Coach Paul Furey probably expressed it best after the Flames (8-6) lost to an NAIA team ranked in the top 20 for the sixth time this season. Four of the losses have been by one goal and three were 1-0 decisions.
“It was de javu all over again, losing once again by one score to a top-ranked team,” noted Furey. “It is like a rerun of a sad movie. The positive thing we can take away from this game is our goalkeeper (Ben Perez, nine saves) kept us in the game.
“It is obvious we need to produce more opportunities to score and that is just not happening,” he stressed. “We’ve got to fight to make the (SSAC) playoffs and we will focus on that now.”
The Flames played the final two minutes of the first half and the entire final 45 minutes of the second stanza a man down. Jaxon McClure picked up a red card at the 42:44 mark. However, Lee continued to battle and stay with the strong Southern Poly club until the final seconds.
The difference is clear in the stat totals. Lee only produced two shots the entire night. Josh Inglis had one fly off target in the first half, and Sebastian Vallejo put one on target that was saved by SPSU’s keeper Dennis Kramer late in the heated action.
On the other hand, the Hornets got 19 shots and 10 were on goal. Twelve of the visitor’s shots came after the Flames were a man down. Lee was whistled for 22 fouls in the rugged affair and SPSU was charged with only nine.
The Flames will be back in action on the Lee Soccer Field on Tuesday at 7 p.m., hosting Truett-McConnell College in another SSAC affair. Lee stands at 8-6 overall and 3-5 in league play. Southern Poly improves to 10-2 and 6-2 in the SSAC.