Scorpions suffer horrendous loss in home opener

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Photo Credit: Vicente Cardenas/The Paisano

Toyota Field was filled with high hopes and energy with the beginning of the 2013 North American Soccer League fall season getting underway. The San Antonio Scorpions matched that feeling by scoring three early goals in the first half only to surrender seven total goals through the rest of the game in a 7-4 loss to the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Scorpions’ forwards Hans Denissen and Tomas Zahorski, the 28-year-old Polish striker who signed with the team in July, each scored two goals in the loss.

“Well, defensively it’s the worst night of my life,” Scorpions head coach Tom Hankinson said. “I really believe the players feel the same way.”

Things started promising when Denissen was the recipient of a Javier Saavedra corner kick that Denissen headed in for his first goal of the fall season just three minutes into the match, and it was followed with Denissen’s tenth goal total with the Scorpions team on some pinpoint passing by the Scorpions. The offense continued in the 18th minute when Zahorski headed in another Saavedra pass putting the Scorpion up 3-0.

That’s when things came unraveled as the Rowdies scored four unanswered goals in the final 22 minutes of the first half to take a 4-3 lead. The Scorpions’ offense and defense was baffled as goalie Jeremy Vuolo allowed three more goals in the second half resulting in the devastating home loss in front of the 7,651 fans in attendance.

“It’s just a real letdown and they should be embarrassed in front of their home crowd,” Hankinson said obviously frustrated. “I know I’m embarrassed for the fans and for our team.”

Down 5-3 with about ten minutes left in the game, Zahorski scored his second goal of the game to cut into the Rowdies’ lead. But like the first half, the Scorpions could not stop the Rowdies’ offense allowing two more goals, including a penalty kick in the last five minutes of stoppage time.

“Right now it’s the sign of an immature team collectively,” Scorpions midfielder Pat Phelan said. “We spent a lot of time this last month talking about ‘one point here’ and ‘one point there,’ ‘every goal for or against,’ and to let up seven is the same story, it’s a big hole to dig out of. Hopefully we have the same amount of success scoring goals, and we can clean up things defensively or we are going to be fighting the entire season.”

The Scorpions hope to put this loss past them when they visit FC Edmonton on August 10 in Canada. The Scorpions suffered a shutout loss to FC Edmonton back in April of the spring season.