|Iron Lion Firm support fellow brother|
'Coach Elie' (far left) rain or shine
As thunderstorms and funnel clouds rolled through most of Central Florida, that didn’t put a halt to what was about to take place on Taft Vineland Road. Rain soaked the field and everything around, but both teams were ready to get the job done regardless. Evans High looked to get back on a winning streak after their unbeaten run was stopped by Pine Ridge last Wednesday. Freedom High gladly welcomed the challenge on their home pitch.
The man in yellow blew his whistle and the match was underway. Despite the drenched grass, the match got off to a quick pace. Both sides seemed to be matching each other with speed. Although not the ideal conditions for a fast-moving game, the boys did their best. The acceleration and aggressiveness led to many unexpected slips and slides. Evans would have a fair amount of possession, then a slippery tackle would lead to a short spell of possession for the Patriots. As the first half wore on, balls began to make it down the sideline and into the box on each end.
With a couple shots coming within inches of the side netting and another hitting the goalpost, it seemed like the first half would end scoreless. Then came the Trojans with a corner. Bazil Beneco immediately set himself up for the kick. With the ball whipped into the back post, Alberto Escobedo was waiting in the air. A solid header into the ground gave the boys in green the lead in the 34th minute.
The rain would continue to fall as the first half ended with the away side up 1-0.
Soaked to the bone, both schools made their way back onto the field. A few minutes into the second half Evans seemed to get back to their usual ways of quick passing and immediate pressure. It seemed to be working well for them as they worked the ball up the field. Only to be stonewalled by a solid Freedom defense, cutting out numerous balls through the middle and over the top. The boys in white began to use their speed as well. A few balls soared above the head of the Trojans defense and almost caught them out. Shots being pulled just wide of the posts and the keeper coming off his line kept the score the same.
It was in the 58th minute that the Evans keeper would finally be punished for coming off his line. A long ball out of the back by the Patriots would force him to charge off his line and go down in an attempt to grab the ball. Unfortunately, it bounced beyond to the secondary run of a Freedom forward who slotted it into the empty net.
Water continued to pour onto the area as the battle on Vineland Road would end in a 1-1 draw. Two evenly matched teams end the rainy night as the Winter high school season continues on.
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