Force Double Header Weekend Ends Losing Slide Part 1

7.8.17

Going into the July 8th-9th double header weekend the Olympic Force men's team had hit a bit of a rough patch and were in desperate need of another gear to power out of the slide.  In their previous 3 games the Force had not only lost all 3 but a defense that was one of the tops in the league prior to that stretch gave up 11 goals over that period. That's 5 more goals against than in their first 6 games.  Add in only one goal for, and you have your answer how a team drops from 3rd in the table to 6th in the table.

So, with the first game on Saturday away at Washington Premier South Sound FC, a team that the Force had already taken 3 points from earlier in the season, the Force were hoping to get right again.  With the Force a little short on center backs and coaches due to a difficult day away at Spokane the previous weekend, GM Micah McMonagle would be on the touchline and midfield/forward Izzy De Luna would be playing center back along side Big Viss, Isak Visser.

In the first half, both teams traded chances.  WPSSFC would get a shot and then the Force would get one.  King Lewy would make a save and then the Shock keeper would make a save.  The first half was all about Alex, Alex and Joe.  Alex Hernandez ran ragged up and down the left side, whipping crosses in and cutting in onto his right foot and hitting shots.  Alex Bradbury was making runs through the middle of the Shock defense, getting on the end of crosses and slashing shots at the Shock goal.  Joe Sammartino was mirroring what Hernandez was doing on the left side from his position on the right.  Every shot the Force took on target was saved but bobbled by the Shock keeper.  Half way through the first half, the Force finally beat the Shock keeper when Sammartino burst around his defender on the right and cut the ball back to Bradbury who lashed a shot that had the keeper dead to rights but smashed the wrong side of the post and went wide.

In the second half, the Force should have legitimately been a man up when the Shock brought on a sub who got a yellow card in his first 30 seconds on the field.  In the next 4 minutes the same player committed 2 more fouls that could have been a second yellow card but the referee generously kept the card in his pocket.  Then, after a 4th foul in less than 10 minutes, Aceves put the ball down and put the ball in play quickly.  The same player reached down, with his HAND, and prevented the ball from going by.  According to the rules of the game, this should have been a straight red but the player somehow escaped without a card and realizing the danger their player was putting them in, Shock coach Becker immediately subbed him off the field.

In the final 10 minutes, the Shock scored a very nice goal on a ball laced through the box that Visser and Ricigliano couldn't get cleared ahead of the Shock attacker.  The Shock were up 1-0 and the Force started to push hard for the equalizer.  Finally, with a minute to go in regulation the Force were presented with a free kick from distance.  De Luna stepped up to take the kick and looped a ball on target towards the goal line and Big Viss.  Fortunately for the Force, the Shock keeper's difficulties in hanging on to the ball continued as it slipped through his fingers and into the net.  Both teams would have liked to continue playing to get the 3 points but both teams were denied this opportunity by only 2 minutes of added time.  A point that neither coach could believe after two goals, 8 substitutions, an injury and a few yellow cards.  However, the game came to an end with the Force leaving with a point and officially having brought an end to the 3 game skid.  Izzy De Luna and Big Viss were voted the Cervesa Modelo Men of the Match for the game and it meant that they would win the season series against South Sound, a team that until this year, they had never beaten before.