Three early goals doom Arlington in conference match

ARLINGTON — The Eagles just couldn't keep up with the Monroe Bearcats, losing 4-1 in a Wesco North contest March 23.

By the time Arlington was ready to play, it was trailing 3-0 at John C. Larson Stadium.

"The first half we just didn't play our style," said Arlington manager Michael Gudgeon. "We didn't apply any pressure — they were able to make any pass they wanted."

Despite conceding the aerial game and being beaten on most 50-50 balls, the Eagles were able to hold off the Bearcats for the first 20 minutes and created genuine scoring opportunities.

Monroe broke the clean sheet, however in the 24th minute from cross that spit out Gustavo Orbe after two Arlington defenders and a Monroe attacker collided for possession near the area. Orbe was able to take his time and place his attempt for a 1-0 lead.

Less than a minute later, the Bearcats scored again on an errant cross that went through the Eagles' defense to midfielder Andrew Barrett, who had time to touch the ball twice and chip it over Arlington keeper Cory Ferris from about the penalty spot.

Perhaps a little disorganized without forward Jake Smith on the pitch, but Monroe seemed to take Arlington by surprise with both its speed and its aggressive attack early on.

"We've got some of the nicest kids, but we've faced a couple teams now that have been all over us," Gudgeon said. "That's something we're going to talk with the guys about at practice because it doesn't get any easier with the other teams in this league."

Monroe added another score before half to own a 3-0 lead.

Arlington played the second half with urgency, yielding more positive results. The Eagles earned chances to score right away, two of which were saved by Monroe position players after being beat by the keeper. Arlington broke through, however, in the 53rd minute on a set piece from 45 yards out. Midfielder Kevin Krogmann placed the free kick inside the area to Dylan Selia-Pettit who headed it in amid traffic.

"We refocused in the second half and played with them," Gudgeon said.

Gudgeon pointed to the play of Josh Scarth and Selia-Pettit as the key to Arlington's turnaround in the second half.

Monroe added another goal in the 67th minute.

The loss evens Arlington's record at 2-2.

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