Thursday night marked the first of several scrimmages S2 will play in the team’s inaugural preseason. The squad took on the Sounders FC Academy U-18s under the lights and quite a bit of rain at Starfire Sports.
The game started with S2 dominating much of the possession and getting good looks on goal, but unable to put the ball in the back of the net.
“I think we came out in the first 20 minutes or so we had our chances but didn’t necessarily take them well,” said S2 Head Coach Ezra Hendrickson. “When you let teams hang around like that sometimes it comes back to bite you. Fortunately for us we were able to get three goals by the end of the first half to put the game out of reach.”
The first of those three goals came on a 25-yard free kick that he curled into the top right corner.
A few minutes later, S2 got its second goal when a low cross was tapped in past an outstretched Academy keeper. Moments later, the same trialist scored again when he worked himself into scoring position again and blasted home a shot from six yards out.
The Academy earned one back in the first few minutes of the second half. After an impressive run down the right side, the Academy player carried the ball through the backline and took a shot from a tight angle, sneaking it past two defenders and inside the near post.
S2 answered right back with a near identical goal on the opposite end of the field as another trialist slid beneath a defender to get his foot to a ball on the far edge of the box. The keeper got a fingertip to the shot, but it wasn’t enough to keep it from going in.
A late challenge in a dangerous position by an S2 defender set up a stunner of a free kick goal from another Academy standout from 20 yards out.
S2 had the final word, though, when a trialist made three defenders follow him deep into the box, only to pass the ball back to an unmarked S2 player waiting for his chance. He took it with a one-time shot that rocketed past the Academy keeper. The game ended with a score of 5-2.
“When you play games like this you have to take your chances, and mental lapses cost us the two goals we gave up,” said Hendrickson. “You can’t complain when you win 5-2, but on one goal it was a bad tackle late in the game at the top of the box.”
With only four more weeks until S2 plays its inaugural home match against the defending champions Sacramento Republic FC, Hendrickson realizes there is still plenty of work to do with the new club.
“Things like that can’t happen but I thought it was a good response by the guys having never played together besides the last three days in training,” he said. “But that’s why we’re here, so we can improve each day and get ready for Sacramento on the 21st.”
Tomorrow, the team will take on University of Portland in another preseason scrimmage hosted at Starfire Sports field three at 1:00 p.m. PST. The match is free and open to the public.