Napa, CALIF- It was a windy day on Storm field where controlling the ball on the ground was vital. The Storm held constant pressure holding possession on the Merritt half through most of the game. Similar to many games the Storm have had, a foul right outside the 18 foot box lead to a set piece by Merritt. That set piece was able to squeak by the Storm goalkeeper tying the game and a result 1-1.
The wind played a major factor with deep balls coming to a near halt, or blowing them out of bounds. For most of the game the storm were able to control the ball on the ground making the simple passes. Any deep balls in the air the players were able to take one touch and send it on an offensive attack. Despite going against the wind in the first half, the storm were able to make multiple counter attacks. In the 35th minute David Jimenez was able to find Greg Soria just outside the 12 foot box to find the back of the net far post. For the rest of the half, the game was slowed and Napa maintained possession. Going into the half 1-0, with many opportunities missed the Storm were looking to capitalize in the next half.
In the Second half the Thunderbirds came out aggressive and with a higher sense of urgency. The Storm offense would push, however the Thunderbirds would send a quick counter attack that tested the Storm back line. On a counter attack, storm midfielders pushed too far up letting the Merritt forwards find space pressuring to the corner. In the 85th minute Lautaro Altamiranda ball found its way through the Storm defenders and ricocheted past Perez.
The Storm turned up the intensity and had plenty of chances with multiple corner kicks but nothing materializing. The Storm are now (3-6-3) overall and (1-0-2) in conference. The next game is against Mendocino College at Napa, Friday 10/12/18 kickoff set for 4:00 pm.