On a windy Thursday evening the Albuquerque Sol were undone by a rough second half against FC Boulder. The teams entered the halftime break even at a goal apiece, but the visitors struck three times inside 30 minutes of the second stanza to take a commanding lead. The Sol replied with a Sam Gleadle penalty kick to cap the scoring in a 4-2 Boulder victory.
The Sol started well finding success through the middle with strong holdup play from Jack Clancy directing traffic. A Yuri Domiciano cross found Clancy in the 4th minute who laid off for Pat Pacheco, but the midfielder’s shot was always rising. A training ground corner kick in the 17th was driven near post by Nico Perez but Dylan Nino’s diving bullet header was on the wrong side of the far post for Sol hopes.
Perez himself threatened in the 24th minute as he was clumsily hacked down by Boulder defenders to no avail. He replied in kind on the other end and this time the whistle blew for a free kick. Against the run of play Boulder claimed the lead off the set piece taking advantage of some miscommunication along the Sol backline.
Tommy Ramos was a bundle of energy all night for the Sol. His hustle paid off handomsly in the 31st as stripped a casual defender and slammed home an equalizer off the post. Before his Tommy Gun celebration, Ramos slyly checked the assistant referee who had caught Ramos twice previously in the half leaking offside.
Tommy Ramos’ now famous “Tommy Gunn” celebration occurred again after he scored in the 31st minute!
Boulder rocked the post in the 38th but would threaten no more in the opening half. However, minutes into the second a half a cracker from Boulder was always destined for the top corner as the away side took the lead. In the 62nd Sol goalie Tyler Pavlett made a fine first save but Boulder was in the right spot to put home the rebound. In the 73rd Boulder stormed the middle of the pitch to slip in an attacker who was first to react and add a fourth.
The deficit sapped some Sol energy but the players still tried to aggressively press Boulder. However the press often took the form of individual bursts and was not harmonized among teammates leaving gaps in the Sol forecheck as the home side lost its shape.
The Sol struggled to mount an organized attack running out of ideas on how to breakdown the Boulder defense. Albuquerque threatened on a Sam Gleadle cutback cross in the 63rd and off a Gleadle-to-Gleadle combination in the 83rd but couldn’t find any answers in the run of play. Clancy had a go from distance off a goalkeeper misplay but didn’t get the lift needed to punish the Boulder backstop. He punched the turf in frustration a fitting display of emotion under the circumstances.
The Sol conclude the 2017 season with a rematch against Boulder at 7:30 p.m. at St. Pius X High School. Tickets are available online at http://tickets.abqsolfc.com/.