By: Tamer EL-Amoor #17
I want to start off this week’s recap by going back a few days before the Lynchburg game. The practices were crisp and competitive. There was a fire in the chests of all the players. We wanted this game, and we knew what was at stake. We were to play a conference rival and the defending national runner-ups.
The day of the game we departed at approximately 3:15 pm. The bus was ride was to be about 2 hours long. The trip was silent. All was focused; every player from the youngest to the oldest. We were all dialed in. We arrived safely in Lynchburg, dressed, warmed up, and the battle began.
The first half was a hard fought match. It was physical, fast, and attractive. Both teams were playing well, and it seemed that both teams had done an excellent job on scouting reports. Early on both teams were very conservative in their approaches, but as the half got moving both teams got more ambitious. Both teams were getting great opportunities, but none willing to yield that ever-precious goal. The environment was very hostile. The fans had our names and were saying things that were inappropriate at times and actually funny at times. Regardless, we tried our best to zone them out. Within the game the verbal environment was not any better.
The second half started routinely, but within the first few minutes of the second half the shenanigans began. First of all our opponents continued to pressure forward and get us out of our game plan. Secondly the referee made some questionable call that, in my opinion, should have been no calls. This lead to a handball penalty, which the Lynchburg player (#13) launched over the goal. The ball never lies! The score remained zero-zero.
Minutes later Lynchburg player (#5) provoked Tamer El-Amoor (#17) into an on field confrontation which resulted in both players being sent off with red cards and a Lynchburg Assistant Coach to be sent off with a red as well. The match continued to be very heated with both sides getting opportunities. Unfortunately Lynchburg played a good ball down the line which (LC#9) crossed into the box for (LC#29) to get a foot onto and give defending runner-ups a one-goal lead. We would push on for the rest of the half getting some good opportunities by Ronnie (#12) and Gomez (#7). We also had a great work rate by all our players. The midfield was run by our distributer Richard Page (#10), and the backline along with our keeper did very well. Before the half ended our assistant coach Zane Campbell got a red card for his discussion about Lynchburg player’s dangerous play on Guilford Soccer players. It was a hard fought match, and there was no shame in our loss. We played like men, and we played for each other and our community.