By Rick Atkinson

For the Anna-Melissa Tribune

MELISSA - In a rematch from Jan. 17, International Leadership of Texas-Garland made two one-on-one chances count in a 2-0 win over Melissa on Jan. 27 at Cardinal Stadium.

The Eagles punched across a goal in each period while keeping Melissa’s attack at bay.

“We had a little trouble with our shape tonight,” Cards head coach Kelley Pitzer said. “We moved some pieces around, tried a few things differently and it didn’t seem to work out very well. But that’s why we play preseason.

“They’ve got some real size,” Pitzer said of the Eagles. “And they’re very good with the ball. They move the ball very quickly, they move it efficiently and caught us chasing a little bit. … I knew they were going to run a lot of players at us. A lot of times they had eight men running against us - sometimes nine. It’s hard to contain that. And the boys got frustrated. But we’ve got some time off to work on it. And we’ve got two weeks from tonight for our first district match. We’ll be ready.” Hunter

Tallichet worked in-goal the whole way for Melissa (5-6).

“He had some great saves,” Pitzer said. “Unfortunately, when you let people kind of run at him, one v one, it’s really hard as a goalkeeper. It’s hard to make every save. He did really good with the balls that were coming across, and he did a good job of communicating with his players. Unfortunately, he had two 1-on-1 situations. And he’s not going to get all of those. … You can’t really fault him for that. There’s 10 guys in front of him.”

ILT-Garland is a charter school, one of several in Tarrant, Dallas and Harris counties under the ILT umbrella. In this season’s previous non-district match between the Eagles and Melissa, the Eagles prevailed 2-1 in a similarly hard-fought contest at Cardinal Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Melissa girls (9-3-1) routed visiting Class 4A Quinlan Ford 11-0 on Jan. 27, then fell to Class 5A Lovejoy 3-1 Jan. 31 at Lovejoy.

The Cards and Lady Cards open district play on Feb. 10 at home versus Anna.