Home against Valley Strikers on Sunday evening, Jade Tree United narrowly avoided a win with a 2-3 loss against the green giants from Wilmington.
Playing with substitute goalie Paul Bryant, the team’s spirit was significantly buoyed by a win earlier in the day by the Philadelphia Eagles, copious amounts of alcohol, and the return of several players from the annual Mordam convention in Las Vegas.
Fueled with this spirit, JTU came into the game focused and undeniably more energetic than they had been in their last three games.
While possession was mostly Valley Strikers for a good portion of the first half, the Jade Tree defense aptly dealt with any breakthroughs and shots.
Meanwhile, the Jade Tree offense was able to take a few shots on goal that ultimately amounted to nothing. The first half would end with at 0-0.
Heading into the second half, JTU was even more aggressive, throwing more players forward and taking more chances up front. Five minutes into the half, Darren Walters (#16) caught a rebound and deftly ducked the ball into the lower left of the goal, giving Jade Tree the lead.
That lead lasted but 2 minutes, as the Strikers grabbed the ball and made a shot on goal that put the score at 1-1.
With the score now tied, Jade Tree refused to give up and continued to become even more forceful with the ball, setting up better plays and eventually bringing the score to 2-1 through a Striker’s defensive bumble that Victor Alavrez (#13) nipped and turned into a goal.
The game pace continued at a frenzied face, but despite JTU moving the ball forward at every chance, the Strikers were able to find themselves two more goals as the game ticked down into the final minutes. All the while Jade Tree refused to give up and gave what looked to be their most impressive showing of the season thus far.
The team has almost two weeks off, before returning for their back-to-back games the last weekend of January.