Intramural soccer: Kickin' It Old School blanks the G.F.'s

BY MATTHEW CABEL | MAY 01, 2012 6:30 AM

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Co-rec intramural soccer team Kickin' It Old School played an aggressive 40 minutes — despite having only one extra player on the sideline — to knock off the G.F.s, 2-0, in a playoff game on Monday night in the Hawkeye Tennis & Recreation Complex.

G.F. had four substitutes to its opponent's one, but it was reeling quickly after Kickin' established the game's tempo with an aggressive offensive strategy.

"Our style of play is to run hard at teams," Lyndsey Mueller of Kickin' said. "If we can get them under pressure, we can make them get a mistake."

Kickin' used good ball movement to get numerous early looks on goal, and it took every opportunity given to try to gain the match's first goal. G.F. goalkeeper Mike Lynch played a large part in keeping these attempts out of the net for the first 10 minutes of the match.

But Alex Fanning of Kickin' changed that with eight minutes remaining in the first half. He snuck the ball past Lynch to give his team a 1-0 lead and control over the match that it never relinquished.

The goal forced G.F. to change its strategy and focus more on offense, but Kickin' responded by continuing the pressure. The defensive tension resulted in several G.F. turnovers and lost opportunities.

"We slowed [the game] down," Fanning said. "We kept possession. We didn't turn the ball over, and we played good defense."

The Kickin' aggressive plan continued in the second half, and the team pushed to get the ball past Lynch again to widen the lead. Mueller accomplished the feat fewer than five minutes into the half after a corner throw.

G.F. tried to respond, but the defensive pressure continued to be too much.

"When I was 3, my dad once told me that you can either be the hammer or the nail," G.F. captain Zach Swehla said. "Tonight, we were the nail. We couldn't move the ball very well."

When G.F. did manage to get near the goal, its shots flew over or past the goal. Kickin' keeper Kelley Salem proved to be too good, as well.

"Going into [the match], we knew everyone plays a role on the team," Mueller said. "We knew we would have to work harder. A bunch of people stepped up."

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