February 16, 2017 at 11:30am
Members of the indoor soccer team from the 308th Brigade Support Battalion, 17th Field Artillery Brigade took on a Navy Region Northwest team — consisting of players from three Navy stations in the area — in an Army vs. Navy indoor soccer match at the ShoWare Center in Kent Sunday and lost 8-0.
Thanks to a combination of service members from across Joint Base Lewis-McChord, they formed an indoor soccer team representing the 308th BSB, which hadn’t played a game since Nov. 21. The near three-month gap between games may have been a factor in the JBLM team losing.
“They were definitely well organized,” said Crispin Afriyie-Addo, captain and player coach for the Army team. “They were playing like professionals.”
The last time players from the 308th BSB played was the JBLM Intramural Indoor Soccer Championship game, a 7-4 win over the 1st Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division. They were invited to play in the second Army vs. Navy exhibition game before the Tacoma Stars’ Military Appreciation Night.
Last year, Navy won the game 19-1. After allowing Navy’s Devin Mathews to score an unassisted goal within the first two minutes, the Army team had scoring opportunities through the first half.
On multiple occasions through the game, Jakob Bierer had breakaway opportunities. But deep passes from the midfield area often fell just out of reach for Bierer and other forwards to take advantage.
“We were getting good passes, but they had a really good goalkeeper and a better team,” Afriyie-Addo said.
Mathews scored another goal in the 13th minute, which was quickly followed by goals from Richard Rodriquez and Dominic Tedesro. The second half saw the Navy get on another scoring run with Mathews scoring goals in the 23rd and 24th minutes to finish the game with four goals.
Hepworth added two more goals in the 27th and 32nd minutes to round out the 8-0 final score. Army goalkeeper Robert Aaron certainly had his work cut out for him facing 15 shots on goal, in addition to several more hitting the glass that surrounded the net.
Unlike the gymnasiums on JBLM where the intramural indoor soccer league held games, the 308th BSB teammates found themselves playing in a soccer field with a setting similar to a hockey rink. The walls and glass were up, but the ice was replaced with artificial turf.
“(The ball) would come off the wall and there would be three (Navy) guys in front of me,” Aaron said. “They had more elements to play with.”
Despite the struggles, players said it was still a fun game and a nice break from the work week for members of the 308th BSB.
“We work so much — it’s hard to find the time to do things like this,” Bierer said.
The Army vs. Navy game was the first part of an overall military theme for the Tacoma Stars’ regular season game against the St. Louis Ambush of the Major Arena Soccer League. The Tacoma Stars won their game 9-5.
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