By John Anderson
Own goals, when a team puts the ball in its own net, are a fact of life in soccer, but they don’t occur often. For the Auburn boys, however, one occurred in each of two games this past week, and the result was 2 losses instead of 2 ties.
The season opener, away at Grafton last Wednesday, was a stellar game for the Rockets, and probably most of what Coach Chris Bailey was looking for on the first night of the season. He was still complementing them on Friday, and the unlucky play that happened just happened. No reason to dwell on it. Grafton won 1-0.
On Friday, home against Leicester, the Wolverines lucked out less than one minute in when a shot by Nick Bleau deflected off an Auburn defender and got passed the goalie. Dean Lemansky tied it up for the Rockets 8 minutes later with an assist by Steve Froio, and the game stayed even 15 minutes into the second half when Leicester shot another goal. Leicester went on to win 2-1 as the Rockets just couldn’t get a solid offense going.
Miscommunication was a big problem on Friday. Goalie and Co-Captain Adam Gillies said, “We need to pick up our heads and open our ears.” Time after time, the ball was kicked downfield with no white shirt in the area, or two players would almost be working against each other instead of together. Auburn’s game will certainly pick up quickly, but this one was tough to watch. Coach Bailey reminded his team, “The season’s not over. These are just two games.”
Injuries also plagued the Rockets, and Trainer Emily Para had her hands full last week. Several players were applying ice after the match, and one left during the game with a head injury. Hopefully, all will be healthy soon.