Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday Morning Striker – 2008 Match Day 9

Northwest Suburban Soccer League
1st Division

Sting SC vs. Chicagoense
Unofficial Match Report
Sunday, June 22, 2008
9:45 AM
Vernon Hills, Illinois
Weather: 75, Partly Cloudy, light wind (N-S)

Starting Lineup:
F Matt Greenhalgh
F Jamelle McCreary
M Eric Manos
M Rudy Schaser
M Kevin McCormick ©
M Kenny McCormick
D Keith O’Connell
D Mike Soroosh
D Kevin Sorbe
D Brian Black
GK Brian Stock

M/F Brandon Caputo
M John O’Connell
D/M Phil McMaster

Another game day and once again we had early morning thunderstorms on the way to the game. We were running a little late due to some late night partying for a friend’s birthday party, so for the second time this season I started on the bench. I barely had my gear on by the time we kicked off and my old, out of shape, hung over self needed another fifteen minutes to warm up properly.

Matt Greenhalgh got things going about fifteen minutes in with two goals in rapid succession, keeping alive his torrid goal scoring pace. Back on Match Day 2 against the same Chicagoense team, Greenhalgh netted all four Sting SC goals en route to a 4-4 draw. He would end up with three for the day and a total of seven against this opponent on the season. Just before kickoff central midfielder Rudy Schaser told everyone on our bench that he would play a ball over the top for Greenhalgh to hit a blast from distance for a goal today. The first score of the day happened exactly as planned as Rudy’s ball from midfield was perfectly lofted over Greenhalgh’s, and the defender’s, head and into space. Matt ran on and hit a one-time volley from the corner of the penalty area that rocketed into the upper ninety on the far post. I’m quite certain that there isn’t a goalkeeper anywhere that would have gotten to that ball.

Minutes later a collision just inside the Chicagoense half of the field allowed the ball to pop free with Phil McMaster getting the last touch on the ball before Matt Greenhalgh collected it again. The goalkeeper stood still as Greenhalgh calmly placed the ball inside the far post for a 2-0 lead. The goalkeeper then proceeded to argue with the referee that his player was hurt and play should have been stopped. Unfortunately, his player was perfectly fine and just slow to get up. Either way, play wouldn’t have been stopped for a play like that and he should have not been such an idiot. We’ll hear more about him later.

Our third goal of the half came after an attractive combination out of the midfield from Rudy Schaser, Kenny McCormick and myself that led to Rudy getting free on the left wing. He then played a brilliant cross over the top that Eric Manos collected and dropped back to Jamelle McCreary who was entering the penalty area a few yards to the right of the penalty spot. McCreary drove a low, hard blast from about 14 yards out that the keeper was able to get his hands on, but the ball squirted underneath him and into the net. Chicagoense was able to answer with a goal just before the half and almost started off the second half the same way, but we were able to weather the rough stretch and right the ship.

With the score 3-1, we began to control the majority of possession and create several scoring opportunities. Once such chance was created when Chicagoense’s left midfielder failed to track back and Eric Manos played a dangerous cross into the mixer that the goalkeeper had to punch over the bar for a corner kick. At this point, the goalkeeper began to scream at his teammate for his laziness throughout the entire match. The midfielder, #20, proceeded to keep up with foreign relations. You know, flip him the bird, which led to this brilliant line in an Eastern European accent (possibly Serbian) from the goalkeeper.

“F*ck you, Mother F*cker! You f*cking run! You don’t stick your middle finger out at me, you f*cking run, Mother F*cker!”

After that, the goalkeeper and Matt Greenhalgh spent the next several minutes jawing at each other and Greenhalgh got the best of him again to complete his second straight game with a hat trick. It came on the ensuing corner kick when the ball came free to Kevin McCormick near the back post. He ripped a shot from just outside the six-yard box that hit Greenhalgh on the backside and deflected in. Our final goal of the day happened about ten minutes from time when the goalkeeper came way off his line to break up another breakaway from Matt Greenhalgh. The ball came loose to Kenny McCormick right at the midfield stripe and he launched a shot on net. It was almost Beckham-esque as the youngster scored his first goal of the year on the vacated goal. Chicagoense was able to get one more back near the end of the match and the final score was 5-2.

But the story isn’t over yet. As we sat on the sideline and removed our equipment, a fight broke out. The Chicagoense goalkeeper and #20 went at each other and had to be restrained by their teammates as we broke out in laughter from our bench. It was this same team that a year earlier was forced to play two men shot against us after two of it’s players were ejected from a game for fighting each other on the field during the game. It was over something as simply as a poorly struck pass that led to a throw in for us in our defensive half. The referee just watched on in amazement as the two players ended up on the ground and went at it as though they were in the octagon doing mixed martial arts. When their teammates finally separated them and got them to their feet, the referee looked confused as he had no choice to red card them both. No red cards today, but certainly some disbelief and laughter.

At the end of the day, the second straight victory was much needed as we head into a bye week before the July 4th weekend contest against Real FC. We need revenge against them for that 2-1 defeat a few weeks back when they were in last place.

Also, from now on, I’ll also be awarding a Man of the Match award. I’m going to attempt to go back and update the other match reports with MOTM as well, but this week’s goes to our top goal scorer. If not for the eye-popping first strike and his hat trick, it would have likely gone to Phil McMaster for his tremendous job filling in with the back line in the absence of Jimmy Rosenfeld and Ben Bartholomay.

Man of the Match: Matt Greenhalgh

Match Day 9 Goals:
Matt Greenhalgh (Rudy Schaser)
Matt Greenhalgh (Phil McMaster)
Jamelle McCreary (Eric Manos)
Matt Greenhalgh (Kevin McCormick)
Kenny McCormick (Unassisted)

Record: 4-2-2
14 pts. – 2nd Place
GF: 33
GA: 19

2008 Season Totals

11 – Matt Greenhalgh
6 – Danny Carver
4 – Brandon Caputo
3 – Jamelle McCreary
2 – John O'Connell
1 – Ben Bartholomay
1 – Mike Burg
1 – Jimmy Rosenfeld
1 – Kevin Stock
1 – Phil McMaster
1 – Brian Black
1 – Kenny McCormick

4 – Dan Carver
4 – Rudy Schaser
3 – Brandon Caputo
2 – Phil McMaster
2 – Kevin McCormick
1 – Mike Burg
1 – Jimmy Rosenfeld
1 – Corey Mase
1 – Ben Bartholomay
1 – Matt Greenhalgh
1 – John O’Connell
1 – Eric Manos

(Cap and Jamelle set to kick-off with a 5-2 lead and the game entering stoppage time.)


At 1:24 PM, June 23, 2008, Anonymous mrs. sizemore said...

No mention of Black's $100 dare?

At 1:34 PM, June 23, 2008, Blogger Cap said...

haha. I forgot about that. With their every goal kick coming up a bit short, Brian Black offered up a $100 reward for anyone who was able to strike a one-timer into the open net directly off one. Nobody got an opportunity, although John OC tried from 40 yards with his head. He came up 24 yards short.


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