Ho'okele Staff | Aug 04, 2012
Randy Dela Cruz, Sports Editor
Goalkeeper Ensign Jamie Gaines blocked a penalty kick and later scored a goal as a striker in leading the Blue Penguins to a 3-1 victory July 28 over the 747th Communication Squadron (747 CS) in a Summer Soccer League game at Quick Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
The win raised the Blue Penguins’ record to 2-1, while the 747 CS dropped their first game of the season and fell to 1-1.
“We were knocking around better on offense,” said Blue Penguins team captain 1st Lt. Daniel Montilla. “Defense, we were having troubles keeping it solid, but our offense did a good job. And being aggressive, taking shots, I think, helped.”
In the first half, the Blue Penguins, a team that is mostly comprised of personnel from the 15th Operations Group, got on the scoreboard when Maj. Tim Flowers broke down the right side of the field and put the ball to the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.
The 747 CS got a golden opportunity to tie the score immediately after receiving a penalty kick, but couldn’t convert due to the quick response of Gaines, who stretched out and corralled the shot for a stop.
“That was awesome,” said Montilla about the block by Gaines, who was filling in for the team’s starting goalkeeper. “Whenever there is a PK, you always expect that it’s going to go in. But there’s always that hope that you might get a stop. He (Gaines) just got straight and got it.”
Later in the first half, the 747 CS managed to tie the score, when Marine Pfc. Rodolfo Medina scored in traffic on a kick near the goal, but the Blue Penguins went back out in front with a corner kick from Staff Sgt. Jacob Besze to Capt. Brian Larran, who took the ball off of a bounce before shooting it to the net.
Up by 2-1 at halftime, the Blue Penguins, with Gaines now playing on top, sealed the game early when Gaines broke away down the right side of the field and shot the ball past a leaping 747 CS goalkeeper for a goal.
“That was great,” Montilla stated. “Jamie had to leave early because his daughter had a soccer game later on, so he played extra hard and got that goal.”
From that point on, the Blue Penguins’ defense was able to put the clamps on the 747 CS, which began to feel the heat after barely fielding enough players to avoid a forfeit.
To make matters even worse, the 747 CS, which started the game without reserves, lost one of their players in the second half on an ejection by game officials.
Medina said that although the shortage of players didn’t affect his play, he did notice that some of his teammates were running out of gas.
“I didn’t mind personally because I like playing the whole game,” he said. “But I know some other players aren’t used to playing soccer and they need subs. We have a lot of players on leave right now, and we’re not playing the way we usually play. Next game, hopefully, we’ll try harder.”
Montilla said that while it’s always good to walk off the field with a win, the team’s main focus is to just play and have fun.
Many of the team’s players were members of the 15th OG’s intramural squad and just wanted to continue playing in the summer.
“We’re just a group of guys that love to play soccer,” he said. “We all want to win, but we don’t really care about our record. It’s just whoever can play, comes out.”