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United Takes Bite Out of Vipers

May 11th - Afternoon Game

After seeing a lead taken away from them late by the United Quest '88 Athena White, the only thing longer than their name would be the ride home for the Augusta Area Youth Soccer League Arsenal Vipers. Both teams had played matches earlier in the day, but it was the home Quest side that looked a little flat at the opening whistle. The Vipers started aggressively and created problems for United with their speed and skill. The ball spent much of the first half in the middle third and it changed possession many times before the Arsenal girls put together a sequence that resembled the kind of soccer their English Premier League namesakes would have enjoyed. The resulting goal put them up 1-0 and looking for points on the road. After United tried to push back, Arsenal gained possession of the ball and "pinged" it around in the Quest penalty area for what seemed an eternity while none of the United girls could manage a confident clearance. The ball seemed attracted to the Quest goal, but the Viper players in the box weren't having much more luck with their leg swings than the United defenders. However, a ball that spends too much time in and around "the six" usually winds up in the back of the net. AAYSL was very shortly up 2-0. An animated Coach Anne Bristol gave a spirited half-time critique of the girls' effort that had parents straining to hear from the far sideline. Whatever she said seemed to work on the United players, because they came out with a new level of energy to start the second half and just got better as the clocked ticked toward full time. Midfielder Heather Dougherty jumped on her one quality opportunity out in front of the Arsenal goal and finished with authority to bring Quest to within one goal. Her beautiful strike was just the wake-up call the girls needed, and it served as a warning shot for the Vipers who looked vulnerable at last. United poured on the heat until one more opportunity presented itself in front of their opponents' goal. Meagan Wood turned just in time to see a ball played to her feet, which she redirected toward goal before the tightly packed Viper defense could react. The score stood at 2-2, and the girls of United Quest had displayed some of their most determined play of the season to snatch a draw from a quality opponent. The final whistle blew and sent the visiting Vipers home not vanquished, but feeling beaten nonetheless. The girls of United Quest went home tired, but happy that their hard work in the second half had been rewarded. last week's highlightsnext week's highlights