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Arlington again falls short despite outplaying opposition
More than any other sport the results of a soccer match do not always indicate which team dominated the game.
The Arlington Eagles faced off against the Stanwood Spartans in a Wesco North clash Sept. 15 and completely outplayed the Spartans. Their superiority in the midfield was not rewarded as they lost 1-0 on a flukey goal six minutes into the game.
In the games first minute Arlingtons Becca Wadey found herself on a breakaway against Stanwoods goalie. A flick header from Jessica Van Loo sent Wadey past the Spartan defense and free in front of the keeper. Wadeys shot from 12 yards was well struck, but not well enough as a flailing Stanwood goalie made a fine save. The wasted chance would prove costly to the Eagles as the Spartans got a break of their own minutes later.
The Spartans opened the scoring when their center forward split two Eagle defenders thanks to a marking miscommunication just six minutes into the game. Eagle goalkeeper Andrea Parlin was helpless to stop the wide open breakaway, giving Stanwood an early 1-0 lead.
The lead hurt Arlingtons chances in more ways than one. In addition to trailing by a goal, the deficit allowed Stanwood to play a very ugly, physical brand of soccer that would have been better classified as assault-and-battery with the occasional kicking of a ball. Elbows flew and several rough challenges went into Arlingtons players legs. Stanwood never built any attack up in the midfield, nor did they need to as they continually sent long balls forward hoping to find defensive cracks.
Arlingtons superiority in possession, particularly Van Loo and Kristen Allen, made the Spartans look sloppy and poorly organized. Allen and Van Loo continually dodged defenders in the middle of the field with their dribbling skills, finding open wings along the sidelines. Arlington won a number of corner kicks and had several opportunities in front of their opponents net to level the score but no goals to show for it. The Eagles even had a goal called back on a dubious offsides call off a free kick.
Toward the end of the match, a pressing Eagles team nearly produced the equalizer. Van Loo found herself loose in front of the net on a cross and fired a shot in on goal. The shot was deflected by a sliding defender and came toward midfielder Morgan Galusha on the left side who went to shoot and was blatantly tackled. The tackle went unpenalized by the referee as a mystified Coach Nathan Davis could only shake his head in disappointment. Stanwood managed to hold on 30 more seconds until the final whistle blew, earning an underwhelming 1-0 victory.
Afterward Coach Davis felt good about his teams performance, but frustrated with the result.
Thats one thing about soccer, he said. You can outplay a team and still lose. We had plenty of opportunities to score, but we are waiting too long to pull the trigger. Ive got too many girls that want to be playmakers and not enough who want to shoot the ball. We cant have four or five should-have-beens ever game.
Arlingtons strikers will certainly need to be more ambitious in future matches in order to give the team the results they deserve. In both matches this week Arlington saw numerous chances squandered in front of their opponents net, effectively costing them the games.
Davis explained, Im going to work with our midfielders on being more willing to shoot. It cant only come from the forwards. Weve got to have some girls step up and take chances.
Arlingtons next game is Sept. 20 against Monroe.