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JDF-55 Nails Coffin on Pen Masters-55, 3-1

JDF-55 Nails Coffin on Pen Masters-55, 3-1
March 11, 2018, 2pm, Blue Heron

On a beautiful, sunny, and mild Sunday afternoon we faced a Pen Master team that was eager for a win over the JDF-55 squad.  We had a solid roster that showed, with Rick P back from injury and enough of the regular group to give us about 13 or 14 players.  The play was quite evenly matched for the first half.  They surprised us with an energizer bunny center midfielder who ran all over the field and created some danger against us.  But we persisted with our attack, and our first goal came about 30 minutes in when Dwight took a through-pass to the left corner, then worked it in and made a sharp ground-cross to Paulo in the goalie area.  Paulo slid his shot under the diving goalie and into the right corner of the net.  We would have gone into the half with a two-goal lead, but the ref said Joel's header off a corner kick didn't actually cross the goal line...everyone else knew it had, even the other team.  In the second half we came out stronger, and we just about scored on a nice series of combination passes between Paulo and Joel, but we took one too many touches and the goalie prevailed.  Then they quickly counter-attacked and caught us off-guard.  Rob came out of his goalie area to fend off the attack and they lobbed a looper over his head and into the goal to tie it up 1-1.  To Rob's credit, he had made a beautiful save (with his hands, even) only 5 minutes earlier, although the play was called offside in the end.  We continued to fight and attack, clearly outplaying the opponents throughout the half, and desperate to take the lead again.  Tommy, Peter, Kim, and Donny found their groove to consistently shut down any attacks they made, and the ball was quickly and easily pushed forward time after time.  We finally prevailed with a second goal after a nice cross into the area that Paulo headed expertly into the side-net.  And in the last minute of the game, we sealed the deal when Rob (relieved at last of his goalie duties by injured Dave O) delivered a nice corner kick, looping it over the defense and to the far post where Joel was waiting alone to head it through the goalie's legs and into the net.  A 3-1 finish and a great game!

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