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April 4th, 2004: Hawks 1 Village Settlements 1
The Hawks opened up the Spring 2004 WPL campaign in a cold and windy 1-1 showdown against league rivals Village Settlements on April 4th. Wind gusts up to 30 MPH made the ball difficult to judge and created a sizeable advantage for both teams in different halves. Village Settlements started the game with the wind to their backs and took advantage of the inability of the Hawks defense to play the long ball up to their striker corps. Behind a solid possession game, Settlements definitely had the advantage in the opening half and were able to dictate play due to the elements. For the most part, the Hawks defense held strong - there were very few dangerous chances created by Village despite dication of play. However, Village was able to strike first in the 30th minute when one of their forwards knifed through three defenders and slotted a roller to the corner from about 18 yards out at the top of the box. Goalie Anthony Peters normally would have swallowed up the shot, but was probably frozen stiff due to the elements and it was well-placed.

The Hawks sprang to life after the goal and created some dangerous chances before the halfway whistle. In the 40th minute, the Hawks missed a golden opportunity when Joe Massie beat the outside defender and crossed a dangerous ground ball across the heart of Village Settlement's penalty area. An eager Marcos Araus whiffed the shot, but the resultant melee left Doug Henry able to slide past a defender and force a save from the keeper with a toe poke. The resultant ricochet left the ball sitting for forward Yuri Sudhakar 4 feet from the prize, but his lunging attempt inexplicably sailed over the crossbar. Halftime Hawks down 0-1, but confident that results would come their way with the wind at their backs.

In the second half, the wind died down a bit, but still provided a sizeable advantage for the squad. First touches were better, and distribution was much crisper resulting in many chances for the equalizer. Many balls and corners were sent into the Village box, but luck was not on the Hawks side on the day for finding targets. In the 55th minute, a defensive clearance popped out to midfielder Alan Golden, who blasted a tremendous shot between the sticks, forcing a tremendous save by Village's keeper. Forwards Geof Thompson and Yuri Sudhakar were checking back to the ball and creating havoc for the Village defenders. Doug Henry was huslting and always involved in setting up the attack. The Hawks found the equalizer in the 60th minute off a brilliant play by Joe Massie on the right flank. Joe dusted the outside midfielder than attacked the outside defender at the edge of the box, threw in a Denilson to ditch the defender and press into the penalty area. Joe then played a ball to forward Geof Thompson, who calmly avoided the easily interceptable one time return by rolling the ball forward first, then knocking it back to Joe for the easy tap in. A beautiful run by Joe and a great assist by Geof, leaving the teams tied at 1.

The last minutes of the game saw many chances by the Hawks - a 20 yard shot by center back John Stephens missed narrowly, and many penetrating crosses sent in by Doug Henry could not be capitalized upon. When the ref blew the final whistle, one could not help but think that the game was ours for the taking and we let it get away. Regardless of the tie, the Hawks showed character in coming from behind and have their first game back in Premier under their belt. Many key players were missing for the game and that only bodes well for future match ups. Joe Massie gets MVP for the game winner and Doug Henry gets the honorable mention for a great game despite a rough night on the town. The Hawks next take the field in two weeks (4/18) against Bier FC. In other league play on the day, Dynamos beat LCC 2-1 and Bier beat La U 2-1.

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Scorers
(Village - 30)'
Massie - 60'

Assists
Thompson - 60'

Saves
Peters - 4
MVP
Joe Massie - Right Mid
Honorable Mention
Doug Henry - Center Mid

 

 

 

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