Soccer, like most sports, is a crazy game. Using comparative scores for the purpose of predicting an outcome is dangerous business.

The U14 Miami Red Dogs defeated the Owasso Blazers 8-0 on March 3. On March 10, the Tulsa United Crossfire beat the Blazers 5-0.

It would seem the Red Dogs should be able to handle the Crossfire, especially since they had beaten them 7-0 in the fall at the Chillfest in Tulsa.

Not the case. As reported last week, the Crossfire beat the Red Dogs 2-1 on March 17.

On Saturday, the Red Dogs traveled to Bill Bovers Fields in Tulsa to face the unbeaten Tulsa Union Flames. The Flames had beaten the Crossfire 5-3 earlier in the season.

After losing to the Crossfire the previous week, the Red Dogs would likely struggle to beat the Flames. Not the case.

Using first half goals by forwards Trevor Sourjohn and Grant Hubbard, a second half hat trick by forward Ben Pulley, and another stellar defensive performance, the Red Dogs shut out the Flames 5-0.

Goalkeeper Stone Collins assisted Hubbardís goal in the waning moments of the first half with a huge punt.

Koith Quiroz, Scott Garrett, and Trevor Sourjohn had assists in the second half.

Head coach Jeremy Radebaugh said the victory was just what the Red Dogs needed to boost their confidence heading into a bye week.

It was also a great example of how important it is for a team to be mentally disciplined every week.

"I am very proud of how our boys played today," Radebaugh said. "We continued to play great defense. It was nice to see our offense come alive again. Our guys up front had lost some confidence. This should put us on track to get better during the second half of the league season.

"I think the guys also learned a tough lesson in the past couple of weeks. We need to bring our best game, mentally and physically, every week. I think we just expected to show up last week and beat the Crossfire. We had already beaten them in the fall. They wanted it more than we did that day. Today was almost just the opposite. Our kids knew that the Flames had beaten the Crossfire, so we expected a tough game and played hungry.Ē

The Red Dogs have their sights set on the Governorís Cup in Lawton in late April.

In order to have a chance to win that tournament and be crowned recreational state soccer champions, Radebaugh stressed the importance of consistency and mental toughness.

"We canít play well every other game and expect to win the Governorís Cup," he said. "Itís hard to win that tournament if you play well every game. We finished second a couple of years ago with this same nucleus of players, so I think we have a good chance.

"But the guys have to continue to develop the mental toughness to play good, focused soccer no matter who we are facing. I hope to see this part of our game improve as we play the second half of our league season. Hopefully, we will be peaking as we enter the tournament season in late April and early May.Ē

The Red Dogs have a bye week this Saturday. They will return to action on Saturday, April 7, in Owasso.