Jade Tree United finally brought home a victory, as the team beat their archrivals, Fist, 7-5 in their final and scrappiest match to date at the Ab Jones complex early Saturday night.
Jade Tree United was truly on fire Saturday night, as the team set off the scoring right from the top of the game and never relented on their pressing offense.
Five minutes in, Alex Rudzinski (#4) set off the volley of goals, scoring from mid-field and giving Jade Tree United an early lead-and one that they would not lose throughout the match.
Goalkeeper Paul Bryant (#1) scored immediately thereafter with a goal kick that flew over the opposing keepers head and into the net, frustrating the Fist goalie and opening up another opportunity for Alex Rudzinski to score, putting Jade Tree up 3-1.
The next few minutes found both teams charging after the ball and looking for opportunities. Fist was able to get a few in the JTU net, but it was not long before Jade Tree was back in form.
As the first half came to a close, Casey Gallucio (#3) was taken out by the Fist goalie in front of the goal, but scrambled to lift his head and ably headed in the ball to add yet another point to the JTU score before the first half came to a close with JTU ahead 4-2
Going into the second half, Jade Tree was determined not to lose its precious lead and played a more defensive, yet intense game, concentrating on controlling the ball and narrowing its defenses.
The game was not without its share of penalties, with several players, especially Darren Walters and Steven Mann, being reprimanded for their aggressive play several times. In the end, Steven Mann (#9) received a yellow card in the 35th minute for a collection of fouls and was sent off the pitch, putting JTU down a man. However, Jade Tree was able to hold of the scoring until Mann was able to return to the field.
Late in the second half, Darren Walters (#16) took possession of the ball in front of the Fist goal and shot swiftly into the net for yet another point for his team.
Keeping the scoring going, Alex Rudzinksi received a hat trick for his efforts, and Victor Alvarez (#13) followed up on that goal to take a shot from wide right that found the upper left corner of the net and kept the JTU spirit pumping.
When the final whistle blew, Jade Tree United had found its first win of the season and celebrated in style. Manager Darren Walters commented, “What a great way to end the season. These guys played their hearts out in this match and they deserve all the adulation for the efforts.” Asked about the future of JTU, Walters said “Next season I’ll be looking to grow the team. I’ll be adding some players and beefing up the coaching staff.”
Jade Tree United would like to thank all of its supporters, especially those who attended games. It really made the difference!
Jade Tree United Season Statistics:
Most Goals: Alex Rudzinski
MVP: Alex Rudzinski
Most Saves: Paul Bryant
Most Cards: Steven Mann / Darren Walters
Best Goal: Casey Gallucio / Paul Bryant
Most Improved Player: Mehron Moqtaderi
Team Spirit Award: Tam Bui
Alex Rudzinski: 10
Victor Alvarez: 4
Darren Walters: 3
Alfredo Agra: 2
Casey Gallucio: 2
Keith Kendall: 2
Paul Bryant: 1
Tim Owen: 1
Andrew Agra: 1