Second Half of the Season Kick-Off: Men’s/Women’s Soccer and Coed Volleyball

After JCU Basketball team win over Boys90 in their Season reprise, on Wednesday, February 6th, it was the turn of our Men’s Soccer, Women’s 5on5 Soccer, and Coed Volleyball teams to take down the field for their second half of the Season kick-off games.

Contrary to the Basketball team, a not-so fortunate fate touched upon these other teams who fell to their respective opponents. Despite the two loss and a tie, some of the new players proved to be very good elements in the teams, and some positive feeelings and important expectations still came out from these matches.

WOMEN’S 5on5 SOCCER

JCU Women’s 5on5 Soccer Team immediately had to face a very tough opponent in this reprise of the Season, the University of Foro Italico (UFI).

Our Lady Gladiators showed great character and good skills on the field, but the game ultimately ended with a win from UFI over JCU, 6-4.

However, it wasn’t an easy game for the opposing team who had to battle hard in order to take the win. Most of the game was, indeed, a back-to-back score situation. As UFI scored, JCU tied the result. The score was 4-4 almost until the end of the game, when a missed penalty kick in favor of JCU and the two UFI winning goals brought the final result 6-4 for the opposing the teams.

JCU scorers were Rachael Moulton (2), Katelynn Cunningham (1), and Nicole Luvisotti (1).

“Despite we lost this first game, I am very positive,” coach Paolo Farina commented. “The new girls are really good. They have a substantial soccer skill level, and they are really motivated and willing to learn and improve.”

Then Paolo continued, “I think they are a great advantage to the team, and I am confident enough that we can do really well in this second part of the Season.”

Good job, ladies! Keep working hard, this is the right spirit that we want to see!

Special thanks go to our new team player, Andrea Fox who, in the absence of our two regular goalkeepers (Maria Vittoria Albezzano – we wish you a fast recovery, and we look forward to seeing you back in the field and Samantha Bane) took the responsability to play as a goalkeeper even though that is not her role, but she still did an amazing job! So thank you!

MVPRachael Moulton

MEN’S SOCCER

JCU Men’s Soccer team faced ESN team in this game. Despite the final result, the overall performance of the team wasn’t particularly good.

Indeed, ESN was supposed to be an easier opponent for JCU, but the lack of focus from our team gave the chance to ESN to score three goals.

ESN mostly dominated the first half of the game by taking advantage of JCU lack of focus and mistakes. Thanks to a penalty kick, scored by our Captain Josè Pablo Ortega, the first half ended 1-2 for ESN.

In the second half, some of the changes that JCU coach Riccardo Concari made to the team seemed to work more efficiently, and our Gladiators reacted a little bit by scoring other two goals thanks to Mohamed Haddad (1) and Josè Pablo Ortega (penalty kick – 1). The game ended in a draw, 3-3.

“Despite the result, I’m not happy with how the team played last night,” Riccardo commented. “They fell into confusion and made too many mistakes, wasting important score opportunities.”

This was just a first unlucky game, and you still need to warming up the engines. We know you, and we know what you are capable of when you use your skills and determination. Show us the real Gladiators because Athens is getting closer, and you need to be ready!

COED VOLLEYBALL

JCU Coed Volleyball team played, instead, in the Oroverde Tournament against a solid team such as Green Hill who defeated our team 1-3.

In the first set, JCU played well and immediately gained the upper hand by winning the set 25-21.

However, our Gladiators did not replicate the excellent performance of the previous set and let Green Hill dominate the rest of the game, winning three sets in a row [19-25; 14-25; 15-25].

“Last-night game was more about finding the right balance within the team than the technical performance,” coach Stefano Papari said. “This is fairly new team, and we have been practicing together for two weeks now, so it is plausible that the team still needs to find a solid cohesion.”

“Since it is only the beginning, I tried to make a few experiments, lining up different team players in the three sets, but probably, the entire team didn’t respond well to these tests,” Stefano continued. “There is still a lot of work to do, but the team is good, and I am positive that there will be important improvements soon.”

Good job, Gladiators! Stay focused and keep working hard because these are the keys to succeed, and we know you will!

MVPVeronica Rusich

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