Last night, we finally kicked off the 2018/2019 Season with all of our soccer teams in action for their first official home games of the Universities of Rome Championship.
A challenging night for our Gladiators who played immediately against very strong teams, but all of our teams, to a greater or lesser extent, were able to prove themselves.
Now let’s take a closer look at what happened during each game!
First, forward Josè Pablo Ortega scored on a penalty kick, equalizing the result to 1-1. Then midfielder Ian Pratt tied up again, 2-2, and finally another final score from Josè brought the temporary match to 3-3. Unfortunately, game timing was not enough, though, to allow our Gladiators to score again and end the match in a draw.
“It was a good game against a well-organized team. But we proved great determination because we were able react every time we were in disdvantage,” coach Riccardo Concari commented. “Too bad about the final result, but this is the kind of personality that I want to see in my players on the field.”
Good job, Gladiators! This is only the first game, so keep working hard!
MVP – Josè Pablo Ortega
MEN’S 5vs5 SOCCER
We somewhat felt since the tryouts that this could be an important year for our Men’s 5-vs-5 soccer team. And last-night was definitely the proof!
An excellent performance from JCU led the team to win over The American University of Rome (AUR), 4-2. AUR, which is also last-Season winner of the Championship, couldn’t stop the fury of our Gladiators who are now setting the bar really high for all the other teams, as well.
The first minutes of the game saw AUR immediately gain the upper hand, but our Gladiators reacted right after the first opponent’s score and started to play seriously, overturning the result of the match.
“Tonight’s performance was great both technically and tactically. I also saw good teamwork. We proved to be a very cohesive team, and we helped each other out in the toughest situations,” coach Manuel Franceschi affirmed.
When you face a valid rival such AUR, teamwork is what makes the difference, and you proved it! And teamwork is also what will make you go far in the competition! Congratulations, Gladiators!
In this circumstance, we want to report here the words that our forward Andrea Palazzi said at the end of the game:
“Guys I just wanted to thank everyone of us for being such good mates and good players. Today we totally rocked it guys and I am proud of the way we have played. Now I think we must persist in being humble and in following the lead of the coach. Fernando today was great, a martian, […] though every one of us has been awesome too, from Stefano, who stopped the tall striker so many times, to the goal keepers who looked like spiderman, the killer- Ricky, and to every one of us who has been sweating through the shirts of our gladiators. C’mon fellows!!
You really made us proud, Gladiators! Now you need to keep working hard to improve even more. As coach Manuel pointed out, “This first game was really important for us to understand all the aspects that we need to improve. All the players are aware of their mistakes both individually and as a team. And I’m sure that improvements will come easier as we go along because they are very committed and willing to learn.”
This is the mentality we want from you, Gladiators! Now you only have one week left to prepare at your best to rock out and show what you are capable of at the 4th World interUniversities Championships in Barcelona.
MVP – Fernando Royuela, midfielder and author of 4 goals
WOMEN’S 5vs5 SOCCER
Not a so fortunate faith awaited our JCU Women’s Soccer team, which fell to AUR in 2-6 loss. Despite the many attempts at goal shooting, our Lady Gladiators were able to put the ball in the back of the net only twice thanks to defender Diana Fantauzzi and forward Catherine Latting.
“Overall, we played a decent game, but we definitely need to improve on the teamwork side. AUR played more as a team, and it won,” coach Paolo Farina commented about the match.
Our Lady Gladiators showed a good dose of determination on the field last night, but there is still quite a lot of work to do. This is only the first game, and the road is long. So don’t give up, ladies! It’s only one loss. Now it’s time to roll up your sleeves and show what our Lady Gladiators are capable of!
MVP – Viviana Colagrossi, Forward