Wednesday, December 21, 2005 marked the day that JTU fans had been waiting for-the match up between JTU and their archrivals, Fist.
In attendance at Ab Jones were JTU supporters from around the country who made the trip to watch what promised to be the season’s most anticipated match up thus far in the D Division of New Castle County Indoor Soccer.
Jade Tree took the pitch ready for action, and the action started early as Victor Alvarez got on the board with the first goal of the game-and his first for the season-with a quick shot that caught Fist completely off-guard.
Fist came back with two goals before Alvarez scored brilliantly again, thus tying the score at 2-2.
Fist went up a point until Mike Leyva popped one into the net, once again putting the game on level terms.
Recent Boston transfer Alex Milne finally got into scoring mode this season, beginning with a hard shot on goal that put JTU up 4-3 going into the end of the first half.
The game became much more aggressive in the second half, as both teams fought hard for the win. As the score seesawed back and forth, JTU lost control of their emotions and were shown several cards. Victor Alvarez was chided for playing a man too close to the wall, while Casey Gallucio took a minute penalty for JTU â€˜keeper Brian Olden, who ran through Fist’s Forward while attempting to save the ball.
Fist quickly picked up a goal and tied things up at 4-4.
Mike Reed headed JTU into the lead in the 10th minute, but Fist took a free kick in the 14th to equalize 5-5. This would begin a Fist scoring run that would eventually see them up 8-5 within but a few minutes.
Undeterred, Jade Tree finally found their feet again and pressed Fist relentlessly for the last 10 minutes of the match.
Mike Leyva was quick to put JTU back in the match with a perfect volley into the net. Alex Milne followed quickly behind Leyva, as he scored his second of the night with a swift shot across the back on the Fist net that left the Fist â€˜keeper crumpled on the ground.
But the JTU scoring came too late in the match, as time ticked away and eventually left Jade Tree United at the losing end with a final score of 8-7.
Reflecting on JTU’s less than stellar beginning to the season, Manager Darren Walters commented, “I’m happy with the team performance so far. We could have won any of the last 3 games. I feel the team is just beginning to gel and I look forward to returning in 2006 ready to win.” Asked how JTU will weather the winter break Walters added, “We’ll be taking the holiday break seriously. We’ll be practicing as a team for the next two weeks and I’ll be looking to add some talent during the upcoming transfer window.”
Jade Tree United returns to action on January 3, 2006.