FRA (3-2) and BGA (1-3-2) faced off in an intense district game in Division II-A Soccer. This game was great to watch if you love defense as both teams we held to zero goals in the first half.

However, it would be FRA who played a better second half and secured the 2-1 victory.

“They were awesome tonight,” said FRA coach Ryan McDonald. “What I liked the most is that we battled. I like that about those teams who like to be blue collar, and I’m glad we got the win tonight.”

After a scoreless first half, both teams we’re looking for something to kickstart scoring, and both teams got that from their players in the final 40 minutes of the game.

BGA started the scoring in the second half.

The Wildcats sent a ball over the top of the Panther defense, and Clark Coco capitalized on the chance and hit it right past the opposing goalkeeper to give BGA a one-goal lead. Coco has been dealing with injury issues the entire season, but managed to give his team a boost offensively.

“He’s been injured the whole season,” said BGA coach John Millard. “We’re trying to manage it the best we can. We are obviously a much better team when he is on the field. He makes us better, and that’s what we need. We’ve got players that make us better, and he’s one of them.”

The Wildcat lead lasted up until the 60th minute as a slide tackle in the BGA box gave FRA a chance to tie the game.

Gonzalo de Gracia guessed correctly and got the ball past the BGA goalie to tie the game at 1.

The last 20 minutes of the game were very fun to watch from the spectator’s point of view. Both sides threw everything they had at each other’s defense in order to try and break the tie.

The last goal for FRA didn’t come until the 79th minute just before the final whistle blew.

It would be de Gracia again for the Panthers who scored the goal to give his side the win after dribbling past the BGA defenders and around the goalie.

“I just think that over the duration of the game there were moments when we weren’t stepping to the ball,” said Millard. “Those small things matter, and that’s one of the things we told the guys, too. Whether it’s a 50/50 ball that’s getting served in the box, and you’re stepping to attack it and be first, and their second goal happened to come off that exact moment. They wanted it more. They stepped in and take it and all of a sudden, we’re in trouble.”

BGA had a couple of chances in the last minute or so, but nothing would fall for them.

FRA gets their second district win of the season with this victory as they move into the fourth spot in the district.

“We all agreed on it that our first half was probably one of our worst halves of the year,” said McDonald. “We asked the guys how they think they did, and they were honest with themselves. They thought that they weren’t very good, and they turned it around so credit to them.”

BGA will be moving on after this game to play against Independence away from home next Friday. 

While BGA has yet to get its first district win of the year at 2-3-2, they are still optimistic after the way this district game ended.

“We were a totally different team than the team that was against CPA,” said Millard. “Just them understanding that and taking away from this game that it wasn’t the result we wanted, but there were moments in the game where we had good ideas. We just need to be a little more technical on connecting some passes, we need to step to the ball to win it and we just need those moments to be multiplied so that we get a better result.”

FRA will be playing Providence Christian Academy next Tuesday. The Panthers will be hoping they can keep this momentum going as they get into their district schedule.

“It’s actually been great,” said McDonald. “We’ve gotten to get some training sessions in, since it’s been a fast start. So it’s been nice to get some training sessions in to work on some things, and they’ve responded really well, which is great."

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