News: CG Cup Soccer Championship
Story by Lance Cpl. Katalynn M. Rodgers
The Commanding General’s Cup intramural soccer season concluded Wednesday at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego.
Second Recruit Training Battalion, who finished the regular season in first place, squared off Finance for this year’s top spot.
Both teams aggressively attacked as the match began. However, strong defensive play prevented either team from gaining an early advantage.
Finance benefited from a penalty in the eighth minute, resulting in a one-man advantage for two minutes. Moments later, Cpl Joshua Buckingham, separations clerk for Finance, broke the stalemate when he rifled a shot into the lower left corner of the net.
“I think they underestimated us in the beginning because we played G-1 the game before,” said Lance Cpl. Allen Turner, customer service clerk, H&S Bn.
Second Battalion responded minutes later when Capt. Mario Franco, series commander, Company G, capitalized on a mistake by the defense.
“The defender missed the ball, the keeper came out and I took the shot,” said Franco.
The evenly matched teams continued to duel, neither able to dominate the game.
Despite their fatigue, Cpl Kofi Agyeman, pay clerk, Finance, closed out the first half with a goal, giving Finance a 2-1 advantage at halftime.
Four minutes into the second half, 2nd Battalion’s Sgt. Steven Jackman, drill instructor, Company E, tied the score once again.
“We knew we had to come back and get together as a team after we went down,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brad Younger, the 2nd Battalion chaplain.
Jackman wasn’t through imposing his will on Finance’s exhausted defense. The drill instructor rifled a shot past the Finance keeper minutes later, giving 2nd Battalion their first lead of the match.
Finding themselves down for the first time, Finance countered with an offensive mindset. Unfortunately for Finance, the momentum swing couldn’t be overcome. The final whistle sounded and 2nd Battalion claimed the Intramural Soccer Championship.
“We played very well as a team,” said Younger. “The competition played very well, (the game) could have gone either way,” he added.
Although the championship game was Finance’s second of the day, nothing was taken from the talent of 2nd Battalion.
“Second Battalion was a phenomenal team,” said Turner. “They were the better team, but we have a lot of heart,” Turner added.