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November 7th, 2004: Hawks 4 Rangers 1
The Hawks final regular season WPL matchup found them facing Rangers FC on a sunny indian summer day in November. With temperatures in the low 70's, the squad was able to throw their UnderArmour garments to the side and enjoy a truly beautiful day for football. Still smarting from the last weekend of WPL play, the Hawks were eager to finish the season strong, albeit with a limited squad. The Rangers came into the contest on the day with the fewest losses in the WPL (1), but struggling to get coveted wins with a record of 3-1-4. In a match that saw the Hawks slowly build ever increasing momentum, the team was able to overcome the Rangers for a convincing 4-1 win to end their WPL regular season.

The game began with the Hawks showing some rust from their 2 week layoff and with Rangers applying most of the pressure in the first 20 minutes. The Hawks defense, however, was up to the initial challenge and as the minutes wore on, the squad was able to build threatening attacks. The defense held strong, thanks in no small part to keeper Pierre Fults, who was able to make a fantastic kicksave from an uncontested Rangers forward breakaway that kept the score 0-0 in the 20th minute. As in so many of these WPL contests, the team that scores first has a considerable advantage and the Hawks were thankfully able to convert first in the 30th minute. Center middie Alan Golden was able to slip a nuanced through ball to forward Craig Cochran, who met the ball an instant before the on-rushing Rangers keeper for the 1-0 margin. Halftime score, Hawks - 1, Rangers - 0.

The second half continued with Hawks defense able to stave off the Rangers attack and aggressively countering with nice interplay from the striker and midfield core. The Hawks struck again in the 60th minute when Alan Golden fed the leather to outside middie Justin Bodiya on the flanks, 40 yards from the prize. Justin streaked down the left side of the pitch, dusted two defenders and cranked a knuckling, low, hard shot at the keeper from about 18 yards. The shot struck the keeper's outstretched hands and trickled into the net. Hawks up 2-0. Five minutes afterwards, Alan Golden received the ball from Craig Cochran on the left side of the pitch. Alan danced around 2 defenders, and laced a blazing shot to the far side netting from 20 yards, leaving the Rangers keeper with no chance. Hawks up 3-0 at the 65 minute mark. Keeper Pierre Fults made another spectacular reaction save in the box to keep the Rangers from finding the net in the 70th minute. The final Hawks tally was recorded in the 85th minute when defender-turned-midfielder Jon Knight found striker Craig Cochran off a clearance. A pretty series of passing found Craig Cochran receiving a ball deep in the Rangers box and able to play a one-time ball backwards to oncoming midfielder, Mike Williams who, despite advancing arthritis, was able to place a nice shot to the left upper 90. Hawks up 4-0. Rangers countered shortly thereafter when they were able to convert off a fortuitous ricochetted clearance just before the final whistle.

All in all the game was a solid performance and a much needed victory. The defensive corps of Yuri Sudhakar, Alex Peacher, Chris Douglas, John Stephens, Brian Guerin, and kepper Pierre Fults did a great job of managing the difficult Rangers forwards. The experienced and saavy presence of center midfielder Mike Williams was certainly felt by all, and let's not forget the great efforts of Alan Golden, Justin Bodiya, Geoff Thompson, Craig Cochran, and Jono Dyrsdale. The team provided a gritty Rangers squad with their worst loss of the season, and finished with a 4-4-1 WPL regular season record, good for fifth place. A tough pill to swallow after being in first place after 6 games, but to be the WPL regular season champs, consistent attendance and intense effort is a prerequisite for all 9 games. The bottom line is the Hawks were able to cement the respect of other top teams in the league and enjoy the comraderie and the more than occasional brilliance of solid, entertaining soccer. With several offseason acquisitions in the cards, look for the Hawks to deliver on their long-anticipated move to the top of the WPL table in the Spring.

The Hawks next take action on Sunday November 21st in a 2nd round USASA National Amateur Cup game vs. the winner of a November 11th matchup between LCC(WPL) and Fan Rats (CVSA) - www.fanrats.org) in Richmond. The game will take place at 3 PM on the Gunston artificial turf field in Arlington.
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Other WPL Scores on The Week:
Rangers FC - 4, Village Settlements - 1
Glover Park - 4, Reds - 3
Quilmes - 1, La Universitario - 0
LCC - 7, Village Settlements - 3
Emerald Knights - 2, La Universitario - 2

Relegated from Premier: La Universitario, Emerald Knights
Promoted from First Div: Pour House United (Fraternum Magnum), World Bank


News/Match Report Archives

 


Scorers
Craig Cochran - 30'
Justin Bodiya - 60'
Alan Golden - 65'
Mike Williams - 80'
Rangers FC - 85'

Assists
Alan Golden - 30'
Alan Golden - 60'
Craig Cochran - 65'
Craig Cochran - 80'

Saves
Pierre Fults - 3

MVP
Craig Cochran - ST

Honorable Mention
Pierre Fults - GK


 

 

 

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