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Box Score

Jun. 2, 2015

Sunday, May 31 - Even if the game was meaningless in the standings, the Freebird Ravens Black still looked to finish off the season on a high note.  Coming off their Patriot Cup win, the Ravens traveled to Heritage for the Sunday afternoon finale against KC Fusion Academy Henderson.  Though they were missing two starters, the Ravens Black jumped out to a 5-1 lead, looking to cruise to victory from there.  However, a funny thing happened on their way to an easy victory, as Fusion scored 3 straight goals to cut the lead to 5-4.  To their credit, the Ravens regained control and pulled away for a 7-4 victory over Fusion!

The Ravens Black played about as good of a first half as they've played all season, especially considering they were shorthanded.  Off a gorgeous corner kick from Alex, Abby K crashed to the far post and one-timed the ball into the net for a 1-0 lead.  A few minutes later, Madison delivered a lovely cross over to Kennedy.  The young but talented striker knew what to do with it, as she slid the ball past the Fusion keeper for a 2-0 lead.

Late in the first half, Emma hit an absolute bomb of a punt that cleared the last Fusion defender.  Abby K sprinted on to the ball and calmly buried it into the goal, making it 3-0.  Finally, with about a minute left in the half, Madison tracked down another Emma punt.  From the left side - and about 35 yards out - she looked up to see the Fusion keeper pushed up in the penalty box.  The strong-legged Madison then launched a left-footed blast high over the keeper's head and into the far post corner, making it 4-0 at halftime.  What a fantastic shot by Maddie!

The only downer of the first half was when Jade went down with a nasty cut over her nose.  With blood pouring down her face, the tough Ravens defender had to leave the game, which made an already small bench even smaller.

Coach Duke talked to the Ravens Black at halftime about not giving the Fusion team any hope or confidence, to start the second half in strong fashion.  Unfortunately, they did just the opposite, as they failed to match the ramped-up intensity of Fusion.  Fusion scored to cut the lead to 4-1, but then the Ravens answered.  On a questionable call that gave the Ravens a penalty kick, Coach Duke called on Mia A to take it.  She calmly stepped up and ripped a blast high into the right corner of the goal, as it skimmed off the crossbar and down into the goal.  Back up by four goals, the Ravens seemingly thought the game was in the bag.  But that thought process - and the shrunken bench - allowed Fusion to come back and wear down the Ravens.   The play began to get a little more physical - especially on Fusion's part - and the young referees had a tough time keeping control.  On one play, Alex was knocked down by a Fusion player, and a penalty kick was inexplicably called on Alex - after the Fusion parents loudly influenced the young ref.  Justice seemed to be served as the PK was kicked over the crossbar, but before you could blink, Fusion soon scored 3 straight goals.  Suddenly, with about 3 minutes left, it was a a 5-4 game!

The Ravens Black needed to regain control of the game, and Kennedy H allowed them to do just that.  Brianna sent over a gorgeous cross from the right side, and Kennedy H settled and finished beautifully to push the lead to 6-4.  A minute later, Kennedy H struck again, completing a sweet hat trick as she drove around the Fusion defense and poked a shot into the far post corner to make the final 7-4!

Though it wasn't pretty at times - especially in that second half - the Ravens Black had to be satisified with the victory.  After a near flawless first half, they showed a ton of heart and character in pulling away from victory when things got tense.  The Ravens certainly finished this spring season in strong fashion!




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