2004: Hawks 1 – UAE – 2
A cloudy, uncharacteristically
cool April day was ideal soccer weather for the most recent Hawks
match up against league rivals, UAE. The Hawks failed to start off
on the right foot due to several key players showing up late to
the game, forcing the team into an alternative first half lineup.
Several key players were also absent from the game. Despite this
circumstance, the Hawks used nice possesion play to dominate their
opponents convincingly in the first half without finding the net.
UAE could muster only the occasional counter attack and managed
only one shot on goal in the entire opening period. In contrast,
the Hawks penetrated the opposing box on several occasions, blasting
shots just wide and above the goal frame. Nice buildups to the flanks
were not capitalized upon as poor crossing plagued the usually sure
footed outside half backs. Halftime score - Hawks 0 UAE O.
The second half turned into a wide open affair as both teams threatened
at times, with the Hawks still receiving the bulk of good opportunities,
failing to capitalize. Forward Geof Thompson had an 8 yard blast
blocked with a tremendous save by the UAE keeper. Center midfielder
Alan Golden had a beaming shot bounce off the inside of the post
in the 55th minute. Many shots were taken from dangerous positions
in the UAE box, but rarely were they well struck. The Hawks crossing
woes continued in the second half with several penetrating runs
by the outside halfbacks resulting in shanked or poorly struck crosses
that mitigated dangerous situations for the UAE defense. In the
80th minute, UAE stunned the Hawks with a header goal off of a corner
kick that was struck by a wide open UAE player who leaped above
the defense close to the 6-yard line, a few feet from the endline,
to send the ball to the far side netting.
The remainder of the game found the Hawks pressing up for the equalizer,
and in one sequence the Hawks were caught too far up. A UAE clearance
off of a Hawks cross was sent to a wide open UAE forward who snuck
in the behind the defense and received the ball with no Hawk within
15 yards of him. While defender Jon Knight was able to close the
player down, it was not in time as the UAE forward struck a well-placed
shot past the arms of a pressing Pierre Fults to put the Hawks in
a deep 0-2 hole. Minutes later, the Hawks found the net off of a
corner when John Stephens was able to muscle off two defenders to
narrow the margin, but it was too little too late. UAE stole the
game despite being outplayed for the duration. Such is Sunday soccer.
The Hawks next take the field on May 2nd against last year's Premier
champion, LCC International.