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Duncanville Tournament

January 21, 2013
Carroll Athletic Booster Club



Duncanville, TX - January 19, 2013 by K/J Horne

The Dragon men rebounded from a rare stumble against Irving to post a stirring victory over Jesuit on Friday evening.   In 2012, the Rangers had handed the Dragons one of their few losses of the year during this same tournament, so the atmosphere was dripping with anticipation across the crowd, top-heavy with Dragon supporters.   In the first half, the men showed flashes of great poise and patience, often stringing together multiple one-touch passes as they carved up the out-gunned Jesuit defense.  Noteworthy contributions were made by Karl mixing it up at forward, and Brad initiating promising transitions from the back which led to several opportunities for the relentless Shane.  True to form, the punishing Dragon defense exerted its will from side to side, with the few legitimate Jesuit opportunities easily dispatched by Turner.  Halfway into the first stanza, the Dragon crowd warmly welcomed back Jack F onto the pitch following his recent injury, and were treated to a spectacular bicycle kick that he just missed in the waning minutes.

The Dragon men came out strong in the second half.  Following an outstanding 1 on 1 defensive play by Michael, Winslow advanced the ball to Jack P, who escaped a trio of advancing defenders and then laid off a pinpoint pass to Brad for a dangerously close miss.  A well-positioned Patrick snared a couple Jesuit shots and contributed to Dragon runs with booming punts well across mid-field.  A few minutes further into the half, the Dragons’ patience paid off.  Shane juked two would-be defenders and launched a shot from a difficult angle that rocketed past the goalie into the back of the net.  Still the Dragons pressed on, with Tommy and Tanner controlling things in the middle and back, Paul slipping up the sidelines several times to contribute to offensive surges, and Walker and Ned maintaining possession against desperate Jesuit defenders.   With three minutes left, Jack F put on a solo dribbling exhibition from midfield to the thirty-five, evading those few defenders whose jaws had not yet dropped to the turf.  He passed to a streaking Winslow who dribbled right across the box with a defender in hot pursuit, spun quickly near the sideline, and launched a pass toward the far post.  A perfectly-positioned Jack P gathered in the pass amid three defenders and calmly blasted the ball in for the Dragons' second goal, ending all doubt with a convincing 2 nil win over the state’s previously number-four ranked team.

 

A sunny Saturday afternoon spotlighted the improving Dragon Men’s squad as they toppled Temple in the Duncanville tournament.  The first of many long passing combinations went from Jack F to Shane then to Jack P who just missed 5 minutes into the game.  A few minutes later, Brad placed a nice over-the-top ball to Shane, resulting in a corner kick and the usual frenzy in the box.  Later in the first stanza following a free kick, the ball scooted to Winslow who unleashed a screamer from 30 yards out that bent the goalie’s outstretched hand over the cross bar for a corner (ps: that’s going to leave a permanent mark…).   Jack F then dribbled and spun through the defenders and just missed a shot moments later.  While the Dragon mids and forwards were wreaking havoc, the defenders repelled every Temple effort, including some strong play logged by Michael, Zach, and Logan, continual forays up the sideline by Paul, and a shot by Tanner with 10 minutes left that skimmed the crossbar.   Only after some 30 minutes had elapsed did the opponent finally advance the ball into our box, and Patrick effortlessly denied any further damage.

 

The Dragons continued their relentless pressure in the second half, starting with an uninterrupted string of 11 straight passes that ended with a shot by Walker and a resulting corner kick.  Just 4 minutes into the half, a free kick by Tanner bounced around in the goalie box and was corralled by Tommy who slithered his way past two defenders and firmly placed the ball into the net.   Only 6 minutes later, another free kick, this time by Brad, found its way to Tommy again, who dutifully pounded it home for his second goal.  The Dragons generated countless corners in the half, and just missed with shots by Walker, a header by Ned, and then Tommy again glancing off the post.  Meanwhile, the Dragon’s depth shined forth with aggressive play by Baker, Conner, and Karl, while Jake showed hustle and creativity in the middle.  Midway through the half, soccer fans were treated to one of the more unusual yellow cards ever issued, as a parched Winslow was cited for drinking and playing.  I think we all can appreciate the refs’ good faith efforts to keep the game under control.   In other news, Jack P went Gangnam Style over, around, between, and betwixt the defenders before being fouled in the box.  The crowd chanted in unison “Tommy, Tommy, Tommy” hoping to see the Dragons’ first hat trick in a couple years.   However, it was not to be as normally ice-water-in-his-veins Tommy snapped hooked one to the left.  The Dragon mids and forwards finished the game strongly, with impressive coordination between Austin, Jake, and Baker, who just missed on a shot from 15 yards out, while the defenders closed out the game in dominating fashion with a critical header by Kyle and a save off a free kick by Turner staring directly into the sun to preserve the two nil shutout. 




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