Monday, September 25, 2017
Palo Verde High School
Arbor View High School
The Panthers almost pulled off a short-handed victory away to Arbor View but had to be content with a tie. Starting line up: Huckfeldt, Jarvis, Nogues, Lloyd, Lawrence, Hoxhalli, Ruffer, Stevenson, Robledo-Matadamas, Manthey, Gomez.
The Panthers struggled from the off with the hard pitch and bouncing ball. Ball control proved difficult and there were too many misplaced passes. This was coupled with players not fulfilling their roles and a general lack of movement. The result was a poor first half performance. However, all the meaningful chances were created by the Panthers and they were never in any danger of going behind. Cole Lawrence made a number of good runs down the left flank and was the biggest problem for Arbor View. Poor efforts from Manthey, Robledo-Matadamas, and Gomez did not trouble the keeper and a tepid first half looked like petering out, until the Panthers were issues a red card for backchat to the referee and the Panthers were consigned to playing the second half one man down. Half time 0-0.
The Panthers dominated the game a man short for the whole second half. Starting line up: Huckfeldt, Olenak, Nogues, Lloyd, Lawrence, Hoxhalli, Ruffer, Venezia, Robledo-Matadamas, Vogel.
The Panthers changed their formation from the normal 4-3-3 to 4-3-2 to accommodate the missing player. The midfield trio went from two attacking mids and one holding mid to two holding mids and one attacking mid. This released the full backs to attack and fill in for the absence of wide players. The change worked a treat as the players upped their game and totally dominated the first 20 minutes of the half. Ten minutes in Robledo-Matadamas drifted wide to receive a ball from Lawrence and cut inside to find Zack Ruffer with a square ball. He made an intelligent diagonal run through the defense and was found with a sublime through ball by Ruffer. Robledo-Matadamas controlled the ball well on the run and crashed it home into the bottom right corner. This was no more than the Panthers deserved for their excellent play and dominance. They created two more excellent chances that they spurned. Robledo-Matadamas was found by Mikey Venezia with another excellent pass and Robledo-Matadamas pulled the ball an inch wide of the right post with the keeper beaten. Then in a carbon copy, Mikey Vogel was put through by Ruffer only to also pull his shot an inch wide with the keeper beaten. These misses were to prove costly as with just 6 minutes remaining, Arbor View had a rare attack and a crossfield pass found a player unmarked on the penalty spot with the Panther defenders guilty of ball-watching. The striker’s shot left Hudson Huckfeldt with no chance. The Panthers were unable to re-establish the lead and the game faded out to a tie. Final score 1-1.
The Panther’ response to going a man down was admirable but a winning result was cast aside through a moments loss of concentration. Considering they played more than half of the game a man down this was a creditable result.