On Sunday, December 11, Jade Tree fell 8-6 to the Valley Strikers away during a mid-day match at the Ab Jones Gym.
Jade Tree, who stared strong in the first half with the additions of Mike Reed and Jim Brooks to the roster, played aggressively, beginning with several unrewarded shots on the Striker’s goal.
It was however, the Valley Strikers who got an early lead when a rocket shot was fired from the Striker’s defense and whizzed into the JTU goal. A few short moments later, JTU responded when Darren Walters nailed the ball into the net, bringing the match level at 1-1. From here, the two sides would match each other as the scoring began in earnest.
The Strikers would score two more rocket goals before JTU found their flow and began working towards the Striker’s net.
JTU’s Darren Walters scored his second goal of the day with a neat tuck in the right corner, while Mexican sensation Mike Leyva netted his first goal of the season with a beautiful kick that found the center of the net, both boasting JTU spirits and bring the score level at 3-3.
As JTU went down 3-5, Pittsburgh’s favorite son Mike Reed responded to the Striker’s attack with one of his typical finesse shots on goal, edging JTU closer to success.
The second half proved to be more intense, as both teams looked to gain an advantage. The Strikers took the lead yet again, as they attacked the JTU defense relentlessly, bringing the score to 8-4 in their favor.
JTU refused to ease up and once again started moving numbers forward and looking for opportunities. Several shots on goal yielded nothing for the JTU players, but the team kept pressing. Eventually, Mike Leyva broke through with a dance that confounded the Striker’s defense and brought JTU one more goal, making the score 8-5.
As the match minutes ticked away, a frustrated Casey Gallucio took a header from Mike Leyva and converted that into a goal, bringing JTU to within two goals of the Strikers. But alas, it would not be enough, as the whistle blew mere moments after that goal, capping the game at 8-6.
JTU is home next against their archrivals, FIST, on Wednesday, December 21 where the team will hope to improve their record, which now stands at 0-2-0.