A few too many oranges at the half attracted some unwanted friends for the 8U Wolves. Not only did the Wolves have a formidable challenge playing the Fire Dragons, but they also had to put up with pesky bees wanting a taste of orange juice.
In the end it was the Dragons, not the bees, who got the best of the Wolves. The Dragons continued their undefeated season Saturday, defeating the Wolves 5-1 at Youth Sports Inc.
After working all week on positioning, spacing and passing, the Dragons executed each to perfection, jump-starting the offense.
"We had been stressing on passing. We want the kids to dribble once or twice and then pass, and they did a nice job of that today," Dragon head coach Ar Windibiziri said.
The Dragons were led offensively on the day by forward Nadia Laytimi. Laytimi was able to record a couple of goals on the day. Both plays involved her intercepting a pass or breaking up a Wolves throw in. Laytimi constantly read the anticipated moves by the Wolves and hounded their ball carriers.
Josh Kallenbach of the Dragons also contributed, pestering the Wolves' attack.
"Josh was full of energy today, he seemed to be everywhere," Windibiziri said.
Kallenbach was able to play lock down defense all afternoon and was a factor offensively recording a goal for the Dragons. Kallenbach found himself on the receiving end of a goal-kick rebound, which he sailed past the keeper for an insurance Dragon goal.
The Dragons were fortunate to have a mixture of strong goalkeepers all afternoon. Elliott Abromeit and David Balmilero stood strong between the pipes, holding the Wolves to a single goal on the day. In the waning minutes of the game, Balmilero came up with two strong saves, one of which was a point-blank shot, discouraging the Wolves' offense.
Despite the final score, the Wolves were able to keep things close until the Dragons cashed in for a couple of late insurance goals. Andrew Bell of the Wolves was able to make a contribution offensively and defensively. Bell came up with several strong saves in goal during the second quarter and was able to bully his way past a Dragon defender and sneak a shot just past the fingertips of the outstretched Dragon keeper.
Wolf Piper Hubbell was everywhere, mixing it up defensively and setting up his teammates offensively. Hubbell never seemed to run out of energy, racing up and down the field all afternoon. Hubbell caused fits for the Dragon defense with his speed and agility, zig-zagging in and out of the defense.
The Wolves opened the game with Ellie Young in goal. Young kept things close early on, holding the Dragons to a single goal in the first quarter before they took off.
Darian Barr relieved Young later in the game, coming up with several key saves as the Wolves attempted a late comeback. Both Young and Barr received plenty of help from Berit Kelley, who seemed to know exactly where to be defensively by stopping the Dragon attack. Kelley was able to position herself to break up several Dragon scoring opportunities.
"I loved our team hustle and enthusiasm. They really played well," Wolves substitute coach Brian Young said.