The Reds Suffer 5-0 Loss Against FC Olympia

“It’s a game of moments, and there’s a lot of moments. You can’t focus on all the negatives, you have to stay forward thinking.”
-Alison Monroe, Player of the Match

Sunday’s match against FC Olympia proved to be a challenge for the LUFC Women’s squad, resulting in a 5-0 loss. Although the result wasn’t ideal, the Reds feel confident continuing forward in the season. When asked what the mentality was like heading into Sunday’s game, midfielder Ali Monroe commented that, “all season we’ve been talking about competing for the full 90 (minutes), and if we get scored on just to keep our heads up, stay disciplined, and I think we did that today.” 

Indeed the Reds stayed very disciplined during a challenging first half. The half opened with a slower tempo as both teams shifted the ball and sought to connect. The Reds focused on playing very defensively, choosing to sit back in their half instead of applying a high press. When asked about this defensive style of play, Monroe said, “That was more of a game plan, I think we wanted to stay disciplined in that mid block. And shift our defensive line to play smarter, that way we didn’t tire our legs out. We knew that they had some strong forwards up top.” 

Alison Monroe (MID/POTM) (Photo by Barbara Minkler)

Despite LUFC’s heavy defensive presence, FC Olympia was able to get on the board in the 11th minute of play. The goal was the result of a shot across the box, and was a testament to Olympia’s efficient possession in the final third. The Reds would respond well against the 5th ranked team in the nation, with two 1 on 1 chances both saved well by the Olympia keeper. Shortly after, a scramble in the box at the Red’s attacking goal was surely thought to be the equalizer, but the point-blank shot was blasted off the goal line by an FC Olympia defender. As the half continued, Olympia’s repeated offensive attacks seemed to tire the Reds out a bit. Which resulted in a lack of connection and inability to generate momentum offensively. Olympia’s efforts would prove successful again in the 37th minute of play, earning themselves a second goal off of a penalty in the box. Then, in quick succession of the second goal, FC Olympia scored in the 39th minute of play off a shot from the top of the box.

Both goals were partially due to LUFC’s inability to step up to players and efficiently clear the ball. Having two goals against in such quick succession is difficult for any team, and hurt the momentum Lane United was just grasping. When asked how the team stays motivated in difficult matches like Sunday’s, Monroe asserted that, “It’s supporting each other out there, I think it’s focusing on the positives, it’s making sure that we’re staying focused on the next play. If you make a mistake not staying down for too long, cause it’s a game of moments, and there’s a lot of moments. You can’t focus on all the negatives, you have to stay forward thinking.” 

Scramble in the box, cleared by FC Olympia (photo by Barbara Minkler)

The Reds finished the half continuing to look forward, and went into halftime eager to improve. Head Coach Jurgen Ruckaberle spoke on the mentality and message in the locker room during halftime. The coach commented that, “It felt a bit deflating. We felt we were right there to tie the game. And then we went to half three to nil. Which, against a team like that, is very difficult. So our message was not changing, we were gonna continue to play, but we have to do a better job when we win the ball to actually create opportunities and then make them count.”

Suzu Narusawa (DEF) and Jurgen Ruckberle (Head Coach) (photo by Barbara Minkler)

As the second half began, the Reds debuted much more aggression and initiated more opportunities offensively. However, as FC Olympia maintained dominance on the offensive, a fourth goal found its home in the back of the Red’s net. The goal was shot across the box and arched over goalkeeper Liv Riddel. Regardless of the score, LUFC stayed positive and continued to be disciplined. When evaluating the squad’s performance in the second half, Monroe expressed that, “I think we did create some chances, and I think that we had a little bit more grit coming out in that second half. So I think that we did a good job staying locked in and not getting down when they did get that fourth and fifth goal.” Indeed FC Olympia managed to score the fifth and final goal of the match in the 63rd minute of play. 

Sunday’s match proved to be a learning lesson for the Reds, but post match the team feels positive going forward. With only one home match left, LUFC is eager to put some points on the board against some fantastic competition. Come out and support the LUFC Womens squad’s last home game of the season this Wednesday June 19th, at Civic Park.

(Photo by Barbara Minkler)