ING squeak past Raiders 1-0 in soccer challenge

22 Sep 2004 | Gunnery Sgt. Chago Zapata 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit

The 404th Battalion, 50th Iraqi National Guard Brigade, Desert Dogs squeaked past the Company A, Battalion Landing Team 1st Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), Raiders 1-0 during a friendly soccer match here at the ING compound, Sept. 22.

"We're trying to get the Iraqi Security Forces in a recreational activity to build camaraderie and team spirit," said Capt. Robert B. Sotire, company commander, Alpha Co., BLT 1/4, 11th MEU (SOC).

A Desert Dogs' forward scored the only goal of the game in the first ten minutes of the match when a shot from the left edge of the penalty box partially deflected off a Raider defender, sending the goalie to the right and the ball to the left and in the net. After that goal, the Raiders' defense tightened up and frustrated the Desert Dogs' further attempts to score.

Lance Cpl. Mark Enrique, the Raiders' first half goalie and a rifleman with 1st Platoon, made several dramatic saves during the first 45-minute half.

The uneven field, pitted with rocks and large dirt mounds, frustrated the Raiders' attempts to control the ball and pass accurately, especially during the first half of the game.

"We took the first half of the game to get acquainted with each other and to get used to the way we each play," said HN Ivan G. Krimker, right forward and corpsman with 5th Platoon. "They had the first half of the game and we had the second."

On the other hand, the Desert Dogs' familiarization with the field, which they built, and their experience playing in a grassless environment allowed them to take control of the ball quite often.

"The ING had a lot of teamwork out the in the field," said Enrique. "They love competition and they fought for each and every ball they got as if it was their last."

Lance Cpl. Anthony Massa, the Raiders' second half goalie and a motor transport operator attached to 3rd Platoon, also made several spectacular saves and further denied the Desert Dogs' many attempts to score.

"Every possession of the ball was very important to them," said Krimker. "If they lost the ball they put forth 110 percent to get it back. They put a lot of effort into every play."
To the ING's dismay, the Raiders determined defense kept the score at 1-0 for the rest of the game.

"The Marines represented the Marine Corps and I think they did really well out there," Sotire said. "The game brought (the ING and Marines) closer together. There were Marines out there cheering for the ING and ING cheering for the Marines, all in all it was a good evolution."

Marine Corps News

Colonel Thomas M. Siverts
Commanding Officer

Colonel Tom Siverts is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in August 1989. He achieved a commission as a Second Lieutenant through the Marine Corps Enlisted Commissioning Education Program following his graduation from the University of Virginia in May 1999. Colonel Siverts has deployed in support of Operations DESERT SHIELD, DESERT STORM, IRAQI FREEDOM, and ENDURING FREEDOM. His other operational deployments include serving with Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/8, 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU); BLT 3/8, 22d MEU; BLT 2/8, 26th MEU, and Task Force 61/2.

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Lieutenant Col. Steven M. Sprigg
Executive Officer

LtCol Sprigg was born in Parkersburg, WV. LtCol Sprigg enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in September 2004 and recruit training at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, SC. LtCol Sprigg was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in March 2008. He was designated a Naval Aviator in February 2011 and reported to HMLAT-303 for training as an AH-1W pilot. LtCol Sprigg is currently serving as the Executive Officer for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit in Camp Pendleton, California.

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Sergeant Major Travis L. DeBarr
Sergeant Major

Sergeant Major DeBarrĀ enlisted in the Marine Corps and reported to MCRD San Diego, CA, for recruit training in October 1994.Staff Sergeant DeBarr completed two combat tours in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from September 2005 to April 2006 and again form March 2007 to September 2007. While serving with 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, First Sergeant DeBarr completed one combat deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom to Helmand Province, Afghanistan, from October 2012 to May 2013. Sergeant Major DeBarr currently serves as the Sergeant Major for the 11th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

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