The Red Devils were not happy with their season debut last Tuesday in Oklahoma against Rose State College and wanted to come out aggressively to make sure they evened their record at 1-1 in their home opener. And that is just what they did.
“We had a tough preseason and a lot of the girls were a little unsure of themselves,” Red Devil coach Jeremy McGinnis said. “Now after this game, it gave them a big confidence boost. A lot of them forgot how good they were. You can tell them all that you want and build them up, but sometimes they just have to see it. This is the result that we wanted and needed.”
They controlled the game throughout the first half and cruised to a 2-0 victory over Metropolitan Community College-Blue River.
“It was a really good win,” Red Devil forward Leigh-Anne Bartlett said. “We needed it. We needed a confidence-booster so it will help us a lot.”
Freshmen Bartlett and Brynn Suddeth provided the Red Devil offense on Friday. In the first half, it was Suddeth dribbling the ball up the middle of the field and feeding it to Bartlett on the right wing.
“I had two shots earlier and I knew my team was counting on me to at least get one of them,” Bartlett said. “I just looked over the goalie and tried to get it her head.”
Bartlett timed her run perfectly and was able to put the ball in the back of the net to give Allen Community College its first lead of the season.
“It was such a good feeling,” Bartlett said. “That is our first goal of the season and it brought heads up and we kept working from there.”
In the second half, the two forwards exchanged roles as Bartlett fed her teammate for a goal to put the game out of reach.
“That was an amazing assist diagonally through to Brynn and stayed composed and put the ball in,” McGinnis said.
The Red Devil defense did a good job not making freshman keeper Emily Clark work too hard in goal, but late in the second half, Blue River mustered and strong push to end up with a one-on-one against Clark and tied to go top-shelf on the 5-2 Australian keeper.
Clark leapt and punched the ball over the goal and maintain the first shutout of her career.
“You see a player like that as a coach and you think that top-shelf is on all day long,” McGinnis said. “Anything under the crossbar, but the when she pops a ball over the top like that, it really makes you proud of the work she has been putting in.”
BLUE RIVER MEN 5,
The Red Devil men were also looking to get a sour taste out of their mouths following a lop-sided loss to Rose State College.
The team provided the fans in attendance for their home debut with a very entertaining, high-paced soccer game, but the end result was not what the Red Devil squad had hoped for as they lost 5-4 to Metropolitan Community College-Blue River.
“Two scrimmages we’ve played were 0-0 ties and we’ve given up nine goals in the last two games,” Allen Community College coach Doug Desmarteau said. “We’ve got to figure something out defensively.”
Jordan Velasco scored his second goal of the year and Antonio Fiallos, Austin George and Daniel Aviles each scored their firsts, but shoddy defense costs the Red Devils.
“Jordan is going to score quite a few goals this season,” Desmarteau said. “He definitely has the confidence. As long as he isn’t dribbling too much and gets on and off the ball, then he is going to be brilliant. He is a guy that can go play at a high-level after he is done here. He has stepped up and become a leader.”
Alan Ibarra was forced to contend with 15 shots on goal and although he saved ten of them, the five that got through were enough to beat Allen.
“Mental mistakes and taking breaks at the wrong time (cost us),” Desmarteau said. “We gave them four goals that we just gave to them. Our shape was off and we weren’t winning the ball in the midfield. We have a lot of young guys.”
The Red Devils drop to 0-2 on the young season.
Both Red Devil squads are back in action at home today against Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College with the women getting started at 2 p.m. and the men following that game at 4 p.m.