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April 25th, 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.

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Scorers
John Stephens - 88'

Assists
None

Saves
Pierre Fults - 2
MVP
Mike Williams - CM
Honorable Mention
Alan Golden- CM
John Stephens - CB

 

 

 

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