Jade Tree United kept their 100% start to the season with a win over Swift Kicks away at Kirkwood soccer club on Wednesday, December 12.
Jade Tree made history on Wednesday, as they took advantage of a new rule instituted by FIFA, the “Leyva Ruling”, in which a woman may play as 1/10 of a Men’s senior team. JTU used this ruling to add the broadly -talented Krista Butler (Arsenal Women’s, U.S. Women’s National Team, Stonecutters) to the line up for the match.
Jade Tree would begin the match with reserve striker Alex Milne between the sticks, as both JTU goalies were struck with food poisoning prior to kick off. This cast doubt on whether JTU would be able to hold off Swift Kicks-doubt that was quickly put to rest.
Immediately taking charge of the match, Shane Chanpimol put in his first of many of this night with a shot that blistered the goalies fingers.
Chanpimol deftly avoided the Swift Kick’s defense to strike yet again in less than three minutes, providing JTU the cushion that hey needed to relax and get comfortable with the match.
Keeper Jim Brooks, having recovered from his illness, replaced Milne in goal eight minutes into the match.
As Rich Emge distributed the ball down field to Casey Gallucio, Ryan Mann was set up for a goal that eased past the keeper and put Jade Tree up 0-3 in just under ten minutes.
However, JTU was struck suddenly when Swift kicks took a shot on goal that was caught by Brooks. Freakishly, Brooks was struck by a Swift Kicks player and watched the ball fall out of his hands and into the net.
Determined not to let Swift Kicks capitalize on their goal, the JTU defense shut off all possible angles, making it impossible for Swift Kicks to break through.
Shane Chanpimol received his hat trick with a stunning blast that smashed into the net, reviving the Jade Tree offense.
Unfortunately, Swift Kicks were able to score yet another goal as they watched an errant pass take an unexpected turn into the Jade Tree net.
With the score standing at 2-4, Jade Tree knew that they had to move ahead.
They did with dramatic pace as Alex Milne tricked the Swift Kick’s backline and from 8 yards, pummeled one into the net.
Brining the ball out of the back with help from Al Agra, Krista Butler made a series of runs that eventually paid off with a slight, but dead on, pass to Victor Alvarez which saw him convert from in front of the net, putting Jade Tree up by 2-6 as half time approached.
But the Swift Kicks were not going to be outdone. The team came up and scored what looked to be like another implausible goal as confusion reigned on the JTU backline, the ball sitting idly at the foot of the net as JTU scrambled to clear it. Ultimately, Swift Kicks converted leaving it 3-6 at the half.
Jade Tree was clearly not worried as they returned to the pitch. The team did play more conservative though, making clean passes, better-timed runs, and shutting down any opportunities for the opposing team.
JTU did pepper the Swift Kicks goal throughout nonetheless, as the Swift Kick’s defense fell apart and allowed Jade Tree to virtually waltz into the box without distraction.
Almost every member of JTU stepped up to make their mark on the match, and while not every shot was rewarded with a goal, it had become clear that Jade Tree was going to emerge victorious if they could keep Swift Kicks at bay.
Casey Gallucio, who had been taking shot after shot, finally had his first of the season, when he took the pass from Butler and fired past the keeper.
Alex Milne worked well with Ryan Mann and Rich Emge to produce a series of passes that saw him end up with the ball at the edge of the box. Milne juked, then shot, sending the ball high, left, and into the corner of the net.
Defender Darren Walters pushed forward and was rewarded when Mann, wide on the right, passed to Milne in the middle, who then scuffed the ball on to Walters, enabling him to take a clear shot low and from the left side, fooling the keeper and getting him his first of the year.
Not to be outdone, Chanpimol scored yet once more in the final minutes of the game to make it five for the night. This left Jade Tree at 3-11 as the final whistle blew, putting an end to another stellar match from Delaware’s finest.
Jade Tree will hope to remain on top as they take to the field again on Sunday, December 16 at home at the PAL II against Logan House.
Allegedly, the team’s owners hope to unveil new club merchandise at this match, but they remain quiet as to what fans can expect. The long promised JTU scarves perhaps? One can only hope.