NEWPORTâ€“What a difference a couple of games can make.
When UCA first took on Trinity Baptist, they got walloped by the score of 10-0.
This time it was a complete turn around and the Crusaders barely lost by the score of 1-0 to the Kings.
"I think part of it is being on our fifth game instead of our first," said Coach DeLaBruere, "The first game we came out we played a little scared. We were reacting to the ball instead of playing our game. This game we came out ready to play."
Opposing coach Randy Krystowiak also noticed the difference in the Crusaders play saying of UCA, "They were running through balls and winning the 50/50 battles that they weren't before."
Despite the sun shinning upon Gardner park, the teams took to a very wet and muddy field on Friday, and as play got under way, it was the Crusaders who were in control early.
Patric Quirion had multiple chances in the opening ten minutes, including two at a wide open King net, but was unable to convert on any of them.
DeLaBruere was excited about Quirion's efforts on Friday saying, "To have those kinds of opportunities early in a game by a ninth grader, and it wasn't just one, it was three, they make for a good additional seventy minutes because they build on that momentum, that adrenaline of those opportunities, and I think you can ride that wave for quite a while."
In the first half United Christian would direct thirteen balls towards keeper Creighton North, who did a solid job keeping the Kings net empty.
On the other end Chris DeLaBruere was up to the task early on as well, but it was in the second half where he really displayed his ability.
As the second frame got under way, Trinity was able to make the adjustments necessary to play in the wet conditions, and were able to hem UCA in their own end for much of the half.
They had 12 shots, seven of which were quality ones that had DeLaBruere diving, jumping, and scrambling to keep the ball out of his goal.
Finally, with roughly eighteen minutes left to play, Jon Oblak was able to find a hole in the Crusader defense and put home the game winning goal from just inside the eighteen yard line.
"In the second half we didn't fall apart, but they were able to get one in," said DeLaBruere.
The loss still leaves UCA winless in 2011, but if were able to see their play on Friday, you know that it is only a matter of time before this team picks up their first victory of the season.
They go for win number one on Monday when they head east to Canaan for 4:00 match-up.