Fuego Win With a Pair of Threes

 

September 30, Chantilly, VA

The Fuego completed the first half of the season with a convincing 6-2 win over the ABGC Venom, led by a pair of hat-tricks, courtesy of Kaitlin and Jazz.

The Fuego started fast with Melissa setting up Kaitlin for an early shot that the Venom goalie got a piece of.  But moments later Rhi got loose deep on the right side, and Morgan found her with a great clearing pass.  Rhi took the ball deep, then crossed it into the box, and this time Kaitlin finished it off, putting the Fuego up 1-0. 

The Venom answered a short time later when a scorching ball from outside the penalty area just missed Caroline's outstretched hand.  But the Fuego bounced right back, and shortly afterwards Ellie slid a ball through to Jazz, who broke free of the pack, deeked around the goalie, and slid the ball neatly into the net to put the Fuego up 2-1. 

Not long after that, Kaitlin finished off a similar play, getting a pass from Julia and taking it the distance, sliding the ball past the goalie to the low side.  But right before half, one of the Venom players intercepted a clearing pass and launched a ridiculously  high ball that looked like it was headed for the parking lot, but dropped at the last second between Caroline's outstretched hand and the crossbar and into the back of the net. 

That made the score 3-2 at the half.  It was as close as the Venom would come.  The defense, once again led by the stellar play of Sara, Kennia, Marika, Frankenball winner Morgan and Emily, combined with Caroline, who had another spectacular afternoon in goal, to shut out the Venom for the rest of the game.

One the other side of the ball, the Fuego were just getting warmed up.  Brooke had several chances to put the ball by the goalie, coming close each time.  Katie sent he ball wide to Kristen, who cut inside and slid the ball to Kaitlin, who once again outraced the defense and drilled the ball past the goalie for her 3-goal hat trick, making the score 4-2.  Shortly afterwards, Nina took a pass from Melissa and fed Jazz in front of the goal.  Jazz banged the ball home for her second of the game. 

Minutes later, Jazz struck again, this time off a pass from Julia that Amanda had sent into the middle of the field.  Jazz blasted the ball into the upper corner of the goal to clinch her 3-goal game as well.

But the Fuego kept the pressure on.  Aby, Brooke, Ellie, Melissa, Nina and Katie all had shots on goal.  On the other side of the field, Caroline was doing her best to keep the Venom out of the goal.  She came up big on several occasions, frustrating the Venom attackers.  But perhaps the play of the game was made by Sara, who once again was in the right place at the right time.  Caroline came out of goal and made the initial save on a curious free kick inside the penalty area, but the ball got away from her.  One of the Venom players got to it and shot the ball toward the far corner of the goal.  Everyone thought it was going in, but Sara raced across the goal and booted it wide at the last second.  Marika lobbed the ball out of the zone ending the threat, and preserving the victory.

The win moves the Fuego to 4-0 and tied for first.  They have a much-deserved break in the schedule, but the second half of the season promises to be challenging.