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If heat stroke doesn't get you, the own goal will: Phx falls to Charleston

Wolves fall in match with few chances for either team

People with deep family roots in Arizona used to have a question for their elders: how did you get along before air conditioning?

The answers always consisted of a few simple things: we stayed inside. If we had to go outside, we'd take it easy and slow.

It's good advice, but when that "outside work" is playing a soccer match, it leads to a less than interesting contest.

Such was the case on Saturday afternoon when Phoenix FC faced the Charleston Battery on an afternoon that featured a high temperature of 103 degrees. With little offense from either side for long stretches of the match, Phoenix went down 1-0 on a fluke goal at Phoenix's Reach 11 soccer complex.

Midfielder and Arizona native Reed Schmitt said that he's used to the high temperatures, but that didn't make them any better to play in.

"(We) take it easy due to the heat," said Schmitt after the game. "You're just going to kill yourself if you keep running."

The temperatures, made even worse by the artificial turf which tends to reflect heat more than grass, made it harder for Phoenix to mount a comeback from the lone goal of the match: a fluke own goal in the ninth minute.

Phoenix's Cyprian Hedrick headed the ball to the keeper in one of Charleston's early offensive feints, but Neal Kitson wasn't ready for it. Scottsman Darren Mackie tried to head it away from the goal line and instead got it into the net.

The goal ended up being another example of things going wrong for this team despite big hopes last spring. Mackie, much hyped when he signed, was the leading scorer for Aberdeen FC, but what may end up being his only goal this season went into his own net.

David Armstrong, in his second game on loan from the Colorado Rapids, made a remarkable run as the half ran down. He ended up taken down by Charleston's Emmanuel Adjety. Armstrong was down for several minutes while Phoenix FC staff attended to him. He did not return to the match.

Armstrong's run at goal was could have been one of Phoenix's few chances to score, the team recorded only one shot in the half. While Phoenix couldn't put together an offense for a comeback, the Battery looked less than ready or able to build on their accidental lead. Charleston registered a grand total of two shots.

The second half went no better for either team as a total of three shots (again, one for Phoenix, two for the visitors) barely woke up either Charleston's keeper Kevin Klasila or Phoenix's netminder Sheldon Parkinson, back from injury as a second half substitute.

Despite some near-heroics from David Paul in the waning moments of the match, Phoenix was unable to score an equalizing goal and walked off of the turf at Reach 11 with a loss.

Needless to say, it was a frustrating match.

"We just didn't really do the basics," said Scottish defender and team captain Scott Morrison. "We didn't play well, but when you don't play well you can still do the basics. We gave ourselves an uphill task through most of the game."

"We've struggled to keep the ball, and to keep the ball out of the net as well," said Morrison, who vocalized his displeasure with his teammates at several times in the match. "We just can't do either. It's just basic errors...it's just inexperience, really."

Morrison noted that the early own goal made the team's task harder, but he was unwilling to criticize his former Aberdeen teammate.

"It was a mistake and Darren knows it was a mistake, he doesn't need anyone to tell him that," Morrison said. "It's one of those things we need to cut out. You can't make any excuses for heading the ball into your own goal. You can't say anything about it. It's done."

Phoenix FC's final match of the season will be against the Rochester Rhinos on Aug. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Reach 11 Complex.


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Phoenix FC

Phoenix FC's Reid Schmitt tries to stop Charleston's Colin Falvey

Phoenix FC v Charleston Battery

Reach 11 Soccer Complex, Phoenix

Scoring sumary
CHA - Darren Mackie (og, 9')
Misconduct summary
CHA - Jarad van Schaik (caution, 61')
CHA - Dane Kelly (caution, 90')
Charleston Battery: Kevin Klasila – Emmanuel Adjetey, Colin Falvey (Shawn Ferguson 74'), Taylor Mueller, Mark Wiltse, Bryce Alderson (Kenneth Ellison 89'), Michael Azira, Nicolas Paterson (Quinton Griffith 68'), Zachary Prince (Amadou Sanyang 84'), Jarad van Schaik – Haviel Cordoves (Dane Kelly 73')
Phoenix FC: Neal Kitson (Sheldon Parkinson 46') – Devon Grousis, Cyprian Hedrick, Netinho, Isaiah Schafer (Cameron Vickers 65') – Scott Morrison, David Paul, Reid Schmitt (Diego Faria 55') – David Armstrong (Anthony Obodai 45'), Darren Mackie (Travis Bowen 55'), Thomas Ramos