Fat Alley, a team of senior (as in experienced) Telluride soccer players, has for many seasons been one of the league’s leaders. However, this year they’ve gotten off to a slow start, stymied by the up-and-comers on Team Latin, Buck United and Brown Dog. Fat Alley players hope Tuesday night’s big win over the 0-4 Siam Freaks represents a turning point in the season, which so far has put Fat Alley in the winner’s column only twice.
“We’ve come back from a slow start before,” said Fat Alley captain Mo Hanna of the team’s so-far unremarkable season record, following Tuesday night’s commanding win over the Freaks.
All the cards didn’t immediately look stacked in Fat Alley’s favor on Tuesday night, with Freak birthday boy Jim Carlson sneaking a header past Fat Alley goaltender Joe James (who has historically played defense for Fat Alley.) The Freaks, who so far have put only one other goal on the scoreboard in 2009, held a fleeting 1-0 lead. Experienced goalie Brett Bagsby’s competent skills were no match for a whizzing upper left corner shot from Fat Alley forward Brendan Clarke, which put the score at an even 1-1.
The Freaks’ midfield, orchestrated by Drew Ludwig and supported on both sides by Craig Wasserman at sweeper and Heather Barber up front, put together a series of passing sequences that sought to move play out of dangerous territory. Howver, Clarke, assisted by THS-soccer program grads Luis Nava and Edgar Torres, continued to send the ball back into scoring terrain in front of the Freaks’ net. Their work paid off, with Clarke sending the go-ahead goal past Bagsby just before halftime.
With their first 2009 win only two goals away, the Freaks rekindled their efforts over the halftime break, with Bagsby asserting: “Number 15 [Clarke] shouldn’t get the ball this half.” Minutes after the second half whistle, it wasn’t Clarke but rather teammate Jason Lilly who put the pressure on the Freak net. Thanks to a far-diving deflection, Bagsby maintained the team’s one-goal deficit.
The Freaks’ Megan Keever fought hard to control play and get her team in scoring position, which paid off when Carlson once again found himself in front of the net and handling a perfect header pass. The ball sailed just far of the net, giving Fat Alley the break they needed to revive their offense.
Ryan Tougher managed to slip the third Fat Alley goal in the net minutes later, scored during a rare Freaks defensive misstep. That goal, scored in the final twenty minutes of the match, seemed to take the wind out of the hard-fighting Freaks’ sails.
And if Tougher’s late-game goal didn’t dishearten some on the Freaks side, Brian “Grimmy” Beckham’s next goal certainly did. Beckham made goal-scoring look downright easy, with a surprise heel kick that sent the ball rolling backwards into the Freak net.
Fat Alley got their much-needed win with a final score of 4-1.
Other soccer action this week included Flubbadubba coming out of the woodwork to give undefeated Team Latin a scare on Monday. Flubbadubba matched Team Latin’s two goals to deliver the first tie Team Latin has seen this season. The winless Dragons also stepped up their play a notch, scoring two against Brown Dog during Monday’s 3-2 Brown Dog victory.
Soccer action continues tonight with Flubbadubba meeting Fat Alley at 6 p.m., and more games scheduled Monday through Friday next week.