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2003 Match Summaries
All stats by Mel Adams
May 6, 2003 --
A sunny, dry day was the primary highlight of tonight's game, with the field being fairly hard, not muddy, and surprisingly not dusty either.
The game began shortly after 5:30, with Mel's Angels being short a player. As such, they played a 4-4-1 layout to start the game. An early goal by Neil took away any anxiety that may have occurred from played at a deficit. In addition to this, shortly after that first goal, Scott Andrew, Ricardo Montoya, and Paul-Philippe Champagne arrived at the field, ready to play.
After a failed attack by Mech United, Cormac, Umar, and Daniel combined for a quick counter-attack and a second goal. Late in the half Neil tallied twice more to round out his hat trick.
During the halftime break, Adam and Alex switched up postions, and Adam moved into goal for the second half. Two more goals were scored in the second half, to round out the 6-0 score. Corey and Daniel combined with a multiple give-and-go combination that resulted in a wide open goal for Corey. David closed out the scoring with a header (combined with all of his efforts at Nooner's Soccer, it was figured that it was his 359th attempt overall -- and first goal in this style).
Special mention goes to Paul-Philippe Champagne and Alex Fletcher for volunteering to run the lines for the following game -- a 2-0 win by The Great Ones over Chemistry. Mention also goes to Corey for volunteering to run lines for the next game.
The turnout was fantastic, with everyone making an appearance except for Bob Oliver, Erik Lockhart, Evan Milward, and Sebi Cioaba, all of whom were away on school-related business, and Eric Bacon and Mick Wall, who were injured.
Today's game was a nice sunny day, but in part, due to this, people decided to take the day off to play golf or relax with the family. As such, Mel's Angels started the game off somewhat short of players, with Mel temporarily standing in as the 7th player until Daniel, Cormac, and Neil arrived. Paul-Philippe showed up about 10 minutes later to fill out the team to 10 men.
The first half was a bit scrappy, with both teams running around a bit more than needed, but Corey took a strange shot from near the goal line that somehow snuck between the goalkeeper and the post to put the score at 1-0 going into the half. This was partly due to the fact that Neil managed to aim at the corner flag on a penalty that was won in the dying seconds of the half.
The second half started off with a burst of energy, Scott scored a nice shot from a distance (which made up for the crossbar and 2 posts that he hit), and Sebi scored on a semi-chip off of a corner than Neil took. Unfortunately, the Chemistry team scored a couple of goals in the second half, one on a free kick, and one on a shot down the middle that took an odd deflection. Fortunately, Mel's Angels were able to control the ball for the last several minutes of the game to take the win at a score of 3-2. Of course, Corey did manage to somehow get a yellow card in the dying minutes of the game for a vicious shoulder check that he threw against an opposing player.
Special mention goes to Corey Willman and Mick Wall for volunteering to run the lines for the following game -- a 5-1 win by Real Perovskite over the Great Ones. Sebi also refereed that game.
The turnout was decent, with 10 players making an appearance. The missing players were Adam Lewis, Ali Jahed, Bob Oliver, David McDonald, Erik Lockhart, Evan Milward, and Ricardo Montoya. Also, Mick Wall and Umar Iqbal were both injured for the game.
Some photos from the game are also available.
Tonight's game was a bit of a scrappy affair, nicely bookmarked by spurts of rain. The rain was a good thing for the field, leaving it a bit muddy (with its dreadful lack of grass), but fairly spongy and easy to run on. And slip on.
The game opened with Real Perovskite controlling the run of play for a period of time, culminating in Adam slipping in the box and a shot going just wide of the post. At this point, Mel's Angels took control of the middle of the field, and began to control the run of play much more than they had for the opening several minutes.
David (who, after scoring header goals in 3 consecutive games between his two teams, did not score a header tonight) was dominant in his right full back position, cleaning up almost everything down his side, and managed to put in a number of good long feeds and crosses from his position. One of these fell to Sebi who took the shot off the post. This is notable because the Real Perovskite keeper also took his head off the post, stopping play for a few minutes to figure out which way was up.
A short time later, Cormac fed the ball over to Sebi (who had taken a number of good chances, but wasn't able to finish them) and Sebi laced a strong shot into the upper right corner of the net to give Mel's Angels a 1-0 lead. The team took this lead into halftime feeling fairly confident.
The second half opened similarily to the first, with Real Perovskite dominating the run of play for the first few minutes, but due to Erik Lockhart's height and air control in the middle and Eric Bacon's strong runs down the right sideline, Mel's Angels turned the run of play around again. The game continued in its fairly choppy vein for most of the 2nd half until about 15 minutes from time when a free kick was won near the corner of the 18 yard box deep in the Real Perovskite end. Sebi stepped up and carefully put the ball through their keeper's legs to make it a 2-0 game.
The last portion of the game was marked by good defensive plays, especially down the left side with Cormac and Gord shutting down the attacks, and when they were unable to, Adam stepped in and cleared the ball away. This continued until the final whistle was blown, and the team moved quickly to the Grad Club to celebrate properly (marked by Cormac's insistence on everyone drinking Screech).
Special mention goes to Cormac Trainor and Umar Iqbal for volunteering to run the lines for the preceding game -- a 3-2 win by Meds over the Great Ones.
The turnout was decent, with 12 players making an appearance. The missing players were Bob Oliver, Evan Milward, Ricardo Montoya, and Scott Andrew. Also, Ali Jahed, Mick Wall, and Umar Iqbal were all injured for the game.
Today's game was played in a light spitting drizzle, making the field spongy and slippery, something that was almost detrimental at times during the game. There was some mud, but nothing terribly significant. Regardless, the white socks and shorts worn by a number of players were rather dirty by the time the final whistle was blown.
The game was started with 9 players on the field, but Scott and Ali made their appearances moments after the kickoff. The run of play was not really controlled by either team, but went back and forth, with no great chances at either end. Eventually however, the speed of Umar (just coming off of a hamstring injury), Corey, and Paul up front was enough to win Mel's Angels a corner kick. Sebi took the corner, and Erik used his height and strength to muscle through several Meds defenders to put the ball in the net with his head. 1-0 Mel's Angels.
Around this time, Mel reported that one of the late-showing Meds players (with a beeper) had tried to hit on her upon his arrival. A nurse perhaps? This was a mere side note as the half approached. Unsubstantiated reports at halftime indicated that Erik's leg health might be under threat, and that complaints were made about #7 on Mel's Angels. Oddly enough, #7, Evan Milward, was not at the game.
After a quick water break, the teams took the field to begin the second half. The second half continued as the first had -- neither team controlling the run of play, and no spectacular chances at either end. For the most part. About halfway through the second half, Paul-Philippe took the brunt of a knee on knee collision and was forced off the field for several minutes to recover. He, a Quebec native, took this opportunity to discuss the imperfections of Federalism with Mel, a Newfoundland native.
During the time that Paul-Philippe was off the pitch, Meds got through to the right side of the Mel's Angels 18 yard box, and one of their players tried to chip a ball into the net, but Alex' height denied Cormac the chance to clear the ball with a strong header. As the half continued, Sebi kept testing Umar's newly healed hamstrings with impossible, just-out-of-reach balls down the left side -- balls that almost always went out for deep throw-ins or goal kicks. However, Umar did manage to catch one of these, but his clear chance on goal was carefully defended by Paul-Philippe who had recently returned to the field.
Shortly after this desperate clearing act, Mel's Angels won another corner, which Sebi took, putting it at the near post. Adam had rushed forward from his sweeper's position and was on hand to touch the ball into the net with his foot, putting Mel's Angels up 2-0 with just over 10 minutes to play.
Moments after that goal, another dazzling rush down the right wing won Mel's Angels a throw-in just short of the goal line. Corey quickly recognized that the Meds defense was in disarray and told Ali to throw the ball off of his back to put the ball in play. Both the Meds and Mel Angel's were in awe having being treated to a play executed with such cleverness and chicanery. Ali sliced his way up the goal line ('... like a hot knife through butter' to quote David) and crossed it in, right to Umar, who quickly put the ball into the back of the net before Paul-Philippe could deny him again. After the play, one of the Meds players admitted he didn't know what was going on (which explained most of their play). In the post-game deliberation, teammates questioned the intention of the play, thinking it mere fluke, to which Corey replied '... it was completely Corey-o-graphed'. It was the throw heard around the world.
In the dying seconds of the now 3-0 game, Adam and Scott combined to give a Meds player an open shot at the top of the 18 yard box, but a collapsing dive by Alex saved the ball, and as he cleared it up field, the final whistle went. 3-0 for Mel's Angels, and the Grad Club beckoned.
The turnout was decent, with 11 players making an appearance. The missing players were Bob Oliver, Daniel Pereira, David McDonald, Eric Bacon, Evan Milward, Neil Hazelton, and Ricardo Montoya. Also, Mick Wall was injured for the game.
Today's game began with a slightly overcast sky, but the weather was fairly warm, with a light wind. The ground of Tindall Field was all dirt, and hard as concrete. The layout of players in the game was a bit different than normal, with Adam playing in goal for the entire game, due to the fact that Alex and Scott were both leaving at halftime.
Fok-Jee agreed to come out and play some of the game, and wore one of Sebi's old jerseys for the match. The game started off well with Cormac, Paul-Philippe, and Fok-Jee on the bench. The run of play favoured neither team, but Mel's Angels tended to win the ball in the midfield, but were having some difficulty penetrating the defensive line of the Biohazards.
Eventually a corner was won, and Scott stepped up to do the honours. The ball flew in, headed directly to Erik's head for a certain goal. Suddenly, a defender's hand flew up and knocked the ball clear. This drew a yellow card and a penalty. Sebi stepped up to do the honours, and put it just out of reach into the right side of the net, past the outstretched hand of the goalkeeper.
Following the goal, the Biohazards began stepping up the pressure to try to get the goal back, but the Mel's Angels defense wouldn't break. With the first half nearly over, there was still hope for the Angels to put a stranglehold on the match. Corey controlled an Angels' clearance at midfield and chipped a delicate ball over the Biohazards' weary defensive line to Neil who was running like a pedophile from the fuzz. Neil put the ball through one defender's legs on his way to the net, 'megged the goalkeeper, and placed the ball into the far corner of the now wide-open goal for a 2-0 Mel's Angels lead.
Halftime followed shortly after this play, and Scott and Alex made their departures from the game. The second half was lazier than the first half, as most players were still having trouble finding their legs. Corey did have a good chance that just missed the net.
Despite Fok-Jee's reservations about Sebi's decision of putting Lewis in goal, Lewis showed promise in goal with cat-like quickness stymieing the Biohazards every chance including a deceptive header off a 2nd half corner kick. The Biohazards tried several long-range shots from midfield trying to rattle the sweeper-turned-goalkeeper, however, Lewis calmly picked them up like a 18 year-old at Stages.
The Angels' best attack began with a quick pass at midfield from Umar to Corey. Fending off two Biohazards defenders like a virgin on prom night, Corey quickly one-touched the ball up to Neil who darted in on goal alone and hammered a low shot off the left post and in. Fans and players alike erupted in celebration... Neil had finally scored a nice goal. Regrettably, the linesman disagreed and the play was called offside.
All was not lost however, as Mel's Angels went up 3-0 as Ali put a stunning cross into the box and Umar hit it with a mid-air volley straight into the back of the net. For the rest of the game, the Mel's Angels defense held up and got Adam his first full game clean sheet. At one point, Gord tested the integrity of the referee when he lost his balance, fell to the dirt and deviously slapped his hand at the ball ending a dangerous rush by the Biohazards. Unfortunately the ref failed the test and awarded a free kick but no card.
Some other highlights of the game included the Baconater proving that he is coachable by breaking away from a pack of attackers with a "Forrest Gump-esque" run and cleared a dangerous ball from inside the Angels' 18 yard box. Gord, the Energizer Bunny, kept running around the entire field without ever stopping, just as his namesake. Fok-Jee, as a forward, kept coming back to cover the post on corners until Neil informed him that forwards were attackers, not defenders. Word has it that one of the Biohazard defenders broke a toe trying to cripple the ankle of one of the Mel's Angels forwards. Finally, it was reported that one of the Biohazards fans was cute and kept distracting Paul and Alex, but it was determined that she did not jump sufficiently.
The turnout was decent, with 14 players making an appearance. The missing players were Bob Oliver, Daniel Pereira, David McDonald, Evan Milward, and Ricardo Montoya. Also, Mick Wall was injured for the game.
|Sebi Cioaba||1 (PK)||0|
Today's game began with a heavily overcast sky, and gave the feeling that it was about to rain at any time. Interestingly enough, the sun was out for most of the first half, poking through the cloud cover. A strong wind blew during most of the game, stirring up the dust of Tindall Field with miniature cyclones.
The first half was a very even affair between the two rival teams, played fairly clean, but few chances either way, and certainly nothing that came to fruition. Towards the end of the first half, the Propellors gave up a free kick near the half line. As Adam rushed up the field into the opposing box, Sebi stepped up to the ball and launched it downfield. Adam leapt into the air, and flicked it on with a well placed header, right to Daniel (who, despite protests to the contrary, was in a completely onside position) and a quick turn, and he had drilled the ball into the back of the goal for a 1-0 lead going into halftime.
After a quick break for some water and stretching, the teams took back to the field. The beginning of the second half was uninspired for the Angels, but when Ricardo made his appearance a couple of minutes after the half began, fresh from the airport on his return from Peru (complete with jersey, shorts, no cleats, and no shinpads), the Angels stepped up their game and began creating chances.
The first good chance of the second half was a ball that was crossed onto Corey's foot, and fleeting visions of grandeur danced in front of his eyes as he fired the ball at the wide open net, missing by several yards, and almost hitting Victoria Hall in the process. This was followed up by a cross he made to Ali, who shot the ball directly into the waiting arms of the Propellors' goalkeeper.
The pressure on the Propellors was mounting, and Neil forced a bad punt by their goalkeeper from the side of the net, a ball that went straight to Daniel about 30 yards out. He trapped it, and half chipped, half launched the ball downfield, arcing it just over the goalkeeper's outstretched fingers into the top corner of the net for his second of the game, and a 2-0 lead.
The Propellors attempted to mount attack after attack to claw themselves back into the game, but the defensive back line of the Angels was well up to the task, and any ball that got past them was quickly scooped up by Alex before any harm could be done. One of of these plays, a long punt downfield to Neil forced the Propellors' goalkeeper to charge the ball and attempt to clear it, but the clearance went directly to Paul-Philippe. Using a shot taught to him by his father, he drilled the ball straight into the wide open net for his second goal of the season and stretched the lead to 3-0.
The Propellors began throwing everything they had at the Angels, and a couple of bad bounces gave them the chance for a good cross into the box. The cross fell in due to a brutal foul against Alex, but he recovered quickly and threw himself directly in front of the followup shot, making the save but taking the kick in the chest for his troubles. A few minutes of recovery and he was back on his feet, winded and sore.
The game came to a close shortly thereafter, a valient 3-0 win by Mel's Angels, and payback for the 3-3 draw the previous season. Special note goes to ZiDan, who made the trek over from Oxford, specifically to play in this traditional rivalry match. ZiDan displayed his signature and unrivaled tranquillity at the forward position, studying the opposition's every move like a cobra in the grass patiently waiting for his opportunity to strike... after all he is a master of theoretical soccer. The opportunity came in the 2nd half as Sebi chipped a delicate ball from midfield. Being a consummate showman, ZiDan cradled the pass off his back and carried the ball inside the 18-yard box. Unrattled by the ensuing defenders, ZiDan charged to the net, ignored an unmarked Corey who stood wide-open at the far post with dreams of a pass that was never going to come, and hammered a left footer. Unfortunately, but predictably, the shot went 3 feet wide to the left. ZiDan also arrived with a new bag of tricks learned on the English fields, including "The Breakdancing Turtle", a position in which he cowered after been knocked to the ground.
The turnout was decent, with 14 players making an appearance. The missing players were Bob Oliver, Erik Lockhart, and Scott Andrew. Also, Evan Milward, Mick Wall, and Umar Iqbal were injured for the game.
The first game on the North Field. Grass covered the entire field, from sideline perched on a cliff to sideline perched on a parking lot. The weather was sunny and warm, with nary a cloud to be seen in the sky.
The game started on time, with 2 Mel's Angels subs on the sideline, carefully arranged in the shade. Scott and Neil showed up just after the game began to provide the team with 4 subs. The Angels had the first kickoff with Bob and Corey playing off each other for the first time since the opening game of the season. This play eventually culminated in a corner on the right side. Bob stepped up to the ball and played it perfectly into the middle of the net, where Paul-Philippe sacrificed face and body to direct it into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead and his third goal of the season.
Mel's Angels continued to control the general run of play, passing the ball around to control possession and putting balls up into space for the strikers to run onto. One of these passes paid off as Sebi flicked a ball forward into Bob's path and put him on a clear breakaway. No mistake was made, and the ball found its way into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
Shortly after that second goal, Corey and Ali worked up the left sideline into the corner, where Corey abandonned Ali with the ball and two defenders. Some fancy footwork to either side, a little skip to avoid a hard tackle, and Ali was able to dipsy-doodle between the two defenders, and found himself with an open path to the net. Three quick strides and a hard, low shot left the ball lying in the back netting of the goal, and a 3-0 lead heading into halftime.
With all cylinders firing in the first half, it was still to be determined if the Angels could continue to play the smart passing game in the second half. Early on, the passing paid off again, as another flick up to Bob left him inside the 18-yard box, and with a quick turn, he was promptly fouled, leaving the referee no option but to call for a penalty kick. Gord quickly volunteered for the kick, and raced forward from his fullback position. He surveyed the target area, before cooly stepping up to the ball, and placing it just to the immediate right of the goalkeeper for a 4-0 lead.
Shortly after the demoralising penalty, Ali chipped the ball forward to Bob, who stepped around his mark and took a quick left-footed shot which powered its way through the goalkeeper's outstretched arm and into the back of the net for his second goal of the game, and a 5-0 lead. This was quickly followed up by a long and accurate pass forward to Daniel from Gord. Daniel made the most of it, stepping around three opponents in quick succession and putting the ball back across his body into the netting for a 6-0 lead.
Mel's Angels continued to press, and Mick, in his first game since his injury, took the ball from deep in his own territory, through the entire defensive line of the Great Ones, and got a decent shot off, unfortunately saved by their goalkeeper. Some other highlights of the game included Cormac and Gord (with their nicknames of 'Big Mac' and the 'Big Xtra' respectively) dominating the air game against opponents that significantly outmatched them on a size to size basis. The Tindall Tornado proved that his skill was easily transferred to a grassy field, spent his time in the opposition's end consistently beating his mark. Neil showed off his defensive skill by tackling the opponent's best defender with a lovely face to shoulder hit. Also, Fok-Jee noted that he was not partaking in much of the action, so Mel suggested that he do some jumping jacks to circulate the blood, which he did on the halfline. Finally, David McDonald proved that his warmup and stretching routine was key to his game by noting that he was just beginning to get warmed up at half-time.
The turnout was excellent, with 15 players making an appearance. The missing players were Adam Lewis, Erik Lockhart, and Ricardo Montoya. Also, Evan Milward and Umar Iqbal were injured for the game.
|Gord Boyd||1 (PK)||1|
A sunny and hot day was in order for the late afternoon game against the Economics team, the only other undefeated team in the league to this point in time. As game time approached, it started to look like Mel's Angels might be short a player or two, but some favours pulled in rounded the team out to 11 to start the game.
Mel's Angels controlled the run of play from the opening kickoff, making good solid passes as they worked to set themselves up for chances on goal. Several good shots were taken, but all missed the net or were blocked on the way in towards the goal. Defensively, they were very tight, not letting any runs through towards their own goal.
About 20 minutes into the half, a broken play between Bob and Corey led to a quick pass over to Mick from Bob. Mick stepped by three Economics defenders and let loose a wicked shot from close to 25 yards out which beat the goalkeeper convincingly and ducked under the bar for a 1-0 lead. Despite a few more good shots before half, no more goals were forthcoming, and both teams went into the break ready for water and a quick breather.
After the break, the Economics team came out with some vim in their step and won an early corner on the right side. A poor corner ball in, a bad bounce, a miscommunication between Gord and Alex, and the ball was sitting in the back of the net for a 1-1 tie. Mel's Angels responded with a renewed vigour and pushed the play back into the Economics end.
Within a couple of minutes, Bob took a hard shot from near the touchline on the left towards the goal. It took a strange deflection off of one of the Economics defenders, and shot clear past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net for a surprise 2-1 lead. This second goal and quick retaking of the lead seemed to demoralize the Economics team, and the Angels were able to take the play back down into their end.
A throw-in was won on the left, and Bob flicked it just inside the 18-yard box to Mick who was tackled hard from behind, drawing a penalty kick. Bob stepped up to the spot, carefully placed the ball where he wanted it, and shot it past the diving goalkeeper for a 3-1 lead, and his third goal in three games.
Somehow, this third goal brought the opponents back to life. They began pressing and putting the ball through for runs at the Angels' goal, but could make nothing come to fruition. However, one of these runs won a free kick out on the sideline. The ball was fired in, but Alex charged out and leaped in front of the attacking player to pull the ball down to defuse the final good chance that the Economics team would have.
Overall, the game was quite chippy and scrappy, and this play intensified over the course of the second half, eventually culminating in a yellow card for Sebi. On the plus side, Neil's English friend Paul volunteered to play to bring the Angels up to a full side (rather than watch Neil play in his game across town) and managed to create several chances with his speed.
Special mention goes to Daniel Pereira and Neil Hazelton for running the lines for the prior game.
The turnout was low, with 9 players making an appearance. The missing players were Adam Lewis, Ali Jahed, Cormac Trainor, David McDonald, Erik Lockhart, Neil Hazelton, Paul-Philippe Champagne, and Scott Andrew. Also, Evan Milward and Umar Iqbal were injured for the game.
|Bob Oliver||1 (PK)||1|
Another game on the North Field, and grass still covered the entire field. The weather was sunny and warm with some clouds in the sky. Alas, there was no ref (or linesmen) for the game, so the two teams decided to play the the game on the "honour" system. As such, it was a very open, and non-physical game, a game generally counter to the style of play of the Angels.
The game started off fairly smoothly with some sharp passing and ball movement from either team, eventually leading to an Angels' goal kick. A poor kick by Alex to Daniel left Daniel stranded, and he was quickly stripped of the ball and a first goal was scored for a 1-0 deficit. The Angels did step up a bit, and drove into the Blue Steel end. A throw-in was won, taken by Ali sharply to Mick, who stepped around a defender and launched a rocket into the net to tie the game up at 1.
Towards the middle of the first half, Blue Steel won a corner, and some lax defending on the part of the Angels let them slip through and tap the ball into the net for a 2-1 lead. Towards the end of the first half, a scramble in the box left the ball sitting wide open, but nobody could clear it, and it was pushed into the corner of the goal for a 3-1 Angels deficit at halftime.
The Angels played much better in the second half, pushing forward and getting some fantastic chances, but they could not hit the onion bag. Blue Steel had a number of chances, but fingertip saves and quick rushes by Alex kept the score at 3-1 until a break came down the right side. As the Angels closed in on the player with the ball, he tapped it out to the front of the net, where another Blue Steel player was waiting to put it into the open net for a 4-1 lead. A long lead breakaway pass and a misplay by Alex was enough to make it a 5-1 game and final.
The turnout was decent, with 12 players making an appearance. The missing players were Adam Lewis, Bob Oliver, David McDonald, Gord Boyd, and Scott Andrew. Also, Evan Milward and Umar Iqbal were injured for the game.
The quarter-final match was played again on the North Field. The weather was overcast, and rained fairly heavily for the duration of the game making the ground slick and rubbery. The game began with a two ref system, but a third official showed up about 15 minutes into the game for a standard game.
The game started with a good run of possession by the Angels, but the net could not be found. However, a free kick was won near the top of the left side of the box. Sebi stepped up and put a cross to the back post, where Daniel had come running in and slotted the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
After several, minutes, a long ball came down field from The Great Ones and took a big hop, bounced off of Alex' hands as he tried to catch it, and was headed into the goal to tie the game up at 1. However, right off of the kickoff, Umar carried it down into the corner, and put a quick cross in, that Corey ended up putting into the back of the net to retake the lead. Shortly thereafter, Umar put in another cross that Sebi put into the net to extend the lead.
Towards the end of the first half, with a 3-1 lead, the Angels kept pressing, and Paul drew a penalty when he was hit from behind in the box and knocked over. Alex hustled up from his goal area to take the kick and calmly put the ball into the bottom left corner, freezing the opposing keeper, for a 4-1 lead, and his first goal of the year. Half-time followed shortly thereafter, with Adam and Alex switched up their positions.
The second half did not begin as strongly, and the Angels gave up a bad breakaway. Adam was able to make the first save, but unfortunately, the rebound came right back to the player who put it into the net to tighten the game up. The lead was stretched again when an indirect free kick was won on the top right of the box. Steve touched the ball, and Sebi lifted it over the wall and into the corner of the goal for a 5-2 lead. Two more bad breakaway plays led to two more goals by The Great Ones, but they could get no closer than the 5-4 final score.
Some other highlights of the second half included Alex and Sebi just missing header goals off of corner kicks. Steve had an open run at the goal, but put a shot right off of the keeper's legs. Sebi did one better by slotting the ball past the keeper, but couldn't beat the goalpost. Paul also showed excellent ball control as he retained possession as he relentlessly carried the ball back and forth through the opposing defense.
The turnout was decent, with 12 players making an appearance. The missing players were Ali Jahed, Bob Oliver, David McDonald, Eric Bacon, Evan Milward, Mick Wall, Neil Hazelton, and Scott Andrew. For once, nobody missed the game due to injury.
|Alex Fletcher||1 (PK)||0|
A nice, not too cloudy evening was in store for both Semi-Final matchups. The earlier game between Biohazards and Real Perovskite was a nil-nil draw when most of the Angels players began arriving to warm up. As they watched, regulation time ended, two golden goal halves solved nothing, and penalties would be the decider. Real Perovskite won those 4-2, moving onto Thursday's final.
A quick 4-5 minutes of getting ready on the field, and the game was underway against the only team to hand the Angels a loss this season. Two subs stood on the sideline, and several fans were on hand to cheer the team on. With the kickoff, Mel's Angels took the game straight to Blue Steel, with Evan (in his first game back since his injury) and Neil running hard up front and constantly creating chances with their speed and deft touches.
A free kick was won 25 yards out, and Sebi put the ball in on net. The rebound bounced out to Neil near the side post, and he toed it in towards the goal, where Ricardo was perfectly positioned to push it over the line for the early 1-0 lead. The run of play continued to be dominated by the Angels, but they gave up a free kick in their own end. An easy ball in, along with some miscommunication between Cormac and Alex ended up with Cormac finally heading the ball into the net. Alas, it was at the wrong end, and resulted in a 1-1 tie game.
Half-time came after several more chances, but nothing substantial occurred other than David McDonald arriving at the pitch. After the ensuing kickoff, Blue Steel controlled the run of play as they tried to pressure the Angels into giving up another goal. However, a stripped ball up near center, and a quick through ball up from Sebi led to Evan outpacing the Blue Steel sweeper and getting in on net. He launched a left-footed rocket which slammed into the net, scraping the underside of the crossbar as it went by. 2-1 for the Angels, just over 20 minutes left to play.
Blue Steel began pressing more and more, but couldn't get the ball past the combination of Daniel, Adam, the Big Xtra, Big Mac, and Alex, who were solid at the back. Unfortunately, with about 5 minutes to play, Alex made a save, and the rebound took Daniel on the forearm, drawing the call for a penalty kick. A foot out was not quite enough to reach the shot, and the game was tied at 2.
Just as with the earlier game, extra time solved nothing, and once again, penalties would be called upon to decide the result under the orange sodium lights. The first five shooters for the Angels were determined and Evan, Neil, Steve, Adam, and Sebi stepped up to do the honours, each putting the ball past the keeper. Unfortunately, the shooters for Blue Steel were just as good, and it was still tied at 5 after the initial 5 shooters. Sudden Death was upon us. Daniel stepped up to take the 6th shot and put it into the bottom right corner. The Blue Steel shooter put it just past Alex' outstretched fingers into the bottom left. Corey stepped up (after insisting that Paul-Philippe take it instead, with Paul smartly refusing) to take the seventh. He stepped up, aiming for the bottom left corner, but hit the ball too hard, giving it a phenomenal Phil Mickelson-esque spin. The ball hit the bottom of the crossbar, slammed into the ground behind the line, spun up, hit the netting, and came to rest about a yard in front of the goal line. The seventh Blue Steel shooter was obviously unnerved by this stunning display of control as he stepped up and put the ball almost ten feet wide to the right, giving Mel's Angels a 7-6 victory, and setting up a rematch of last year's final.
Some other notable points during the game included Steve being afraid to sub Ricardo off due to his sheer intensity on the field. Neil and Evan both joined the goon squad and picked up the Angels' 3rd and 4th yellow cards of the season. Fok-Jee was ever watchful on the sideline as he paced back and forth, clutching the Baconator's soccer ball the entire time. In sharp contrast, the Baconator himself (injured for the game) was boisterous on the sideline, and had the best quote of the game after a dangerous, hard tackle from behind on Evan: "Give him a card you f**k!"
The turnout was excellent, with 14 players making an appearance. The missing players were Ali Jahed, Bob Oliver, Mick Wall, and Scott Andrew. Also, Eric Bacon and Umar Iqbal were injured for the game.
After watching the tail end of the tight Women's Final between BioSci and Grads and Friends, a feeling of dread at being delayed further began to set into both teams as the game went to extra time, tied at 1-1. Halfway through the first period of extra time, BioSci scored a Golden Goal to win the championship by a score of 2-1. With the celebrations beginning, the Angels and Real Perovskite took to the field to begin their warmups.
Both teams were excited to finally begin playing after the game had been delayed due to extremely heavy rains the previous Thursday evening. With a touch from Evan to Neil for the kickoff, the game was underway, with Mel's Angels attempting to repeat last year's championship against the same team. The play was fairly even from the outset, with neither team able to break through the defensive lines of the other. As the halfway point of the first half passed, a throw-in was won near the corner on the right side of the field. Bob stepped up and threw it in. Corey broke across the field from his usual position as wide-left, and snatched the ball out of the air with his foot. With a quick move that left his defender in his tracks, he flicked the ball out in front of the net where Ricardo was waiting, poised to play the ball forward, which he did, putting it past the outstretched fingers of the opposing goalkeeper, and bouncing it in off of the inside of the post for a 1-0 Angels lead.
Real stepped up their attack and strode forward quickly, but were not able to finish their runs or plays due to the tight defending against them. Then, against the run of play, Corey played a ball into their 18 yard box which was hand-balled, giving a penalty shot, and a chance for the Angels to stretch their lead. Bob stepped up for the shot, and casually passed it into the arms of the goalkeeper. With the momentum swinging in their favour, one of their forwards got the ball and slipped by Dave McDonald. He set himself up for a shot and took a low blast, aimed just inside the post. Alex dove across the net, and deflected it out of danger for a corner.
The first half ended with no further real chances from either squad, but a 1-0 Angels lead. By this time, the number of spectators had ballooned, featuring members of the Cocamo Nooners squad, some City League officials, and a number of family members from both teams. All seemed to be enjoying the play of the game. Advertising pays off apparently.
A quick switch of ends, and the teams began the second half, similar to the manner in which the first ended. Very quickly off of the kickoff, Eric took the ball and played it up to Bob, who put it into the air towards the top of the Real 18 yard box. Paul leapt into the air, higher than he'd ever done before, and flicked the ball over the last defender and goalkeeper into the back of the net for a 2-0 Angels lead.
Frustrations were beginning to mount for the Real players, and one of them gave Neil a good push. Neil began to lose his temper and pushed back, earning him a yellow card and a stern warning from the referee. This small skirmish gave Real some life and they pushed forward, getting a break across the goal. A shot was taken from the top of the 6 yard box, but was going wide. A quick tip by a Real player, and they were one goal closer. But no! The linesman's flag was up for offside. Still 2-0 for the Angels, but a close scare all the same.
The Angels kept up their defensive play, still pushing forward when possible. With a mere 2 minutes left in the game, a free kick was given up at the top right corner of the 18 yard box. The cross came in, just out of reach of Alex' hands, and fell to a Real striker, who kneed the ball into the back of the net to bring them closer. Alas, that was as close as they would come, as the full time whistle was blown, and the Angels began to celebrate their second Grad League championship in as many years.
A couple of other highlights of the game included Cormac not heading the ball at all when he was in the Angels' 18 yard box, Gord taking a shot and hitting it well over 20 yards wide, and then asking Mel to delete that highlight from the video, and Adam's late game clearance across the parking lot. Also, note that the game was originally scheduled for July 24th, the prior Thursday. Due to a conflict with the Tindall Tornado's birthday (and copious quantities of rain), the game was rescheduled.
The turnout was excellent, with 15 players making an appearance. The missing players were Ali Jahed, Erik Lockhart, Mick Wall, and Scott Andrew. Overall, a fantastic inaugural season for Mel's Angels.