TSA FC opens road trip with a loss
'We battled them,' said Kearns
LA CAÑADA, Cailf. — It was not the best start for a three-game road trip in Southern California, but TSA FC showed promise in their 2-0 loss to LA Premier in La Cañada on Friday night.
Early match jitters led to both goals, scored early and on counter-attacks. Kayla Mills, a University of Southern California player who has made appearances for the U.S. under-20 team, scored first in the sixth minute, followed up by midfielder Breeana Koemans in minute 20. It was only then that TSA started to have significant possession and pressed into LA Premier's half.
"We just settled down. We figured out how to play on this turf," said Madison Irwin. "We figured out what kind of runs their forwards were doing ... once we got the midfield figured out and communicating better it got a lot easier."
Irwin, a Tucson native and defender at the University of New Mexico, had two first half shots that went inches too high. Even so, those and other shots made for a better offensive showing against a side that smoked them at the beginning of the month.
"Last time we played them, it was 6-1. We gave up four goals in the span of seven or eight minutes. It was an absolute let down," said coach Amy Garelick. "Here, as the game went on we got momentum. We had chances."
"It took us a little bit to get into it. Unfortunately they scored right away and followed up right after that," said team captain Kelly Kearns. "But, that was the best I've seen us play. But we had our moments and played quite well."
"Today, instead of reacting, we were the ones pushing. We battled them," she added.
Three in a row
At this level of soccer, teams will often talk of having a quick turnaround. Two games on a weekend or even on consecutive days. This game, however, starts a run of three matches on consecutive days. Garelick notes that the team prepared by bringing extra players and made full use of the league's liberal subbing rules. Kearns notes some other precautions, including drink boxes of chocolate milk handed out by midfielder Amber Bender.
"We'll go back to the hotel and do some ice baths, drink our chocolate milk," said Kearns holding up a little brown box. "Hydrating is all we can do. We'll rest tomorrow. We have a good bench so we have a lot that can rotate in."
Games left this weekend include LA Hotspur FC on Saturday, and then a trip to San Diego on Sunday to take on the league champion SeaLions.