Destin Marlin soccer teams struggle on the pitch against Ruckel
With the temps in the lower 50s and the wind howling, the Destin Marlins struggled on the pitch Monday evening against the Ruckel Rams.
The Destin boys tied 2-2 while the Lady Marlins lost 2-0.
In the boys game, neither team scored in the first half.
However, just three minutes into the second half Ruckel found the back of the net for a 1-0 lead. Thirteen minutes later, Ruckel struck again to go up 2-0.
With 10 minutes left to play, Destin finally got on the board with Shandaine Hibbert booting one in for the Marlins for a 2-1 game.
Hibbert struck again for Destin in the final two minutes, taking the ball from the left to the right side of the goal for a tie game.
In the girls game, both teams struggled in the first half, with neither team scoring.
In the first five minutes of the second half, Destin goalie Sara Oakes made five saves before Ruckel's Aynzlie Nelson finally slipped one past her at the 18-minute mark.
With less than six minutes to play, Ruckel's Jezlyn Nelson booted one from the left side. Oakes got a hand on it but it fell in to the left corner of the net for a 2-0 score.
"We lost a close game and our keeper Sara Oakes had a great game, keeping us in the game through the half," said Demetris Stevens, Destin's girl soccer coach.
"Our young players hung tough the first half, but their inexperience showed in the second half. Ruckel connected passes and put us under pressure playing with the wind. Eventually they broke through, capitalizing on an errant pass and later peppering us with shots that earned them a deserved 2-0 victory," Stevens said.
"I think our team will benefit from this early difficult game and hopefully will have another good match later in the year. Hopefully, we can run off some wins to give us a shot to keep our goals for the season intact," he added.
Destin is the defending county champs in middle school girls soccer.
Destin will be at home again on Dec. 14 against Liza Jackson. The girls play at 5 p.m., followed by the boys at 6:30 p.m.