Iguanas knock back Beer Engines FC

7-2 victory secures season sweep

Updated Tuesday July 14, 2015 by Eric Thompson.

The Iguanas offense is on a roll.

How much of a roll is the team on? In the first five games of the season, Iguanas scored six total goals. In the last four games, they are averaging six goals per game.

Iguanas kept their high-scoring attack going against Beer Engines FC on a hot, humid, and breezy evening at Thresher Park in Eagan. After about 10 minutes of both teams getting their touch back after the 4th of July break, Iguanas struck first. Josh Hanson sent a ball across the field to Brian Pearson along the left end line. Pearson sped past his defender and blasted a right-footed shot in from an extremely acute angle to give Iguanas the early lead.

Beer Engines fought back and nearly found an equalizer twice, but the first chance was cleared off the line and the second was ruled offside. Instead it was Iguanas that scored the second goal on a quick counterattack. Midfielder Mark Peterson sent a perfect ball over the top to Kerry Burns behind the defense. Burns' first attempt was stopped by the Beer Engines keeper, but he found his own rebound and didn't miss on his second attempt.

The two goal lead didn't last long. A quick Beer Engines midfielder knifed his way through the Iguanas midfield that was slow to mark the ball. He sent an excellent cross to a Beer Engines forward, who got to the ball before the Iguanas defense and snuck a header past Iguanas keeper Zak Prauer and just inside the left post. Suddenly the score was 2-1.

The remainder of the first half was a back-and-forth affair as both teams tried to find a goal before the break. Around the 40th minute Sil Chiriac took a throw-in just past midfield and quickly found Jason Radatz in the box. Radatz, one of the two keepers on the team that plays in the field when Prauer is in net, fought through a defender and the goalie to punch in Iguanas' third goal of the game. The teams went into halftime with Iguanas holding a 3-1 lead.

Beer Engines had the wind advantage and came out with a lot of pressure on the ball in the second half. However, Iguanas would strike first after the half. Jacob Kerkinni intercepted a pass near the top of the Beer Engines penalty area, made a quick move, and fired a shot toward the net. The keeper looked to have a play on the ball, but it snuck underneath him to give Kerkinni his first goal of the season.

With a comfortable three goal lead and tired legs setting in from the sweltering heat, Iguanas seemed to let up for a stretch in the second half. Beer Engines capitalized and found their second goal off a scramble in front of the net after a throw-in. The scorer slipped on his initial break toward the net, causing the Iguanas defense to relax. But he quickly recovered and slotted home a close rebound to make the score 4-2.

Shortly after the second Beer Engines goal, Radatz appeared to have his second goal of the match after finishing off a scramble in front of the net. However, he was (correctly) ruled offside. Iguanas were still able to cushion their lead again minutes later. Prauer sent a goal kick to Burns just past midfield, who flicked a header over the defense. Burns raced past the Beer Engines back line, collected the ball, and calmly slotted a low shot to give Iguanas another three goal advantage.

Despite the steep deficit, Beer Engines weren't going away. They kept sending players forward and attacking the Iguanas defense. Beer Engines were awarded a chance to once again cut into the lead when Joe Wieland was called for a foul inside the box. But the resulting penalty kick was missed, which really seemed to discourage any thoughts of a Beer Engines comeback.

But Iguanas weren't done scoring yet. Kerkinni scored his second goal of the game off a feed from Peterson and completed his hat trick with help from an excellent cross by Aaron Rosenthal. Ten minutes later, Iguanas had secured their fourth consecutive victory by a score of 7-2.

With five games remaining in the regular season, Iguanas have already exceeded their win total and equaled their point total from 2014. They remain in second place in the Monday Division 2 table. Next up is another road game against JAWA FC, the last team to beat Iguanas. JAWA edged Iguanas 1-0 in their first meeting this season.

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