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  • Writer's pictureTatiana Chen

Boys’ Futsal EABH v. OLM: Steel over Soar: The Lancers Prevent the Hawks from Flying

April 6, 8:00AM

Facing EABH’s informal rival for the first time this ISSL, the futsal Hawks had a big competition against Our Lady of Mercy’s (OLM) Lancers. Despite the years of fierce competition between the two teams setting the scenery for this game, one must recognize that a strong bond has been formed along with it. Before the match, all the athletes exchanged handshakes and hugs as a form of reassurance that no personal emotions were weighing this match down, regardless of the results. None of the athletes expected to play this early, since the schedule originally determined that the Lady Hawks were to play futsal at this hour. The times, however, suddenly switched, which resulted in all the futsal athletes rushing to eat and warm up for the game. 

The match began with an equal amount of ball possession from both sides, foreshadowing the intensity of the match to follow. Pedro Almeida (PA) (11) demonstrated the strongest defense skills on the team, which persisted throughout the entire match. Despite the expected even competition, the Lancers scored almost immediately on Massimiliano Vicintin (22), who served as goalie for this game.

What was already established to be a very competitive game instantly became violent as PA slide-tackled under the Lancers’ right-wing player, who approached the goal once again. Having that action counted as a foul, the Lancers had a penalty barely meters away from the goal. Despite the dangerous proximity, Massi defended the ball, bouncing it back to the court; the opposing team took that as a chance to attempt scoring once more, but the Hawks’ shining goalkeeper defended again. With such fast-paced pounding on the goal, the Lancers began to play more violently.

Eduardo Calixto (7) was pushed straight to the floor in front of both audiences, who began yelling in outrage. PA, who had gotten on the court with his mouth full of food from the rush, had gotten taken off the court by Coach Claudio after his shin guards continuously slipped out of his socks. Despite that wardrobe malfunction, PA’s time on the court was excellent, as he saved what could have potentially become five more goals. And surely, the Lancers scored immediately after bringing Pedro Jorge (2) in; his motivation to work more fiercely accidentally resulted in a yellow card. He dribbled the ball to half of the court swerving around three different Lancers who went after him. 

With most of the starting team benched for this game, Rafael Tinti (17) and Luiz Gomes (9) (also known as Lockz) were subbed in. Lockz immediately went in strongly and made various assists that nearly went into the goal. Working in full force often results in the players overlooking the small and light moves, which is exactly how Ted missed the pass he received, making it go out. Rafael had a close call with his corner kick but could not score. Instead, the Lancers took the ball to the other side and had the same opportunity with a corner kick---but this time, they were successful, taking the game to 0-3 for the Lancers. With the score being at an intimidating difference, every ball that had gone towards Massi was defended in full force. The entire team was working mostly on defense to prevent any further goals. The one time the ball could have potentially scored for the Hawks was when Ted kicked it from across the court and it hit the right bar of the goal. In the last three seconds of the first half, Dudu did the exact same thing, kicking across the court, perhaps out of anger or out of boredom from the constant losses so far. The audience was puzzled by the move, which brought to an end the first half of the game.

Huddled before beginning the second half, Coach Cláudio brought in the boys for a pep talk. Motivation was low and emotions were limp for both the athletes and Coach. Even without being aware of what the Lancers had spoken about in their huddle, the crowd definitely took notice of the aggressiveness they had come out with. One of the opposing team’s players known to be much older than the rest of the athletes defended a potential score from the Hawks with his head. For EABH, Tiago Loures (5) was now the star of the second half. Tiago instantly responded to the aggressivity of the Lancers, almost scoring beautifully, kicking the ball straight in after deceiving the other players. The Lancers began running at full speed, which accidentally caused a collision with Massimiliano where the player lay on the ground for a few seconds before standing up again to check his vision. 

Tiago continued pursuing a tie by dribbling the ball before being tripped to the floor. That aggression, however, simply got the momentum going even more than it already was. Dudu scored beautifully---and the tiniest crowd became the biggest in volume; this early in the morning, the other athletes were busy getting ready for their matches. The score now was 2-3 and Dudu nearly took the team to a tie, but that chance got shortened once the Lancers scored once more despite all the efforts in defense. Once again, a Lancer had collided with Massi--- but this time both rolled on the floor, halting the game for a few minutes. As a penalty for the keeper, he quickly had to stand back up to prevent another goal---and prevent he did. Only a few meters away, the goalie was able to use his rehearsed positions to defend the goal with his shin. Mathieu Lesage (14), also known as Mafu, nearly scored for the Hawks along with Lockz, and the efforts were surely appreciated. Mafu did so using his head, an entertaining move that has been quite lacking this season. He continued dribbling demonstrating great ball control, which helped Tiago gain time to run back to defense every time the Lancers took possession of the ball. Despite the teamwork, Tiago accidentally let the ball go through his legs when a Lancer dribbled towards the goal. Stressed out, the rest of the team had to help get things under control. 

Bernardo Temporão (6) tried to score the goal as time began to shrink, but the Lancers had adopted sliding to steal the ball. In distress, Coach Cláudio called for a timeout to tell the boys they were confusing their plays, and although the boys had begun adapting and pushing through, time would have not allowed them to flip the game. The whistle blew, ending the game at 2-4, an unfortunate loss for the Hawks. The boys immediately lined up to congratulate the opposing team, with deflated spirits.

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