Coast Guard, Santa Fe play to deadlock

Aviation Maintenance Technician 3rd Class Jake Desnarais goes airborne while going after the ball being guarded b y Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Otto Kerr.

Story and photo by Randy Dela Cruz

Sports Editor, Ho‘okele

After coming up with a huge win over Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Hawaii in their last game, Coast Guard struggled against USS Santa Fe (SSN 763), finishing in a 0-0 tie, in a Summer Soccer League game on July 21 at Ear-hart Field, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

After getting past league-leading NIOC, Coast Guard entered as the favorite against Santa Fe, which came into the matchup as the league’s cellar dwellers with a record of 0-3.

However, if there ever was a game where Santa Fe stood to pull out a big upset, it was this one, as Coast Guard appeared for the showdown missing three key players, which included Coast Guard Avionics Electrical Technician 2nd Class Aldo Albarello and Lt. Cmdr. Cal Robbins. In the win over NIOC, Albarello scored two goals and Robbins added another.

“Still, I thought we played well,” said Avionics Electrical Technician 1st Class Brennen Bridgeford, who also scored against NIOC. “I just blew a lot of shots.”

While Coast Guard did manage to consistently get upfield and take quite a few shots on goal, Santa Fe put up strong interference in the backfield to prevent clear boots to the net.

“I like to communicate with the goalie a lot because if I’m playing the ball, I have no idea what’s going on in back of me,” Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Otto Kerr said about how he coped with the pressure in the backfield. “I say a lot of it is communication. There (are) a lot of senior guys and a lot of junior guys and we all mesh very well.”

Although Bridgeford admitted that he somehow missed a few shots that he shouldn’t have – one of his shots grazed the right upright and ricocheted out – he felt that playing without their top guns was the reason why Coast Guard struggled.

“It hurts (because) they are some of our best players,” he said. “I had looks, but I couldn’t get off a good shot. We just couldn’t find the back of the net.”

Even though the Coast Guard was experiencing trouble on offense, the team was having a solid game on defense. Each time Santa Fe approached the goal; the Coast Guard turned them away without a score.

From the backfield, Kerr said that he could see his teammates get into position on offense, but he admitted, the Coast Guard’s defense was just too tough.

“I know we did our best to try and get the ball out, but then we’d tire ourselves out,” Kerr explained. “But I don’t think that there was anything we could have worked out. In the second half, there were so many good plays.”

Kerr added that despite the tie, he feels that the team performed the best that it has all season long.

While Coast Guard was missing a few players, the team was still pretty tough and for Kerr, to get a tie, shows just how much Santa Fe has improved.

“Zero-zero is a tie, but it’s better than zero-two,” Kerr said. “We’re moving in the right direction and I think it’s going to give us a good bump for the next game. It’s all getting better.”

As for the Coast Guard, Bridgeford stated that the team’s biggest challenge is to make sure all of their players are able to participate. If the team can manage to do that, things should turn out just fine.

“West and at one-and-four rotations and people deploy, so we never get a continuous team,” he pointed out. “I think we could definitely win it if we all get to play together.”

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Category: Sports