PARK CITY — Although the B-52s’ 4-2 win over Tulsa on Friday was an ugly one, coach Larry Inlow saw it as a necessary step to become a better team in the Premier Arena Soccer League.
“Great teams have to grind out even the hardest of games for that victory,” Inlow said. “I’m not saying we’re great, I’m saying that we’re trying to be great, and everything that we have in pursuit of that is going to make us a better team in general.”
The B-52s got on the board quickly, scoring two goals in the first quarters. Tulsa silenced Wichita for the next two periods. It wasn’t until the fourth period that things started to heat up offensively for both teams.
Tulsa scored off of a back door deflection 1:24 into the quarter, then Wichita’s Colin Lawter answered with a power-play goal 4:20 later. The momentum shifted in favor of the Revolution again when Tulsa slotted a shot past Wichita goalkeeper Jason Dewey with 1:55 remaining, cutting Wichita’s lead to one.
Wichita’s Brent Hobson found Larry Martinez in front of the goal in the final minute to take back a two-point lead, and kill Tulsa’s offensive pressure.
“We got into a little rut there, but defend first, get behind the ball and then things will work out for us,” Hobson said. “You’ve got to protect your goal before you can go down there and score.”
Putting the ball in the net was a struggle for Wichita, scoring just four times on 19 shots. But Inlow is not concerned with the offensive production.
“The good thing about our team is that a lot of different guys are the scorers,” Inlow said “We don’t just have one guy who’s scoring four or five goals every game, we spread it around. That’s just credit to our players and our style, that everybody’s involved, everybody’s a threat, and everybody is where they should be when we have the ball.”
After their last showing at home, when Wichita’s play was selfish and choppy, the B-52s showed obvious improvement. Wichita defended with the entire team, and connected passes to maintain possession. Tulsa attempted to pack in its defense and counterattack for scoring opportunities, but couldn’t find many chances.
“I think we learned from last week, we got beat 6-0 and we weren’t working as a team,” Hobson said. “Tonight, we moved the ball around quicker, everybody got into it, and we had a couple of different people score tonight. Last week we were playing as individuals, but we learned a lot in practice this week.”
First period — Wichita, Hobson (unassisted), 6:28; Cordoves (unassisted), 14:14.
Second period —none. Penalties — Wichita, Sack (slide tackling), 10:22; Tulsa, Leung (six fouls), 11:07.
Third period — none. Penalty — Wichita, Clare (six fouls), 12:08.
Fourth period — Tulsa, Leung (Shannon), 1:24; Wichita, Lawter (unassisted) (pp), 5:44; Tulsa, Danza (unassisted), 13:02; Wichita, Martinez (Hobson), 13:50. Penalties — Tulsa, Leung (six fouls), 3:59; Wichita, Inlow (misconduct), 13:02.
Shots—Tulsa, 2-1-1-4—8; Wichita, 7-3-3-6—19.
Saves—Tulsa, Amos 15 on 19 shots; Wichita, Dewey 6 on 8 shots.