When you don't score a goal in two matches, it usually is a lousy week for your soccer team.
That's what happened to Wauwatosa East last week, as the Red Raiders lost a Greater Metro Conference match to West Allis Hale on Sept. 18 and a nonconference match to Arrowhead two days later.
Hale beat the Red Raiders, 3-0, to start the week in the Red Raiders "most forgettable match of the season" according to coach Eric Dale.
The visiting Huskies outplayed, out-hustled and beat them handily at Whitman Field, 3-0.
"To say I'm disappointed would be the understatement of the year," Dale said. "Is Hale a better soccer team than us? Tonight they were without a doubt.
"We have a nasty habit of believing we can just show up and beat teams. Tonight, Hale destroyed us. It's tough to swallow a loss like this so late in the season."
East had plenty of opportunities to strike first against Hale but failed to convert two one-on-one chances with Hale's keeper.
"Our guys need to start making plays. We put some serves on a platter for people to finish and really botched up the chances. To Hale's credit, they held us off early and cleaned us up late."
Hale would tally three goals in the second half and earn the GMC victory against the Raiders.
"This game constitutes 'back to the drawing board' material for us," Dale said. "This is a time in the season when we should be peaking. This loss hurt. Hopefully, it serves as a wake-up call to our veterans."
Tosa East then traveled to Hartland Arrowhead and dropped a 2-0 nonconference match on Sept. 20.
The Red Raiders played much better than their previous outing according to Dale.
Changing their formation to account for Arrowhead's two best players, the Raiders were able to successfully take away the Warhawks threats in the first half.
"Our man marking really frustrated Arrowhead's two playmakers," Dale said. "After scouting them, we felt the best medicine for us was to revert to a more conservative, counterattack form of play. We created some chances in the first half. Had we put one in the net, I believe we would have forced Arrowhead's hand a bit more."
With the match scoreless at halftime, it was Arrowhead that would break the ice first.
East's outside midfielder was caught watching as Arrowhead served a perfect ball from the end line right on to a running attacker's foot at point-blank range to put the Hawks up 1-0.
"It was a great goal, but our inability to sniff the play out was horrible," Dale said. "You can't get caught watching and standing against good teams. They'll find a way to get into seams and make a play. The fact that it happened moments after telling our guys at halftime how we must stay focused was infuriating."
Arrowhead would convert a penalty kick chance 20 minutes later to finish out the scoring.
The Raiders switched to a three-attacker formation for the last 15 minutes of the match and put a lot of pressure on Arrowhead's back line.
The best chance came in the 77th minute when East midfielder Sam Rajaphoumi hit the crossbar with a well struck shot from 20 yards out.
"That's been our week in a nutshell," Dale said. "Hitting posts, failing to convert breakaway chances, failing to score. Things can only get better for us. We aren't throwing in the towel by any means. We just need to score."
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