Alhambra can’t get results in 3-3 thriller

Alhambra junior Hunter Bradford (4) clashes with a Campolindo player in the teams’ 3-3 draw at Knowles Field on Jan. 16, 2017. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Alhambra junior Hunter Bradford (4) clashes with a Campolindo player in the teams’ 3-3 draw at Knowles Field on Jan. 16, 2017. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

The Division II runner ups from last year showed up at Alhambra probably not expecting to be served up much of a challenge. However, the last time these two teams met, the Cougars only scored a single goal in a win.

This time the Bulldogs had a little more on their mind than just holding down the talented Cougars. But a late goal by Cougar captain Rupert Dusauzay guaranteed that both teams would take a point from the contest in a thrilling 3-3 draw.

Surely prior to the game the Bulldogs would’ve taken a 3-3 draw no problem against the Division runner ups, but the Cougars lost eight seniors from that team.

That didn’t mean the guys who were on the pitch weren’t up to the task, but Alhambra will surely feel as though they hurt themselves in many tough spots.

Tactically the Cougars allowed the Bulldogs to put pressure on their defense in the early stages of the match. Campolindo decided to try and allow Alhambra to move forward with the ball at their feet in an attempt to hit them swiftly on the counter attack.

Matthew Rinquist was unlucky not to score in the 11th minute when his shot deflected off of Solomon Dusauzay. The ball took it away from the diving Bulldog keeper, but was cleared by the Bulldogs.

Unable to clear their lines, the Bulldogs conceded the opener to Solomon Dusauzay in the 24th minute. A poor clearance went backwards into the path of the striker, rather than away from the Bulldog goal. The Campo player easily scored to give his team a lead.

With a goal in hand Campolindo was buoyed, and played more possession soccer. Which made it all the more stunning when Alhambra equalized in the 30th minute.

Completely against the run of play, senior Jack Fuller managed to use his strength to push off a pair of defenders and score a solo stunner.

The Cougars were all over the shop for the remainder of the half, but still managed not to concede to the suddenly invigorated Bulldogs.

That all ended only three minutes into the second half when another defensive mishap gifted the  Cougars the lead. A poor clearance by the Bulldog defender was slashed into the net ruthlessly by Campolindo.

Reagan Cole nearly canceled out that goal five minutes later with a brilliant bit of link up play with defender Hunter Bradford. The junior center back made a daring run from defense after being slipped in by the sophomore midfielder. Bradford’s cut back to Cole was fired high by the sophomore, who was leaning back as he misfired.

He made up for it in the 68th minute by latching on to a deflected pass by Victor Ortega. Cole caught the keeper off his line and lobbed him from 30 yards out to equalize once more.

Two minutes later the Dogs were sent into a frenzy. Against the run of play once more, Fuller beat his defender by just dropping his shoulder and using his pace to get by him and score across goal from his favored left foot.

Alhambra punished the Cougars for not taking care of business and were in a position to win. But then the Bulldogs failed to do anything else. And once again, a lapse in defense haunted them.

Prior to the game the draw would’ve sufficed, but with how free-flowing the game was, it really did seem like the Bulldogs could steal a fourth.

Instead it was a 78th minute goal by Rupert Dusauzay, his second of the night, to cancel out the efforts of the Dogs.

With is brace he matched Fuller’s, and Alhambra as a whole, as things ended evenly.

About Gerardo Recinos

Gerardo Recinos is a journalist currently living in Concord, Calif. He is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University, with a degree in Journalism (History minor). Gerardo covers sports throughout Martinez and Pleasant Hill. It's his lifelong mission to get people in the U.S. to stop calling football "soccer," and to call American football "handegg."

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