Sam Page (middle) of Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph soccer team competes against the Columbus Air Force Base soccer team during the Defender Cup tournament, Sept. 2. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robbin Cresswell)
Warhawks midfielder David Ramos passes the ball forward in front of a Wright-Patterson defender during a Sept. 2 Defender Cup soccer matchup. Wright-Patterson eliminated the Warhawks, 4-1. (U.S. Air Force photo/Robbin Cresswell)
JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-LACKLAND, Texas —
Cohesion wasn't on the side of the Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland Warhawks soccer team during the Defender Cup tournament Labor Day weekend.
The Warhawks, seeded 10th, lost in the first round of the annual tournament Sunday to seventh-seeded Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, 4-1 after going 2-1 in Group C pool play Saturday. Warhawks coach Nana Saheene said he couldn't field a cohesive team during tryouts that took place in July and ended a few weeks before the Cup.
Military commitments, as is common, and other priorities prevented hopefuls from giving their time and effort to the team.
However, the coach liked the team's teamwork during pool play Saturday as they trailed 1-0 before pulling off its two victories, defeating Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz. and Buckley AFB, Colo., 2-1. The Warhawks' lone defeat was to eventual Defender Cup Champion Eglin AFB, Fla., 1-0.
But after being successful in pool play the day before, the team's chemistry combusted after trailing 2-1 versus Wright-Patterson in the actual tournament.
"We were trying to play catch-up after we were down 2-1," Saheene said. "But when they were awarded a pentalty kick and they scored it, the team knew it was over and we were just scrambling to get back."
Saheene said he didn't stick around to watch the rest of the tournament due to the disheartenment of losing early after reaching the semifinals of last year's Defender's Cup. The Warhawks lost to then-eventual champion Patrick AFB, Fla., 2-1.
When the game was over, Saheene and the team got together and decided to build toward next year's Defender's Cup right away.
Saheene plans to hold tryouts for the next few weeks to fix the Warhawks' team chemistry issues starting 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The tryouts will take place at the Warhawk field
"We stayed a little bit and talked about plans for the future," he said. "Everybody realized that we didn't play well as a team so we wanted to hold more tryouts."
"We want to prepare ourselves starting now for next year," Saheene said