WANAKA, N.Z. (Aug. 25) – Waxing tech Andrew Cesati curled an early kick into the cross country team's goal Tuesday and the men's alpine group held off the nordics for a 1-0 victory in the second annual Alpine-XC soccer match Down Under.
“Alpine opened hard,” said Trond Nystad, cross country head coach, “and outplayed us in the first 15 minutes. The next 15 were more even and the last 15 were more in cross-country's favor.” Added men's Head Coach Phil McNichol, “We got out of it a little bruised at the end – the competitive juices were flowing on both sides, as you can imagine.”
McNichol said, “We got that quick goal from Andrew and then we held on. He bent one in off the upper bar and that was it. We talked 'em into shorter periods. We had everybody – two 11-man sides – and it was tough to get the coaches in because the boys didn't want to sub out. When their masculinity's called into question, y'know, they have to respond.”
Erik Schlopy (Park City, UT), rebounding from knee surgery after a crash in the second race last season, played goal for the alpine squad. Andrew Johnson (Greensboro, VT) missed a shot on an open goal but that was about the cross country troupe's toughest threat.
“Another year, another loss,” said Nystad. “We've either got to recruit better players or start playing full games.” Instead of the normal two 45-minute halves, he said, the teams agreed to three 15-minute sessions at a local school; last year, the alpiners won 2-1.