So – this is a very late report for last week’s game probably because I wasn’t really happy with the result and didn’t want to relive it. Not a good excuse but at least I am getting to it before this week’s game.
We were playing the Montville Stallions who were in second place while we were residing in third place. A win meant we moved into second and had a good shot of playing for first place in the playoffs two weeks from now. We had a full compliment minus Nick who was off at Lake Placid and the second game of the night so it wasn’t late at all.
We got off to a great start. Less than 5 minutes into the game Rolfie had his first shot of the night and placed it well in the lower left corner of the net. The keeper didn’t have a chance. We had them pretty well marked up and were keeping them away from the net. Around the 10 minute mark – Rolfie had a ball down the left side of the field where he somehow beat the first guy; even he isn’t sure how he did it and the managed to get past the next two for a weird angle shot that looked pretty all the way into the back of the net.
We felt pretty confident at this point. We were marking their team well and seemed to have a good rhythm. Then we got to over-confident. We started giving them more room in the middle and our fullbacks made some runs up the side. Although we were getting caught a little bit, we still managed to hold them pretty well. We had a play down the left side which got broken up and then 4 passes later it went to one of their players who put a shot in off the right post. Frank didn’t have a chance at it but we never should have given him the shot in the first place. We gave the room in the middle and didn’t have enough people back to cover them on the break.
We clamped down at this point but we did this by not pushing up. Effectively we were stranding either Rolfie or Wes up front with no one to pass to. Rolfie kept trying to go through people but even he isn’t that good (although he would never admit that). He still managed a shot or two – hitting the post once and then on the second reverting to his old self – nowhere near the net.
Montville equalized with about 8 minutes left with a shot from the same guy who scored the first goal – this time from around 24 yards out. It was a beautiful shot that completely handcuffed me and Frank in goal too. Bent right around and ended up in the right side of the net. We discovered later that he used to play professionally in Italy, didn’t make us feel better though.
We spent the last 8 minutes pushing as hard as we could, everyone played pretty good. With less than two minutes we had a corner from the left side that went right to Wes at the far post. He was lined up and we thought this was it – a third goal to put the game away. He tried to head it down but misjudged it and it came off the top of his head and went over the wide open net. The game ended up in a tie.
Although I was pretty happy with my play, I had some nice passes and defended well, I was sick with the outcome. We needed a win to move into second and with the tie we dropped to 4th, one spot behind the Wildcats which one their game. Since the Wildcats and the Stallions play each other this Thursday our best hope is for them to tie and for us to score 9 goals to beat the Stallion on goal differential. Since we played the number one team, I am not sure we can score the nine goals even though I expect to win. So, until Thursday, we will have to just wait and see what happens.