By KEVIN FRANSON
In the inaugural season for the Utah Freezz indoor soccer team saw yet another first in the record books on Saturday afternoon.
The Freezz came from behind for the first time in the team’s history to defeat the Houston Hotshots by a final score of 7-4. Houston jumped on top early on a Samuel Jeronimo goal at 2:41 in the first quarter.
Until Saturday, the Freezz were 0-7 in games when their opponent scored first.
A crowd of 7,101 gathered at the ‘E’ Center to witness the victory and cheer on the home team. Beau Brown, the Freezz player of the game, said the crowd was crucial to the comeback win.
“I have to say thanks to the crowd. I’m happy to be in Utah and have the fans we do,” Brown said. “It’s got to be a disaster for (Houston) when the crowd gets us pumped up like they did today.”
In spite of the win, the first half belonged to Houston as it pulled out to a 3-1 lead at intermission. The score didn’t reflect the difference in shots on goal; Utah doubled the Houston attempts at the net.
Freezz head coach Dave Poggi cited the play of Hotshots goalie Terry Waldorf for his team’s slow start.
“Their keeper had an unbelievable game. He was the reason for the score at the half,” Poggi said.
The second half started out just like the first half. Houston scored again just 1:13 into the third quarter on a Ato Leone goal. The goal extended the Hotshots lead to 4-1.
The Freezz rally began just over a minute later with Brown finding the back of the net and bringing Utah one step closer at 4-2.
After Brown’s goal, the two teams held each other in check for nearly eight minutes. Freezz midfielder Sterling Wescott ended the scoring slow-down by netting his second goal of the day.
Brown answered his teammates’ two goals quickly by scoring his second goal just 30 seconds later. The goal knotted the score at 4-4.
By feeding on the crowd’s excitement, the Freezz ended the third quarter by sending another ball to the back of the net. The goal was the fifth goal of the game and Utah’s fourth in the quarter.
The fourth period turned out to be more of the same for the Freezz. Brown shifted from scorer to assist man and helped Lee Edgerton, a Freezz forward, score two goals of his own early in the quarter. The Edgerton goals pushed the Utah lead out to 7-4 and out of reach for the Hotshots. Brown credited a team decision for the victory.
“We decided as a team that we weren’t going to lose any more games. We have to come up with the extra effort to win any game,” Brown said.