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Richland Winter Blast Tournament

January 12, 2013
Carroll Athletic Booster Club



Mid-Cities - January 11-12, 2013 - K/J Horne

The Dragon men rebounded with a strong effort against Trinity in the first game of the Richland Tournament on Thursday afternoon.  While thoroughly dominating the Trojans in all aspects of the match, the Dragon men emerged with a nil nil tie. 

On Friday afternoon against the Allen Eagles, the Dragons administered a dose of payback on behalf of their Dragon football friends.  Ten minutes into the game, Walker placed a corner nicely into the box and Michael headed it authoritatively past the goalie.  Closer to the end of the first half, the always-composed Dragons struck again.  The sequence began with an impressive throw-in by Paul which the Eagles tapped through the backline for a Dragon corner.  Another nice effort by Walker from the corner wreaked havoc in the box - arms and legs flailed about while bodies fell to the turf.  When the dust settled, the Dragons had chalked up another goal, perhaps attributable again to Michael, but clearly a direct result to the valiant efforts of several other Dragons as well.   With time running down in the first half, Tanner then served a long ball down the field which Paul headed brilliantly into the goal.  Some observers, including the refs and the timekeeper, believed time had expired.   However, the contingent of loyal Dragon fans mentally added that one to the tally, to make it 3-0 at halftime, despite the scoreboard protesting otherwise.

The second half featured the blanketing Dragon defense allowing scarcely a touch of the ball by Turner.  Time after time the defense disrupted fruitless efforts by the Eagles and started promising transitions for the Dragons.  The mids and forwards flummoxed the Eagle defense with quick passes, nice overlaps, and numerous near-misses.  At the final whistle, the Dragon men put yet another shutout into the books to the delight of the appreciative crowd.

 

The Dragon men notched two victories on Saturday, finishing up the Richland Winter Blast Tournament undefeated and unscored upon.  In the first game versus Northside, the Dragons had several chances early.  A great cross by Shane a couple minutes in resulted in a corner kick opportunity, and a near miss off that was followed by yet another well-placed corner by Walker.  The aggressive Dragon defense clamped down repeatedly, and Paul and Brad stepped up to midfield and beyond to initiate multiple scoring opportunities.   Less than ten minutes into the game, Paul dribbled down the right line, touched a nice pass to Tommy, who spun and rifled a left-footer with pinpoint accuracy into the goal from 30 yards out.  The remainder of the half featured strong contributions from Zach on defense, Ned distributing the ball in the middle, and Baker up front.  This well-oiled machine put together several longs strings of uninterrupted possessions over the first stanza, eerily reminiscent of FC Barcelona.  The second half featured the Carroll squad dominating in possession and pressuring the outmanned Northside team into continual errors.  When the final gun sounded, the Dragons emerged victorious one nil.

In the second game, the Dragons outhustled McKinney Boyd for every loose ball.  The Dragons mounted several serious challenges in the first half, narrowly missing each.  Jack F put a textbook move on a defender, and had one to beat at the 35 before being fouled hard.  The Dragon Soccer Nation wishes Jack a quick recovery and looks forward to the return of his evasive ball handling and dangerous shooting skills.  Facing a stiff wind in the second half, the Dragon defense turned back each Boyd challenge and displayed a depth of teamwork with significant contributions by Ned in the middle and Michael in the back.  At the end of regulation, the teams were still knotted at nil nil.  The Dragons went first in the shootout, with Winslow, Jack P, Tommy, Brad, Tanner, and Patrick converting, while Turner made a crucial save after a Dragon miss.  Walker then converted his shot, and Turner made a great save to clinch the win, scooted quickly across the field to evade the joyous Dragon squad, finally taking a stage dive at midfield to punctuate a successful tournament.




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