Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Comeback Victory

(The post below is best read with a British accent.)

Monday evening, the Antioch men's indoor soccer team evened their new season's record at one game apiece with a stunning come-from-behind victory over Fuerza Uno. Trailing 4-1, 5-2, and 7-5, the men in the white jerseys eventually combined commitment to defense, strong open-field passing, and relentless pressure on the opponents' goal to produce a sparkling 8-7 win.

Missing some of its top players, the Antioch side started off tentatively, especially on defense, and found themselves on the wrong side of the ledger throughout the first half. Indeed, the visitors only drew level in the fortieth minute of the (44-minute-long) game and never led until the forty-second minute. They enjoyed balanced scoring, however, with two goals apiece from Emi Popa (on loan from the Romanian league) and Kesh Phillips (seeing his first action of the year), and a hat trick from Nate Gerhardt. With the absence of midfield partner Tyler Fetters, Gerhardt was asked to control the center; he did himself credit, and Phillips, Popa, and steady defender Jason Wilkins helped him to keep the home team continually on their heels in the second half.

Landon Miller added a crucial goal late, and his presence in the opponents' box kept their defenders busy. Antioch also received valuable minutes from newcomer Chris Sterry. Jasper Gerhardt anchored the defense with a gutsy, hard-fought performance, and his telling runs forward repeatedly created scoring opportunities (and two assists) for his mates. Popa's two goals were the critical ones, with the first knotting the score and the second proving to be the game-winner.

Antioch will look to build upon this big win in their next game, Wednesday, January 28th. Some seats are still available for that game (with a 10:10 start time) at the Central Oregon Indoor Soccer Center.

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