UHS vs Wilson: 4-3
UHS vs. Mariners: 7-7
We played two games today. The games were extremely sloppy, but first games usually are. The whole team started the first game worn out from weights and practice in the morning, and by the middle of the second game, even substitutes were coming in exhausted.
Our team had 7 varsity players, a hoard of JV players, and 3 freshmen, who were promoted to JV by Andy because of their club experience. Star Goalie Matt is absent this week, and Kian had to fill in for him in the goal, which was all good, because Kian is so out of shape he got tired just from swimming up and down the pool. For the most part, Jarrod gave everyone the same playing time, despite different skill levels. Summer games are low stress, and I’m glad we won a game and tied the other while giving the younger players decent playing time.
The first game was a low scoring one, but only because both teams were sloppy and moved at a slow, relaxed tempo. I got my first opportunity from set, but wasn’t able to get up big and my defender was ejected instead. UNI failed to convert that ejection. I got another pass into set, and this one I shot, only to have it bounce off the right post. Finally, at the end of the second quarter, when I drew a foul at 5 meters, rose up big, and shot it at the lower right corner. The goalie got a good hand behind my shot, but the ball went in anyway.
In the second half, one of the Juniors scored a goal from half court, and Wilson tallied a goal to make the score 2-1. At this point, I tried a drive move Coach Trent helped me develop my sophomore year. It worked, and I got my guy ejected. Unfortunately, UNI was again unable to convert, when sophomore Brad fumbled the ball. He more than made up for it later, when he shot a precise, powerful shot on a power play that found the high left corner, giving UNI a 3-1 lead. Wilson responded by tallying a goal from set, but I answered with my own shot from set. My defender was pressing me hard, so I was unable to get up high and put much force behind my shot, but it still managed to bar in from the left bar. Wilson scored again, but it was too little too late, and UNI came up with the win 4-3. A good first game for me, even though I need to increase my fitness and conversion in Set.
The second game was a much closer affair, and fought with tooth and nails. UNI fell behind early due to a miscommunication between me and Caleb. We quickly climbed back up, however, and converted several goals of our own. At the end of the first half, we missed a power play opportunity, but the ball landed right in front of me near the post, and when I pushed it in the goalie pushed the ball under, leading to a 5-meter penalty shot for UNI. Nick converted this cooly, and UNI had the lead for the first time.
This lead quickly fell apart in the second half due to another miscommunication between me and Caleb, and by the fourth quarter UNI was down two goals. Sophomore Kian made another spectacular half court shot at this point, and in the final 10 seconds of the game Erik passed the ball to a cherry picking Brian, who converted it to tie the game up.
Overall I was happy with the games today. Oceanview is a moderately difficult league and our juniors dominated team did fairly well. I did extremely well the first game and not nearly as well the second game, but with better form and shape I hope to do better in the future. More importantly, the three new freshmen, though small, showed they have great potential. Benett scored in the second game, Joe awed me during the break between the games with his varsity-level curved lobs, and 5 foot 2 Johnny showed his fiesty spirit by holding position at set. All three will be dominant their junior year when they’re on varsity with Matt, Daniel, Brad, Kei, Josh, and Ben, (our current Sophomore talents)
Finally, Jarrod gave me important advice on how to talk to Coach Alex at Pomona. With his help maybe I can get recruited!