Kangaroos prepare for Baltimore’s visit to Metro Soccer Complex on June 2
Jersey Presentation Night at sponsor 37 Degrees Sth provided great excitement. When each player was presented with their jersey, their metro team was also announced. As the team lists grew, the Wallabies became more confident of their team’s skills. Paradoxically, so did the Redbacks!
The first test of this confidence was on May 19 at Elmington Park. A good number of fans were present to see the opening game of the Nashville Kangaroos metro season, enjoying the warm, sunny day. The field was wide to give flankers and wings plenty of room to work their magic with teams of eleven-a-side.
The Redbacks held a modest lead at the first break, but they burst ahead with unanswered goals from Alex Dreifke, Carlos Villicana and Tim Dunn early in the second quarter. Although the Wallabies responded with goals from team captain Joel Thornton and full forward Mick Jones, the Redbacks led 6.4 (40) to 3.3 (21) at half time.
The Wallabies made some key moves at half time, mainly to keep fresh legs to counter the Redbacks’ advantage of an interchange player. The on-field moves were somewhat successful, with each team scoring three goals in the third quarter.
The Redbacks entered the last quarter with a 20 point lead, 9.6 (60) to 6.4 (40). The Wallabies found a second wind, scoring with goals from Dee Vsetecka and Jones. Two more from Thornton brought them within three points before ]Steve Van De Kamp eased the tension with a reassuring goal for the Redbacks. Although Maurice Howell kicked a thrilling goal for the Wallabies in a burst from the wing, it was not enough. The game ended with scores of 11.8 (74) to 11.4 (70) in favor of the Redbacks.
Cameron Payne, JP Kirby and Kersei Davis provided plenty of speed and ball movement for the Wallabies, while Julien Herran, Alex Dreifke and Saul Camarena displayed their skills for the Redbacks. Overall, both sides showed stamina and determination from the first center tap to the final siren. This intense metro game provided valuable preparation for the upcoming home game against the Baltimore Dockers.
The Baltimore Dockers are a new club, formed from the expansion of the former Baltimore-Washington Eagles into two clubs. However, they will be familiar with each other as a group from playing as a metro team against Washington in 2017, and from close contests against North Carolina Tigers and DC Eagles in the past few weeks. The team has a reputation for physical strength, and the word is that they have worked hard in the gym over the winter. Players to watch include Ben Crenca, a former University of Vermont basketball center, along with Paul LaShier and Brent Bates in the middle of the ground, clearing the ball to forward Ian Payne and speedy Bryn Hansen.
The Kangaroos have worked hard for the last two months to have strength and speed to match the Dockers, along with the endurance displayed in the recent metro game.
Who: Baltimore Dockers vs Nashville Kangaroos
When: Noon, June 2, 2018.
Where: Metro Soccer Complex, 1266 Donelson Pike, Nashville. The match is on the last field, at the end of the driveway.