The Tigers lose a player and a lead in a loss to Melbourne Central Catholic.
By BRANDON WRIGHT
Published November 21, 2004
TAMPA - Melbourne Central Catholic scored twice in a five-minute span Saturday to come from behind and defeat host Jesuit 2-1, handing the Tigers their first loss of the season.
"They brought it to us in the second half," Jesuit coach Bob Bauman said. "I thought we came out strong in the first 20 minutes of the second half, but then we relaxed and they didn't let up."
The match became physical in the second half. The teams combined for six yellow cards and a rare blue card. Jesuit's Ryan Brennan was sent off early in the second half for his second yellow.
"The intensity was heightened out there," Bauman said. "When that happens, both teams try to gain an edge and it's up to the officials whether or not to make the calls."
One non-call seemed to aid the Tigers (1-1) in the 47th minute. Wesley Sima got tangled up with a Hustlers defender deep in the left corner. The players jostled each other to the ground and it appeared a punch was thrown at Sima. No call was made but the Tigers' intensity increased, resulting in Sima's goal a minute later off of Andrew Fuller's throw-in for a 1-0 lead.
"Fuller is so dangerous on the throw-in," Bauman said.
But Fuller's blue card turned the match in the Hustlers' favor. Tigers goalkeeper Justin Morris mishandled a lofted corner kick and a Hustler got his head on the ball, sending it toward goal. Fuller came in behind Morris and swatted the ball away, preventing the goal. A blue card was issued, meaning Fuller was ejected and a penalty kick was awarded.
"(Fuller) took the card rather than let the goal in and that gave us a shot at the penalty kick at least," Bauman said.
But Ryan Hagerty converted the PK, tying the score and leaving the Tigers a man down. Five minutes later, Jon Strength drove a free kick from 25 yards into the upper left hand corner.
"That was just a perfect shot," Bauman said. "There was nothing (Morris) could have done."