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ORSA Ritchey vs Meadville Red 4/13/14

posted Apr 14, 2014, 7:55 AM by Thomas Pfennigwerth
The U10 ORSA Force defeated Meadville-Red 4-1 in perfect Western PA weather. The game was played at the Meadville Highschool football field which has turf instead of real grass.  The players expressed how nice it was to have the ball roll straight when dribbling and passing instead of the typical bounce all over when playing on grass.  The game started off a little slow as each side tested the other in the opening minutes.  Caleb Griffin stopped what would have been an excellent chance for Meadville on a cross to an unmarked defender on the weakside, but Caleb dropped back and foiled the pass and the ball went out of bounds for a throw-in.  The Force got their first chance on an over top ball from keeper Dustin McMullen to Caleb Griffin, who made some great touches including one off of his chest to get the ball through the defense, but took a slightly heavy last touch that allowed the keeper to come out and make the save.  The next chance came on a cross from Caleb Prettyman to Quinn Ritchey that resulted in a left footed shot on goal, but the referee called Quinn offside.  After reviewing the tape at home, he was in fact onside and play should have continued.  Oh well even the pro's miss that call from time to time.  A short time later Caleb Prettyman got another chance as he broke away from the defense with his speed and beat the keeper with a low shot to make it 1-0 Force.  A few minutes later Meadville-Red got a corner kick opportunity and they capitalized with a cross that made it all the way through the 6 yard box to an unmarked player who shot and beat Force keeper Dustin McMullen at the far post.  The game went into halftime with the score tied 1-1.  The second half was all Force as they came out and played more aggressive.  Quinn Ritchey opened up the scoring by dribbling by two defenders and scoring on a shot to the corner underneath the keepers outstretched hand.  Score 2-1.  Dustin McMullen now in at defensive back made a steal and carried the ball quickly up through the defense and took a shot only to have it go wide.  The next chance would come off a throw-in.  Dustin M. took a throw-in and Caleb P. made a run down the line.  Dustin led him perfectly and Caleb took a touch and found himself in a 2 on 1 with the keeper.  He had his choice to pass to the waiting Carson "Chip" Whitling or take the shot and he took the shot beating the keeper on the near post.  Score 3-1.  A short time later the Force had another 2 on 1 with the keeper and the same two players.  This time Caleb tried a cross to Chip, but the keeper came out and intercepted the pass.  Quinn R. and Caleb P. working together stole the ball and quickly advanced down the field with the ball ending up at Quinn's feet.  He took a couple of touches across the 18 yard box and shot beating the keeper and making the score 4-1.  On a ball over the top Rylee Reed playing midfield took off beating everybody, but a heavy touch allowed the keeper to make a save on what would have been another good chance at a goal.  Late in the second half Aiden Kightlinger now in at keeper made a save and punted the ball down the field.  Chip Whitling controlled the ball and found himself 1 on 1 with the keeper only to have the referee blow his whistle signaling the end of the game and a 4-1 victory for the Force.  As usual those on the defensive side of the ball don't get many headlines, but are crucial to the outcome of the game.  Aiden Kightlinger, Rylee Reed,  Keegan Shreffler, and Dustin McMullen all played tough defense backing each other up, watching the weakside, and communicating to each other during set pieces and when an opposing player was trying to sneak in unnoticed from the back side.  Rylee in particular stayed home all day playing her position exactly the way we had gone over in practice the previous Thursday.  All the players on the team contributed to the victory whether it was making good throw-ins or getting stuck in on an opposing player as they were moving down the field with the ball.  As a team we are looking for improvement from game to game and we definately saw improvement from each player from the Mercer tournament the previous weekend.  Several times I saw players looking to pass to their teammates and although the passes may not have always been successful, they were looking to pass instead of just keeping their head down and trying to dribble through everyone.  The Force will be taking next weekend off in because of Easter, but play again on April 27 making the long road trip to Warren.
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