The Life West Gladiators defeated the Palmer West Dragons 5-2 on a hot and humid August day at Pioneer Stadium in Hayward, CA.
The Gladiators were in attack mode from kick off, possessing the ball early in the game. Promising runs from the wings mixed in with crisp, timed passing, and the Gladiators looked poised to score the opening goal.
Gladiator midfielder, Braken Wooden, opened the scoring with a right footed free-kick from outside the 18 yard box. Minutes later, the Gladiators went up 2-0 with a 25 yard strike from forward, Scott Mitchell, putting the ball just over the outreached arms of the Palmer goalie.
The Dragons answered back and cut the Gladiator lead in half as they put one in the back of the net just before halftime.
With a score of 2 -1 at the start of the half, confidence was high on the Gladiator sideline, but the resurging Dragons took the momentum away and netted their second goal after a misplay from Gladiator goalie, Shane Kenning, set up an empty net for the Dragons.
With the game leveled 2-2, the Gladiators sought to shift the momentum back. Off a throw-in, Gladiator midfielder, Kevin Bodle, caught defenders sleeping and positioned himself behind the Dragon backline and settled the ball off his chest for the turnaround goal, to give the Gladiators the 3-2 lead.
Fatigue seemed to set in on the Dragons side and with the game dwindling down, the Gladiators took advantage of bad goalie play and scored back-to-back to put any comeback attempt from the Dragons to bed.
Kevin Bodle led all players in scoring with two goals.
The victory marked the second over the Dragons this year in all sports.