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May 23rd, 2004: Hawks 3 Glover Park 1
The Hawks took the field on Sunday, May 23rd against Glover Park, the current WPL league leaders. Glover had beaten the Hawks 3-1 in a pre-season matchup, and the Hawks were ready to avenge this loss and the unfortunate result against La U just days before. The weather was extremely humid and hot for the match, with temperatures above 90 degrees necessitating a strong sub rotation. With three subs more than their previous league matchup vs. La U (zero subs), the Hawks were hoping to remain fresher and avoid the frequent last minute collapses that had plagued them against other teams this season.

The game started with intensity, as Glover tried to take advantage immediately with a quick attack down the side of the pitch as a Glover striker tried to dribble through the entire Hawks defence and almost succeded, only to find his shot go wide. Quickly recouping, the Hawks controlled the rest of the first half with crisp passing and nice combinations. Mike Williams, Doug Henry, Alan Golden, Irving Williams and Geof Thompson enjoyed great chemistry with small, effective passing combinations. In the 15th minute, the Hawks almost struck first when striker Yuri Sudhakar found himself alone in the box and launched a shot that seemed destined for the edge of the goal mouth but somehow ricochetted off the left post. With the Hawks in control of the game, Glover was able to strike first on a counter attack. The Hawks central defense was playing an offsides trap as a Glover midfielder sent a long ball to a streaking forward. While the Hawks defense looked for the offsides call, there was none and the Glover striker strode to goal with an easy one vs. one against Hawks keeper Anthony Peters who was helpless to prevent Glover from taking the advantage. Halftime score, Glover 1 - Hawks - 0.

The Hawks hydrated at halftime and were focused on continuing to play the good style they had enjoyed in the first half, confident that the results would come. The second half found both teams pressing, but with the Hawks building more threatening possessions while Glover relied on the long ball to it's tall striker core. John Stephens and Vince Laporta, the Hawks central defenders, were animals all day long and seemed to win almost every headball that came their way. This allowed most of the play to be concentrated in Glover's half and at midfield. The Hawks came close in the 55th minute when Geof Thompson was able to shake two defenders, whirl around and send a driven cross through the heart of the Glover box to a diving Scottie Hamilton. The diving header was struck with intense velocity, but was just wide of the Glover goal. The Hawks continued to press however, and in the 60th minute Alan Golden was able to knock the ball past the last Glover defender and beat the Glover keeper to the ball, resulting in a foul and penalty kick. Alan knocked in the penalty with ease and the score was tied up at 1.

Glover pressured hard for the go-ahead goal, but the Hawks pressed back, and another superlative effort by Alan Golden resulted in a hard foul at the top right edge of the Glover box. Doug Henry's free kick was beautifully struck - a swerving, driven shot to the left upper 90 that left the Glover keeper with no chance. Hawks up 2-1. While Glover tried hard to threaten, it was the Hawks that were able to net the insurance goal off of an impressive sequence of one time passing that found Geoff Thompson receiving the ball from wideout Marcos Araus at the top of the Glover box and pressing in to nail a booming shot low and hard near post in the 83rd minute. The rest of the game found Glover pressing for an equalizer and the Hawks looking to run out the clock. All in all, a great effort against a solid team. The result speaks volumes on the quality of the Aegean Hawks side when all key players show up to play. Moreover, the win insured that the Hawks would remain in the Premier for the Fall season - a feat that has been difficult for teams promoted from the First division to accomplish in the last several seasons. A win against league rivals World Bank on June 13th could also grant the Hawks a berth in the coveted Terrill Cup and a chance to play at RFK stadium prior to a DC United match. With that game three weeks away, the Hawks will endeavor to stay fit to gain the proper result.
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Scorers
Alan Golden - 60'
Doug Henry - 75'
Geoff Thompson - 83'

Assists
Marcos Araus - 83'

Saves
Anthony Peters - 6

MVP
Alan Golden - CM
Honorable Mention
Doug Henry - CM
John Stephens - CB
Vince LaPorta - CB
Geoff Thompson - ST

 

 

 

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