Saturday's matchup with Worthington Community Club's second team, affectionately known as "Los Dos," started out as perfectly as it could have. Perhaps the drive could have been shorter. It was on the hotter side, and the turf surface only made it seem even warmer. Oh, and we also scored two goals in the first 15 minutes (and had a third incorrectly ruled out for offsides).
Let's start with the goal that wasn't. Adam Wilson, who was making his first UPSL start, received the ball on the turn and found a streaking David Ripplinger with a perfectly weighted through ball. Ripp feinted and sold the defender, leaving himself a 1v1 with the opposing GK. In a situation like that, you bank on Ripp 10/10 times, and he did not disappoint. However... the linesman had stopped running about 40 yards further back and firmly had his flag raised. If not due to Worthington's expert streaming quality, we may never had realized that this wasn't offsides. Of course, nothing can be done about it now.
We made up for it in the 6th minute. Ripp had another chance with the GK and forced a save while getting tackled from behind. Wilson was on hand to turn the loose ball into the net. Before long, Ripp had his goal. It came in the 11th minute and in roughly the same fashion as the disallowed goal.
Los Dos found their way back into the game through sustained possession and smart patterns of play. We got into halftime second best over the final 15 minutes of the half yet came out stronger in the second half. Worthington kept to their style but added a bit of a press on our backline. An unfortunate mistake on 50 minutes in a dangerous spot led to a turnover and a simple finish from Jonathan Banegas for Los Dos to halve the deficit.
Their second goal came about 10 minutes later. Following a mysterious foul called on Ripp, Edgar Carillo sent in a furious free kick that appeared to swerve as it reached Enrique Torres in net. Chalk that one up to an amazing effort. Suddenly, it was 2-2. Then, on 77 minutes, Worthington found their winner through the talisman Banegas. We were caught napping on a change of possession. Worthington's winger sped down the side unopposed, cut into the box, and had a simple finish to make it three.
We tried to push for the equalizer but almost got caught out again on the counter. It would have been four for Worthington if not for a spectacular save from Torres to push the shot over the bar. The ball was destined for the far corner; our GK set his feet well to make the save.
All in all, it's a disappointing result. We realize we have work to do if we're going to make the top four and playoffs, and that work starts now. Two consecutive losses is far from ideal. We're next at home to Rochester FC's second team, and a win is the only thing on our mind. That game is set for this Saturday at 2 PM here on home grass at Bollinger Fields.