8th Intelligence Squadron beats undermanned MDSU-1

Capt. Krishna Reagan of the 8 IS knees the ball forward to keep it away from a defender.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

Playing nine against seven, the 8th Intelligence Squadron (8 IS) scored three times in the first half and then coasted to a 3-0 victory over Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit (MDSU) 1 in a Summer Soccer showdown on July 22 at Earhart Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

MDSU-1 was on the verge of forfeiting the game, but managed to get a seventh player before the game was called.

Seeing that MDSU-1 was competing with the minimum of players, the 8 IS and their starting unit of nine exploited the shortage to win their second game of the Summer Soccer season against no defeats.

“We used the numbers to our advantage,” said 8 IS team captain Staff Sgt. Jorge Nunez. “The heat definitely played a huge a factor in the way we played today. I told the guy to control the ball and we utilized our subs to come out victorious.”

The aggressive play by the 8 IS paid dividends almost immediately. Senior Airman Bacchus Jackson finished off an open pass by taking it to the goal for a 1-0 lead.

Jackson said that he isolated himself and when he got open, all he could think about was someone giving him the ball.

“As I was running down, I saw that the defender wasn’t going to stop,” Jackson said. “He (the defender) just stood there as one of my team-mates was running down. I stood there waiting for support. I had the wide open shot and I just tapped it in.”

Minutes later, the 8 IS got their second goal of the first half, when Capt. Krishna Reagan took a pass near the box and got off a clean shot for a 2-0 lead.

“It’s really about getting the ball to the side and then swinging it to the middle,” Reagan said. “You just hang back and when you hang back, you have the time to assess the ball coming in to you. I just got a foot on it and put it right in.”

Nunez said that getting off to a 2-0 lead early in the first half did wonders for the 8 IS to just play their game.

“It’s huge psychologically on the players and the team,” he said. “The team has a lot of confidence going in there. We’re comfortable and the team is rolling full steam at that point.”

After Nunez added the third and final goal of the game by booting in a penalty kick minutes before halftime, the 8 IS retreated back in to defense for the rest of the game to preserve the win.

In picking up their second win of the season, the 8 IS showed a high level of team play and also showcased players who were well-rounded in ball movement and other aspects of the game.

Nunez said that the team’s competency on the field is a reflection of the talent on the 8 IS, which includes players that competed in high school and college.

The more experienced players bring members who are just starting out up to speed, Nunez said.

“I try to teach a lot of fundamentals,” he said. “And those individuals that are really good also try and teach. It’s all about ball control and moving forward as a team. I teach a lot of that with our drills.”

With the season still fresh after only two games, Nunez said that he is mostly concerned about two things and neither is about winning.

“Ultimately, I see ourselves having a lot of fun,” he said. “That’s the main thing. And hopefully, we have an injury-free season. Other than that, we’ll see where it takes us.”

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Category: Sports