Fuego Stage Amazing Comeback
This one is worthy of a recap.
In one of the most remarkable games in team history, the Fuego came from behind to beat the Great Falls Fusion 6-5. The fact that they came from behind to win is not that remarkable - they've done that before. It's the way they did it that makes it so astonishing.
The Fusion took an early lead, 1-0 about three minutes into the game. About two minutes later Aby launched a free kick from midfield clear into the upper corner of the net to knot the score at 1. The fusion struck back with two quick goals to take a 3-1 lead. The Fuego had many chances, including a break-away from Dasha that the Fusion goalie managed to pick off her foot, but no luck.
Then, just before half time, Katie slid the ball across the front of the goal to Dahsa, who redirected into the net to cut the Fusion lead to 3-2 going into half time.
The Fusion came out in the second half and scored quickly, and put another goal in shortly afterwards. With nine minutes to go in the game, the Fuego trailed, 5-2.
Next, Kristen took a hard shot from a Fusion defender. She responded by shoving the player into her own net. The infraction cost Kristen and the Fusion player a yellow card each, but it also sparked the Fuego, and they immediately responded by ramping up the intensity of their play.
Then the Fuego erupted.
Dasha got things going with her second breakaway off a great feed from Kaitlin. This time she didn't miss, sliding the ball past the diving goalie to cut the Fusion lead to 5-3. Minutes later, Kaitlin chased a ball deep into the right corner. She dug it out and found a wide open Julia, who fired home the ball to bring the Fuego within a goal, 5-4.
But things were just getting started.
The defense, which had been chasing Fusion players all over the field, settled down and started playing disciplined and patient, and managed to all but eliminate the Fusion attack. On the other side of the ball, the Fuego forwards were putting relentless pressure on the fusion, forcing turnover after turnover.
The relentless pressure paid off, and with about two minutes to go, Julia lofted a pass out of the corner to Nina, who was right in front of the goal. Nina picked the ball out of the air and sent it past a diving goalie. That made the score 5-5. It was anyone's game, but the Fusion were reeling.
Had it ended there, the Fuego would have been thrilled with their comeback from a 5-2 deficit to salvage a tie. But it didn't end there.
The Fusion's attempt to send the ball deep on the ensuing kickoff misfired, and Katie intercepted the ball and sent Kristen deep. Kristen fried the ball off the backboard and it rebounded out to Amanda, who was right in front of the goal. Amanda's first shot rebounded off the goalie; she recovered the ball with her back to the goal, turned, and drilled the ball over the sprawled goalie into the empty net. The Fuego bench exploded into wild celebration. The clock read 1:06 to play and the Fuego had the lead.
The Fusion made one more desperate attempt to score, but Aby stonewalled them. Sarah gained control of the ball and ran out the clock. When the horn sounded, the Fuego had completed a most improbable and exciting come from behind 6-5 victory.
The goalie tandem of Kaitlin and Aby were terrific, and the defense - Aby, Kennia, Sarah and Emily, were outstanding. And the forwards, Kaitlin, Nina, Dasha, Kristen, Julia, Katie and Amanda, were relentless and put pressure on the Fusion defense all night.
Scoring four goals in less than six minutes against a strong team like the Fusion is something to brag about. Doing it with time running out and behind by three goals is absolutely amazing, even if it gives their coach a heart attack.
If the Fuego end up as champions of the indoor season, they will look back at this game as the one that propelled them there.
Great job Fuego!