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Intramural soccer: Heat scorch PAle

BY TOMMY REINKING | MARCH 21, 2012 6:30 AM

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It was fairly obvious which team had more experience between the Heat and PAle soccer teams.

Heat won 2-0 thanks to striking 31 shots to only 5 by PAle in the opening game of the intramural co-rec soccer season at the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex on Tuesday evening.

Despite the heavy firepower from Heat, it took until its 26th shot in the game with 11:51 left in the second half to get on the board.

"Our team started off a little slow," Heat player Christina Herrin said. "But eventually, we got really good teamwork and communication going, and we ended up scoring two goals. Our passing improved a lot."

Both Heat goals came from an unusual position: the starting goalie. At halftime one of the teams striker's switched places with first-half goalie Adrian Sanchez. The switch ended up paying off — Sanchez dominated in the box for the two scores on 6 shots.

"He and I decided we're going to play goalie because no one else wanted to," the junior business marketing major said. "We play one half each, and both get a little running."

One of the struggles PAle had in getting scoring chances was conflicting positioning on the field. The team kept four players back on defense for most of the game and struggled to get the ball past the midfield line.

Most members of PAle are physician's assistants, and the team's name is a combination of the abbreviation for physician's assistant and soccer great Pele. Half of PAle was playing the sport for the first time. The highest level of soccer for other half of the team was high school.

PAle wouldn't have made it far in its game without the work of veteran goalie Danilo Jahn. A brick wall all game long, he had 10 saves. The goalie also yelled out to the inexperienced players where they should be on the field and whom they should defend.

Team captain Dan Hammes said the team did a lot of things better than he expected, and he believes the squad will be able to contend down the road.

"We were just trying to get our bearings," he said. "Thankfully, we had a stud goalie, and next game we'll work on getting some more shots on goal. We'll work on our endurance and pass the ball a little more."

Heat kept up heavy pressure on offense the entire game despite having only one substitute. Sanchez said that normally, the team has five substitutes, but several players skipped the game to study.

"It was tiring — really tiring at the end," he said. "That's what really got us. Normally, we have five more people, but they have to study. They think studying is more important than playing soccer."

Heat's players said they were pleased with their performance, and they believe they have a great foundation of players to build on. Even though they dominated both sides of the ball, they still see spots where they need to improve on they are going to make it to the postseason.

"Passing could have been more accurate," Herrin said. "We could have had more runs and through-balls, but as time goes on, I don't see how we can't get better."


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