Monday, June 3, 2013
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — The Panama City Beach Pirates fell 2-0 to the Ocala Stampede, taking their first loss of the season Sunday night at Mike Gavlak Stadium. After an aggressive start to the game, the Pirates found themselves a goal down against the run of play just 11 minutes in, with Ocala tacking on a second goal in the 58th minute to double their advantage.
The Pirates appeared the aggressor of the two teams early on, weaving the ball through the midfield and creating several half chances. In the seventh minute, the Pirates worked the ball wide where some quick feet from forward Nasser Chariff saw him drive to the goal line before whipping in a cross. Ocala’s goalkeeper LexCraggs easily handled the cross and danger was cleared.
In the 11th minute, a simple play through the Stampede’s midfield resulted in a cross from the right flank. A floated ball found its way back post where it fell to a wide open Jack Bailey. The Ocala forward calmly took a touch and slid the ball past a defenseless Sean Lewis in goal, giving an early 1-0 advantage to the Stampede.
With both teams playing in their second game in 48 hours, weary legs led to some sloppy passing in the midfield from each side. In the 33rd minute, a long ball from Ocala put Pirates right back Ryan Rogers on his heels. Running with his back to goal, Rogers could only manage a toe on the ball pushing it toward Lewis in the Ocala goal. Assuming the ball had been deflected, Lewis picked up the ball to play, and a whistle blew as the referee awarded an indirect kick just 14 yards out. Ocala couldn’t capitalize on the chance as the kick was rocketed well over the crossbar, leaving the ‘keeper untested.
A slip up from the Pirates backline put a dash on their hopes of a second-half comeback. After starting off the half strong, a weak pass across the back line was picked off by Ocala’s Kyle Brietmayer, who took advantage of the mistake, driving his way into the penalty area where he smartly finished with his left foot, doubling Ocala’s lead in the 58th minute.
The Pirates attempted to battle their way back into the game, however play became frantic and the game was truly stretched. Direct play resulted in the Pirates’ best chance of the game. Following a cleared free kick, Panama City Beach left back Andrew Beasley sent a hopeful ball to the edge of the penalty area. A flicked header fell to Taian de Souza, who set the ball for an on-running Calvin Maques 12 yards out. Marques couldn’t keep the shot on target and the 88th-minute miss was the Pirate’s last hope.
The Pirates now must look to bounce back from their season’s first defeat, facing their next opponent IMG Bradenton Academy. Kickoff is set for Saturday at 7:15 p.m. CT at Mike Gavlak Stadium in Panama City Beach, Fla. For more information go to www.panamacitybeachpirates.com or like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PanamaCityBeachPirates.