned pressure on the Blues goal after that. "We responded well to their first goal," said Canes coach Fred Miley. "We showed some composure and took the possession time and pressure back into our own hands." The Blues were called for a foul in their own box, as Tre Ward was maneuvering for a shot. Ward took the PK, but the Blues keeper deflected it to his right and the Canes did not capitalize before the first water break halted those skirmishes in front of the Blues net. "That first water break interrupted our momentum rebounding from the first goal," said Miley. "Moreno's squad regrouped well after that and took the second quarter."
The Blues reclaimed momentum and pressure from several breakaways that central defenders Jack Gorman and Josh Sieradzky scrambled to disrupt. Before halftime the Blues finally found a seam and landed their second goal with a low drive from distance through traffic, screening out Canes goalkeeper Josh Gangelhoff from a clear line of sight and a chance to react. "They were frustrated in the middle by Jack Gorman and Josh Sieradzki. That shot was cranked from a midfield loose ball situation," said Miley. "A page out of our own book."
Both squads ended the first half with only four shots on frame apiece, but only the Blues had anything to show for it. "They converted on half their shots before we knew what hit us," said Miley. "We had to reorganize our heads at halftime to face the biggest deficit in team history. I reminded them that we've strung many goals together many times for 38 on the season. It was just another chance to be who we are: a hard working, passing team."
The Hurricanes did indeed settle the match back into their own style with better passing in the second half, out-shooting the Blues, 5-2, and winning 4 corner kicks to the Blues 2 corner kicks. "We won about five high quality chances on their net," said Miley. Perhaps the most thrilling missed chance was a corner kick from Nate "Q" Quiroz to a header from Mia Liebegott that banged off the crossbar. "It was a tightly contested match," said Miley. "The second half was ours, as usual. We were never out of it and we never hung our heads. I was proud of the kids on both sides of this match. Several parents said it was an entertaining match to watch. Everyone showed up with their best. I just think our opponent was a little hungrier this time, and that's how any squad gets an extra step on the loose stuff."
Although his Hurricanes fired 9 shots on frame to the Blues 6, and earned 5 corner kicks to the Blues 4, those were not the numbers that determine a winner. "Coach Moreno's squad converted better on their chances. For me, that's the summary," said Miley. "We had nine shots on frame and five near misses. They have some experienced players, several older boys, and good goalkeeping. They physically pushed us off our passing game in the first half, and into more of their kick and run style. That's when they got up on us. A competitive match, and well officiated. They deserve the well-earned split."
After his U15 Ocala Hurricanes saw their 25-game undefeated streak across three seasons finally come to an end, he encouraged them to simply overcome the setback. "It's our only loss ever, but it's only a soccer game, and it's really just another opportunity to parallel soccer with life," said Miley. "Our one team word is OVERCOME."
Central defender Josh Sieradzki is the only triple crown soccer champion in the known history of his town and county to go 25 consecutive soccer matches undefeated. He started with Coach Miley as a seventh grader, and looks forward to trying out for the Forest High School Wildcats next year. "Hey, Josh, how does it feel to lose one?" Miley asked him with a wry smile in the post-game chat. Sieradzky, whose head was lowered for the talk, paused before the team, looked up at the coach, and then at everyone. "I don't really know what this is. It just doesn't feel right."
The 7-1 early champion Hurricanes next face Coach Hart's #3 Aqua squad (4-3-1) on Field 3 this Saturday, November 10th at 11:00. "Taking the championship early is like poking a stick into a bee's nest. The target is on our back now," said Miley. "We expected this, and we will need to prepare well for Coach Hart's squad. They played us tough the first time, and it won't be any easier for the rematch."
⚽️ BSYSL U15 BOX SCORE, 11/3/2018
WEEK 8 1ST HALF 2ND HALF FINAL
CANES 0 0 0
BLUES 2 0 2
⚽️ TEAM STATS, MATCH # 8
FOULS CK SAVES SOG GOALS
CANES 2 5 4 9 0
BLUES 4 4 8 6 2
1st half: Blues goal
~ 1st water break (0-1) ~
Halftime: Canes 0 Blues 2
~ 2nd water break (0-2) ~
FINAL: CANES 0 BLUES 2
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