WALLACE — It was an all-out battle in the ‘Dog pen Tuesday night as Union and Wallace fought it out on the soccer field in a rain-delayed game held over from Monday.
The Bulldogs, ranked No. 1 in the Tri-County Conference and second in the state, won the match, but not easily, with the Spartans fighting hard and holding the home team scoreless for 60 minutes, something that hasn’t been done much, if at all, this season.
“Both these teams played some really good soccer tonight,” attested Union coach David Ameen after the game.
Although Union lost 2-0 to the powerhouse play of Wallace, Ameen said he was extremely proud of the way his team played, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the top-ranked team.
“This is the stuff you want to see from teams at this point in the season. They played hard and they played knowing the importance of these games,” Ameen stressed.
Union’s coach tipped his hat to the ‘Dogs, noting that they played great soccer from start to finish. “They are a great team and they have a great coach. I’m just pleased that we were able to battle a team like that as well as we did and for as long as we did.
“I’m proud that we bodied up to them like we did.”
Union worked hard on defense to hold the ‘Dogs down, and kept them scoreless until there was only 21 minutes left in the game. That’s when Wallace hit the back of the net for their first goal. The second one came with about 19 minutes remaining.
Ameen said the Spartans lost some of their determination when teammate Isaias Campos was injured and had to be pulled from the game.
“We aren’t sure of his status yet,” a concerned Ameen said, “but he was hurt. With him out, it took some of the wind from our sails. He’s a leader, a motivated and a good soccer player.”
Ameen put in freshman Michael Pineda as a sub for Campos, and the coach said the young man made his mark.
“He stepped up big for us. In fact, he has some of the best offensive maneuvers and passing of the game. He just did a great job.”
In fact, Ameen stressed, his entire team played solid soccer and held their own against a team that they lost to earlier in the season.
“We have nothing to be ashamed of, that’s for sure. This team played well, they really did.”
Union moves to 5-5 in conference play, with only two games remaining in the regular season. They play host to Trask Wednesday and then travel to Midway Monday.