TC Tucson finishes 5-5-4 in league play; fifth in standings.
By H. Jose Bosch
Tucson, AZ (July 20, 2013) — The closing minutes of FC Tucson’s 1-0 loss to BYU was a painful representation of the club’s entire season. A reminder of the biggest question haunting the club in 2013: “What if?”
What if James Huffer’s diving header in the 86th minute found the back of the net.
What if Huffer, again finding the ball at just the right moment, didn’t hit the post with yet another header?
What if FC Tucson hadn’t dropped points to Southern California. Or OC Blues Strikers. Or Ventura County. Or BYU?
It was a season filled with “what ifs” and as the lights went out over the final match of 2013, FC Tucson will have to spend an entire offseason trying to tackle that question.
“I mean it’s a great team and we have a lot of great players,” Huffer said. “It’s just … it would’ve been great to have a win tonight to end the season.”
Despite being down 1-0 and being outplayed for almost the entire second half, Tucson had two more last gasps to notch the equalizer.
In the 86th minute, Saeed Robinson collected a loose ball with his back toward the net. He turned, ran forward and from 25 yards out sent a diagonal ball to a streaking Huffer, who dove into the pass and sent the ball wide to the left.
Huffer had a chance at redemption in the 91st minute. After Stephen Posa lofted a ball into the box, Malcolm Alugas mistimed his jump to head the ball, but in the process drew his defender away from Huffer. Even with the goalkeeper in his face, Huffer managed to get his head on the ball again, only to see it hit the left post and kick out of play.
It was FC Tucson’s last chance to equalize.
“He was at the right place at the right time,” Schantz said. “I’d like to see him put those balls away and maybe it’s a different outcome but he’s a good kid (and) he works hard.”
Added FC Tucson forward Dakota Collins: “It was really rough at the end of the game. We really wanted it. We really wanted it; one for revenge but mostly for the fans. We had a huge crowd out tonight. We were getting great support. Everybody was here and we really wanted to get that one and it’s just too bad it didn’t go our way.”
FINAL MATCH STATISTICS
07.20.2013: Kino North Field 5 — 7:30 P.M.
FC TUCSON 0 – BYU 1
BYU: ’52, 19-Jace Green
FCT: 18-Dallas Jaye; 19-Tim Harbison, 24-Ryan Felix, 2-Matt Escober, 17-Edgar Reyna (’79, 20-James Huffer); 16 Isaac Ikyurav, 12-Max Ornstil, 25-Gabe Silveira (’67, 15-Stephen Posa), 23-David Clemens (’60, 5-Saeed Robinson); 9-Ricardo Velazco, 14-Dakota Collins (’86, 3-Malcolm Alugas).
Coach: Rick Schantz
BYU: 0-Jake Peterson; 6-Doug Clark, 22-James Bindrup, 21-Alex Neff, 5-Sterling Hancock; 14-Matt Rider, 18-Tanner Whitworth (’56, 9-Pedro Vasconcelos), 3-Colby Baver, 8-Jon Junca (’57, 20-Blake Frischknect); 19-Jace Green (’70, 17-Trevor Henderson), 16-Bryson Pope (’63, 12-Kip Critchlow).
Coach: Chris Watkins
BYU — ’30, 18-Tanner Whitworth; ’82, 9-Pedro Vascomcelos; ’83, 22-James Bindrup.
Statistics FCT BYU
Shots 17 11
Saves 4 7
Fouls 11 12
Corners 6 1
Offside 0 2