After four rain-outs, it seemed to Union coach David Ameen as if his team were playing their first soccer game of the season when the Spartans faced off against Spring Creek Wednesday night.
The two teams tied, but Ameen said he was very pleased with his team’s play, particularly since they’d only had one other game this season.
“We had the intensity and the passion, but we were a little weak in some areas,” Ameen pointed out. “We struggled in moving the ball. Most of our goals came off some quick breaks, but we worked hard, that’s for sure.”
Union got on the board first, with Yonni Martinez finding the back of the net on a fast break just 10 minutes into the game.
Spring Creek answered within three minutes and the game was tied up at 1.
It seemed to be that way all night, Ameen noted. Every time the Spartans would find the lead, the home team would come right back.
Martinez scored again about 25 minutes into the first period, and again the home team answered.
But Union took a 3-2 lead into the half, with a score from Gabriel Valenti just before the break.
Spring Creek came right back to knot it once again at 3. Then Mauricio Amaya struck pay dirt, scoring the Spartans final score and putting Union up 4-3, but again Spring Creek rallied, tying it up.
“Every time I thought we had a break, Spring Creek would score. It was a real battle out there. Both teams played like they wanted it from beginning to end. It really was a great game,” Ameen said.
The coach praised the defensive play of Valenti who, he said, had a fantastic second half. “He stepped it up big on defense for us. He really gave 110 percent in the second half.”
Although he believes his team needs to work on their ball movement before conference play starts Monday, Ameen said overall he was pleased with his team’s play.
“We had the fast breaks, and that was good. We had the intensity, and that was good, too. But we’ve got to communicate more and move the ball better. We’ll get there,” the coach attested.
The Spartans move to 1-0-1. They travel to James Kenan Monday to open 1A Tri-County Conference play. Game time is 6 p.m.