6.9.18 (game pics below)
Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way. Sometimes, every touch is perfect and you can play a great game but for some reason everything around you seems to conspire against you. It's at these times that it becomes harder and harder to believe, to continue to push, to continue to increase the effort level. It's at these times you can find out what a team is made of. Both the Force Men and Women's teams had weekends like this. Two totally different results but both teams showed they aren't done this season.
The Force men traveled to take on the Alliance of Tri-Cities. The game kicked off at 7pm and at 7:02 Joe Sammartino whistled a shot from 25yds out that the TCA keeper didn't have a chance at. Unfortunately, the ball skipped off the outside of the post and into the side netting just wide. Even the TCA fans thought the Force had scored early. This would be how the entire rest of the game would go.
TCA keeper was kept incredibly busy as the Force launched attack after attack. A ball gets cleared away from Skifstad by just a half a step, JoeSam heads an Alire cross into the ground that beats the keeper but bounces all the way up and just over the crossbar...
After 18 minutes, the Force had 7 shots to TCA's 2. Unfortunately the second shot was a worm burner from the top of the box that King Lewy saw late due to the number of players in the box and the Force were down 1. From the 19th to the 40th minute, TCA wouldn't get a single shot. Balmer got into the box 1 v 1 but was unfortunate to be called offside, Ralston almost out jumped the TCA keeper to get a header in, Olson took a dancing shot from 40 yards out that the keeper could barely handle but managed to push just wide, the resulting corner was headed just wide by Ebner, Balmer heads one just over the bar, and then Ralston has a defender get the tiniest touch on or JoeSam would have been into the box....And then TCA rocked the crossbar with their 3rd shot of the game and then get a goal on a cutback cross that Watson didn't have a chance at. The Force dominated possession, chances, shots, positive play, everything. But at halftime it was 2-0 TCA.
I wish I could say that the second half produced better results. The Force continued with their dominance. From the 77th minute to the 89th minute, the Force had 6 solid scoring chances, hit the crossbar 4 times, had two corner kicks and 3 attacking free kicks and the ball just wouldn't cross the line. With the hard late push from the Force, TCA managed a breakaway and added a 3rd goal.
The frustration was evident. The players on the field had given all and it just wasn't happening. They could have shut it down. They wouldn't have been blamed if they left 0-3 on the board. What was seen next filled me with pride. Your Force, My Force, Our Force...They were given 3 more minutes of stoppage. They put their heads down and gritted their teeth like a mountain climber on Everest. They pushed again and again and again and were finally, almost cruelly rewarded as JoeSam sent a deep cross in and Ralston got his head to just in front of the keeper and and FINALLY, the ball bounced into the net. The score would end 3-1. The Force would go home with no points from a game where they were the better team, by far. Making the 4.5 hour journey home at 9:30pm from Tri-Cities, the Force men could say they gave it all. They didn't stop in the 90th minute, they didn't stop 3-0 down when they easily could have score 7 or 8 in this game, and probably deserved it. They kept on and got the goal. This is your Force. This is pride. This is passion. You can catch the Force Men on Twitter next weekend as they will travel to Yakima and Spokane next Saturday and Sunday.