Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Morning Striker – 2008 Match Day 14

Northwest Suburban Soccer League
1st Division

Sting SC vs. Arrigo United FC
Unofficial Match Report
Sunday, July 27, 2008
9:45 AM
Vernon Hills, Illinois
Weather: 84 degrees, light wind (NW) and humid

Starting Lineup:
F Brandon Caputo
F Jamelle McCreary
M Eric Manos
M John O’Connell
M Kenny McCormick
M Mike Burg
D Keith O’Connell
D Ben Bartholomay
D Kevin Sorbe
D Phil McMaster
GK Kevin McCormick ©


After a two game slide to the teams at the top of the table we needed a big win in the Vernon Hills Derby against Arrigo United FC. However, I was enjoying a bachelor party in Coldwater, Michigan and would need to leave at 5:15 am Central Time in order to make it back for our 9:45 am kickoff. Normally I would have taken the week off, as I need to do in two weeks for the wedding, but we were short on players and we barely got our eleventh man there in time for the start. We were also missing our top two scoring threats going into the match, so someone was going to need to step up big time in order to right the ship.

We got there in plenty of time for a proper warm up, but the weekend of drinking and the long drive contributed to me tweaking my left knee just minutes before kickoff. After downing a bunch of ibuprofen, we got rolling and decided to keep the pace slow in the early going. We had no subs, the weather was hot and sticky, and a few of us were tired, injured and hung over. We let Arrigo keep the possession early and picked our spots to counter attack.

Just five minutes we got that chance as a perfect through ball by Jamelle McCreary found me in stride at the top of the penalty area. Unfortunately, the drugs hadn’t quite kicked in and as I planted on my left foot the pain was too much and I ended up shanking the shot. It was my last shank on the day.

Ten minutes later, Jamelle swung the ball out wide to Mike Burg who dropped a cross from the right wing perfectly to my waiting right foot. I took a touch to bring it down near the penalty spot and burried my shot quickly under the goalkeeper for the 1-0 lead. The remainder of the first half was a relatively slow pace of back and forth possession. Arrigo had the majority of the chances, but Kevin McCormick (who is NOT a goalie – at all) bailed us out with several brilliant saves. We went into the half with the lead still at 1-0.

The hope coming out of the half was to score in the first ten minutes. We knew we would run out of gas in this one and felt the need to build on our lead before Arrigo gained any momentum. The opportunity came even quicker than that as John O’Connell received a great ball out of the midfield from Kenny McCormick. His shot was from a tough angle and the keeper made the save. But he was only able to knock it down and it came free at the back post where I was able to flick home the rebound.

Minutes later, a solid cross out of the midfield by Phil McMaster dropped in at the penalty spot to John O’Connell. The defense thought he was offside, but no such luck. We hit a rocket into the roof of the net for a 3-0 lead. Without five more minutes passing, we counter-attacked again as Mike Burg tore down the right sideline. John O’Connell and Jamelle McCreary made runs into the six-yard box while I delayed my run and allowed the defenders to stick with the closer in targets. The cross was perfectly executed to my waiting right foot at the penalty spot again and I burried it into the back post for a 4-0 lead.

The shutout was lost several minutes after that off a botched corner kick and Arrigo picked up even further momentum when they dropped a second goal home with fifteen minutes to play to cut the lead in half. We needed another goal in a hurry to stop the momentum and we got our chance when the Arrigo goalie made a huge mistake.

After picking up a ball that was played back to him by one of his teammates we were given an indirect free kick just outside their six-yard box. I immediately tried to get the ball from him for a quick restart and he wouldn’t give it up so the referee had to stop the play and caution him for delaying a restart. Once things were settled and the defensive wall was set, I decided that we were too tight for any time of two-man play to restart it. Instead, I used my place-kicking instincts and tried to hammer a shot off of anyone that I could find just like I would with an onside kick in football. As luck should have it, I hit a low line drive that deflected in off the goalkeeper for my fourth goal of the match.

The final was 5-2 and with that we regained our tie with Chicago Tanks FC for second place in the standings. On to a revenge match with Real FC. They were winless when they beat us at our place a few weeks back, but since then they’ve built up four wins to get back into the race. Now we’re at their home field in Wheeling and we need to get back-to-back wins for the first time since June.

Man of the Match: Kevin McCormick

Match Day 14 Goals:
Brandon Caputo (Mike Burg)
Brandon Caputo (Unassisted)
John O’Connell (Phil McMaster)
Brandon Caputo (Mike Burg)
Brandon Caputo (Unassisted)

Record: 5-4-2
17 pts. – Tied for 2nd Place
GF: 40
GA: 32

2008 Season Totals

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

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


At 4:26 PM, August 05, 2008, Blogger Mrs. Sizemore said...

Congrats on the four goals last week, honey, but where's this week's post? And the top 5?


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