NEWPORT NEWS, Va (NNS) -- The USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) soccer team opened their season with a match against Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron (HM) 14 at the Fleet Recreational Park in Norfolk, Oct. 3, to kick off this year's Hampton Roads all-military intramural soccer league.
"For our first time playing as a team, we did pretty well," said Machinist Mate 3rd Class Eric Shadding, assigned to Reactor Department.
In the first half of the match, the two teams battled back and forth until the Gold Eagle's squad scored three consecutive goals and victory seemed in their grasp.
"We started out so rough," said Aviation Electrician's Mate Airman Randy Luck, a player assigned to HM-14. "The Vinson team dominated the first half."
In the second half, the HM-14 team answered back with three goals of their own and tied the game with just moments to go before the final whistle blew.
"Our team finally got it together in the second half," said Luck. "There was so much tension and anxiety; no-one knew who would come out on top."
The match ended with the score still tied 3-3, and the two teams had to battle it out in overtime.
With both teams exhausted from the long game, it came down to pure guts and endurance; and with just moments left in the match, HM-14 managed to break through the Gold Eagle's defenses and score the winning goal.
"We still need a lot of work," said Carl Vinson Team Captain, Machinist Mate 3rd Class Alhaji Mansary, of Engineering department. "All we need to do is stay focused and play together, and we'll start winning games."
But Vinson's players said they learned from their loss, and what they must do to win games in the future; play consistent over the course of a match.
"We came out strong scoring three goals; however, we did not have the same intensity in the 2nd half, and we paid for it," said Electrician's Mate 3rd Class (SW) Alexandre Lima, of Engineering Department.
But members of Carl Vinson's team said despite the early loss, they were glad to have the opportunity to partake in some friendly competition.
"This is a positive way for our guys to spend their free time, but most of all it promotes a great sense of teamwork and discipline," said Chief Storekeeper (SW/AW) Lloyd Samuel, Carl Vinson's head coach.
Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
During RCOH Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet and prepare for another 25 years or more of service.
For more news from USS Carl Vinson, visit www.news.navy.mil/local/cvn70/.