Playa hater: TSA FC falls to Beach FC
Praiseworthy performance by netminder Demers fails to give victory
TSA FC has greatly improved their defense since adding University of New Mexico keeper Laura Demers, but, as the 3–1 result against Beach Fútbol Club Sunday at Kino North Stadium demonstrated, there are improvements that need to be made.
“There were moments where we actually settled down and played soccer,” said Amber Bender, another recent addition to the soccer team. “It was beautiful and brilliant. Then there were times when we got disconnected and there wasn’t the communication that would help us settle down.”
Despite some good possession early in the match, the team succumbed to a Beach FC goal from Emily Cressy. A second goal from Beach FC, this time from Katie Pingel late in the half, meant that Tucson Soccer Academy went into the break down two goals to none, despite impressive efforts from Mac German, Kaitlyn Lopez and Kelly Kearns.
TSA FC’s lone goal came from a penalty kick shortly after the restart. Lopez did a short cross to Brianna Barriero in the box for what would have surely been a goal, but Barriero got taken down by a Beach FC defender. The referee awarded the penalty kick, and Barriero buried it.
TSA couldn’t score again despite numerous looks at the goal. An 86th minute goal by Beach FC’s Morgan Hilby ended any chance for a TSA comeback.
The team scored off of their penalty kick against Beach FC, something they couldn’t do against San Diego on Saturday. That inconsistency in the offense is an ongoing issue, acknowledges coach Amy Gorelick.
“It happened again today. We had an early chance in the game and didn’t capitalize on it,” she said. “We’ll get there. We are growing.”
One bright spot is Demers. The Catalina Foothills graduate started her first match on Wednesday, a 1–1 draw against in state rivals Phoenix Del Sol. Despite the final score line, she kept Sunday’s game winnable for 86 minutes against a team that defeated TSA 5–1 less than a month ago.
“All week she’s kept us in the game,” said Gorelick.
Demers, for her part, is happy to be part of a slightly better week for the team with their tie against Phoenix and close, albeit losing, efforts against strong teams from California. She sees great things ahead, using a metaphor a bit unusual for a 99-degree day.
“We are starting to play real well. The rest of the season looks very bright,” she said. “We are going to get the ball rolling. It’s like a snowball rolling down hill, building up and building up.”
The snowball builds further with a match on June 27 against LA Premier FC in Los Angeles. They next play at Kino North Stadium on July 8 against Phoenix Del Sol.