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May, 2019

Predator 07 Boys win Durango Shootout

Pride Predators 07B Win Durango Shootout U-12 Boys


The Pride Predators 07B participated in the Durango Shootout Tournament 11-12 May 2019.  The Predators were undefeated entering the Championship Match against the Montrose Avalanche 07B, who were also undefeated in group play.  Predators Coach Thomas Hoang had prepared the team well through a focus on skills, teamwork, and anticipatory play. 

The Championship match occurred on a bright and sunny Mother’s Day. Both teams showed up in Red/Red uniforms, so the Predators adjusted to their White Jerseys with Red Shorts for the match. Montrose jumped off to an early lead 1-0.  Thanks to aggressive play and incredible teamwork by the Predators, the score at halftime was 2-1 with Pride in the lead.  Carson Luedtke (10) scored in the box off of a GK mishandling of the ball and Linken Hitzler (25) scored on a PK after a Predator was felled aggressively in the box.

The second half saw an amazing defensive effort by both teams and the score remained 2-1 into the last minute of regulation.  The Montrose team never gave up and amazingly scored with under a minute to play in regulation.  Thus, the Championship Match went into overtime 2-2.  The defensive/offensive play by Pride defenders and mid-fielders forced the game to the Montrose end of the field most of the match.  Incredible play by Theo Buchholz-Guerrero (27), Sam Dixon (44), Alex Bond (31), Linken Hitzler (25), Alex Fields (33), Luke Cuellar (49) ensured the quick transition attack for Carson Luedtke (10), Wayne Chan (23), Parker Wheat (40), Michael Leibla-Gonzales (7)

The match went through two 5-minute overtime periods with no further scoring thanks to the solid defense by both teams.  The match transition to a Penalty Kick shootout with Brock Jones (GK) as the line of defense for the Pride Predators.  The Predators lined up with Linken Hitzler, Michael Leibla-Gonzales, Parker Wheat, Aiden Casperson, and Carson Luedtke to attempt PKs. 

Montrose began the PK shootout with a score.  Linken Hitzler (25) from Pride tied it with a solid kick into the net.  Brock Jones anticipation and dive in the goal resulted in the second Montrose player shooting wide.  Michael Leibla-Gonzales (7) put Pride ahead by sending the second PK into the net.

The third Montrose player scored on a solid shot and the Montrose GK managed to deflect an attempt by Predator Parker Wheat (40).  The fourth Montrose player also missed and a solid attempt by Predator Aiden Casperson (6) just missed.  

Going into the 5th shooters for Montrose and Pride, we were knotted in PKs at 2-2.  Predator GK Brock Jones continued his stance and forced the Montrose player to shoot wide.  The pressure mounted at Carson Luedtke (10) approached the ball with a large crowd gathered around the pitch.  He struck the ball to the upper left of the goal forcing the Montrose GK to stretch far.  The Montrose GK managed to get a few fingertips onto the shot diverting it slightly up into the bottom of the crossbar where it then deflected solidly into the Gooooooooooooaaaaal!  Pandemonium ensued.  Pride wins a hard-fought and well-played match by both teams in a Penalty Shootout, winning 3-2 on PKs. 

What a way to end the season with a Pride Championship at the Durango Shootout!   The Predator boys grew as a team and developed the teamwork and anticipation in play that makes soccer a beautiful game to behold.  They put it all together flawlessly in Durango and left as Champions.