St. Mary's Men's Soccer Picks Up First Win of England Training Trip

On a pleasant day in Hartwick, a suburb of Manchester, the St. Mary’s College of Maryland men's soccer team kicked off their 2007 preseason with a match against Curson Ashton on August 5.  The match would serve as a barometer for the coaches and players to see where they needed to pick up following last season.  On a synthetic turf field, the two teams played three thirty-minute periods to give all the players an opportunity to get a good run in.


The first period began with mostly upperclassmen on the pitch for the Seahawks and despite their experience; the pace of the match was frantic.  St. Mary's started in their regular 4-3-3 formation and at first struggled to impose their style on the English side's 4-4-2.  Once they found their feet, however, they did a solid job of creating attacks and repelling the opposition.  Senior Tim Carrier (Crownsville, Md./Old Mill), who played the whole first period, did a great job gathering crosses and controlling his box.  SMCM had a couple long range shots, a few decent crosses and then after twenty minutes, the Hawks got their first break.  Senior forward Mikael Tigrett (Hagerstown, Md./Hagerstown) was taken down after showing good initiative to take on two English defenders.  Senior forward Alex Pyzik (Bel Air, Md./John Carroll) stepped up confidently and buried a right-footed free kick over the wall.  As St. Mary’s celebrated, the Curson Ashton boys were realizing that the Seahawks were going to put up a strong fight.  The first period ended a few minutes later without much more excitement.


The second period showcased an almost entirely new set of players for both sides and was a tight but very even affair.  Senior goalkeeper Rick Besore (Upper Marlboro, Md./DeMatha) was only called into action twice, while the Hawk attack was arguably the more dangerous of the two sides.  Senior defender Cyrus Albertson (Chevy Chase, Md./St. John’s College D.C.) and junior forward Ben Gould (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville) both threatened the English side with their pace but were unlucky to be denied.  The second period ended as it began with St. Mary's clinging to their 1-0 advantage.


The third period proved to be the most exciting as SMCM was gaining in confidence and Curson Ashton threw everything forward in search of a goal.  The English side put three forwards up top with the intention of applying a lot of pressure on the Hawk backline.  The intensity of the match was stepped up a bit after junior defender Chris Madrigal (Dunkirk, Md./Northern) took a wild kick to his rib cage and several of his teammates took offense to the crude challenge.  After things had been settled, the match continued with Curson Ashton continuing to push the tempo.  St. Mary’s defense bent at times, but time and again, Carrier was up to the task.  While the Seahawks were able to put off their English opponent's attacks, the team struggled to put together any solid attacks of their own.  In the end, the Hawks showed great resolve and came away victorious.


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