St. Louis University came back from a 2-1 second half deficit to tie Sunday’s game with AC St. Louis. 2-2. Although AC St. Louis had many chances to score during the latter part of the second half, they couldn’t notch a go ahead goal. Hermann Field looked in great shape despite all the recent rain. and the sun peeked out a bit. The windy conditions seemed to have some effect on the game.
St. Louis University opened the scoring very early in the game off a headed ball placed beautifully from a free kick by #10, sophomore Mike Roach from Chaminade. Roach’s free kick was classic — it had good pace and swerved right into the box from the right side of the field. New SLU coach Mike McGinty had to be very happy, as his team dominated the first minutes and kept AC St. Louis penned in its own half.
AC St. Louis tied the game later in the first half on a goal by forward Brad Stisser. Stisser played a strong game and often looked to be a threat. The first half came to an end with the score knotted at 1-1. AC St. Louis scored in the second half on a laser shot by Ryan Moore, before SLU came back to tie the game up. ACSTL couldn’t capitalize on numerous shots on goal before time ran out.
I’m not going to comment a lot about individual play for a few reasons. First of all, I don’t know the SLU players. It’s apparent, however, that Coach McGinty has inherited some real talent. The team kept its composure until some defensive lapses in the latter part of the game, and showed some offensive spark. Secondly, there were no rosters available for either team, and the ACSTL uniforms weren’t numbered. A few of the ACSTL players stood out, though, and I apologize that I’ve overlooked others who played well because I wasn’t 100% sure of their identities. So, here goes…..
As mentioned earlier, Brad Stisser was an offensive threat. He often looked dangerous, and as ACSTL settled down and got in a rhythm, he proved that he can find the back of the net. Ed Velten displayed veteran leadership and helped steady the team. In the second half, Elvir Kafedzic came on and showed strength and poise as a striker playing with his back to goal. He was able to shed defenders, hold the ball and deliver it effectively. Ryan Moore’s blast that put ACSTL ahead was a quality shot.
Overall, the team was a little bit shaky and tentative in the first minutes of the game, and the SLU players hustled to take advantage. As the game wore on, ACSTL began to gel and the team played cohesively, with its offense picking up considerably. ACSTL is very much a passing team and did well keeping possession in the second half. I enjoy the style of play that Coach Anelka has instituted. No long punt and chase game, he instead brings a fluid, crisp passing style to the team. Even in the second half, with the wind to their backs, ACSTL kept the ball on the ground with most of the distribution from the goalkeeper being short throws to his backliners. I saw a bit of sloppy play and some defensive confusion early, but also witnessed some individual flair and some real talent from many of the players. This is going to be a fun team to watch, and a team that should steadily improve as they get more games under their belts as a unit. I also liked the fact that Coach Anelka and Steve Ralston were talking to and teaching players at halftime and after the game. Can’t wait until next Saturday to see both Coach McGinty’s talented squad play SIUE and ACSTL host the red-hot Kansas City Wizards in a doubleheader at AB Soccer Park.
Notes: I want to thank Steve Rusnack for taking photos. Photographing the beautiful game isn’t easy, and as inept at it as I am, he graciously took some photos for us. I want to send best wishes to Jack Traynor, who had to sit out due to injury, but was thoughtful enough to come by and say hello after the game. Also want to give a shout out to Brad Stisser, who took a few minutes to chat with us following the contest and to young Dylan Edward T., a big fan of the game and AC St. Louis.
Filed under: AC St. Louis, NASL General News, USSF Division 2 News | Tagged: AC St. Louis, Brad Stisser, Claude Anelka, Ed Velten, Elvir Kafedzic, Hermann Field, Jack Traynor, Mike McGinty, St. Louis University, Steve Ralston |