Lifeliner Soldiers from 541st Transportation Company and 74th Composite Transportation Company, both in 129th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 101st Airborne Division Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, faced off Monday night at Fryar Stadium in the first game of a weeklong Morale, Welfare and Recreation round-robin soccer competition. The game leads up to the Commander’s Cup Tournament next week.

Although both teams were from the same battalion, they began uneven with almost twice as many 74th CTC Soldiers on the field as the 541st TC.

The 541st TC won the coin toss and started in control of the ball, but the 74th CTC quickly took an early lead with Pfc. Ferbie Richards scoring the first goal in the first five minutes of the game.

With the help of his teammates, Richards managed to score twice more in the next 10 minutes before Sgt. Lloyd Brown, 541st TC coach, kicked the ball from the 50-yard line over top of the 74th CTC team’s goalie late in the first half.

The 74th CTC lead 541st TC 3-1 as the half ended.

The second half got off to a slow start, with both teams taking time to adjust for wind that had picked up enough to knock over one of the goals.

First Lieutenant Kyle Butler, 74th CTC, scored one more goal before the clock ran out, closing out the game with a 4-1 win.

Despite starting at a disadvantage, the 541st TC Soldiers gave it their all.

“We did pretty good for what [inexperienced players] we had,” Brown said. “We’ve got like three players that can actually play the game. They’ve got a whole team.”

Brown has played on the battalion-level team with several of the 74th CTC players so he knew his team would have their work cut out for them.

“I knew it was going to be a [hard] game once I saw [their players],” Brown said. “It was all stacked against us. I saw that side and I was like ‘it’s gonna be rough.’ We played our hearts out, but it was rough.”

Brown said they had more players signed up for their team, but they did not show up so the same players had to stay on the field the entire game.

The 74th CTC Soldiers did not have that issue. “We did pretty good for our first time playing,” said Pfc. Marvin Sibley, 74th CTC coach.

Sibley knew he had a good team going into the first game, but he did not realize how good.

“A lot of our players haven’t played for quite some time, so coming out here and playing competitive is always a challenge,” Sibley said. “Sgt. [Cassandra] Hill hasn’t played in like five, six years and she had defense pretty much unpacked.”

Even though some of his players were out of practice, Sibley said he knew he had a lot of talent on his team.

“I’ve seen some of them play before,” he said. “Some I haven’t so they came out here and shocked me.”

Both teams play every day this week. The Morale, Welfare and Recreation Commander’s Cup Tournament will begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday.