The Melissa Cardinals fought Region 1 power Argyle to a 2-2 tie in the district-opener for both teams on Monday, Feb. 5 at Cardinal Stadium. Prior to this match, Melissa had been 0-6 all-time versus the Eagles.


Luke Hansen got Melissa on the board first with a first-half goal on a counterattack after an Argyle corner kick. Moments later, the Eagles tied it when a carom off a Melissa defender found the Cards’ net for an own-goal.


After halftime, Melissa’s leading scorer Yoshi Ando went down with an apparent arm injury and did not return. The Cards rebounded from that blow with another Hansen goal, this time off a free kick from Crsthyn Venancio. Argyle tied the match, 2-2, on a free kick with seven minutes left to play.


“These boys played their best game of the year tonight,” Melissa head coach Kelley Pitzer said. “I couldn’t have been more proud of their fight and determination. If you would have told me at the beginning of the night we would take a point away from tonight, I would have taken it. For a minute we thought we had all three tonight, but I will take the point.” (“Point” refers to the system used to decide seeding in soccer. Teams receive three points for a win, one point for a tie.)


The Cards host Gainesville on Friday, Feb. 9, at 7:15 p.m.