2-3 Loss vs. Precision Identity

June 19th, 2003

Mike:
Okay, well I thought I'd add in some of my own philosophy on the loss, before we get into Brian's more in depth commentary on the game itself. Our first loss of the year, well I don't think I'd say it's been a long time coming since we've deserved to win all of those games, but it has been a long time. Lucky for me I lost an awful lot of games in Men's League this year so I haven't forgotten what it feels like! One could argue that we simply lost to a very good team (and there would be some truth to that), but I don't think that's the whole story. We have to first acknowledge that we got really, really unlucky in the second half. DiCarlo (not Ramsey, as the refs would have you believe) missed 8 or 10 chances alone, which is not to pick on DiCarlo but merely to represent how many good scoring opportunities we had. Most of the time we play, some of those go in. This game was a rare, unlucky day where they didn't. Still, we did score twice, so our luck wasn't as bad as it could have been. Why'd we let them score 3 times then? I'd argue that their third goal was the result of a bogus call by the ref, but that still leaves 2 goals unaccounted for, both of which they scored rather early in the first half.

If you ask me, it's because we just weren't ready. I've always said (not that anyone has listened) that a great strategy would be to take your entire team, suit up and warm up at a separate field. Then, 5 minutes before game time everyone hops in a big van, goes to the actual field, piles out and just storms the other team. The reason it's supposed to work is that the other team has been at the field the whole time just putzing about and wondering what's going on with their opponent. Now I don't for a minute believe that anything so organized happened last night, but effectively it's exactly what happened, and with the anticipated result. Heck, some of us started getting undressed, the ref had me on the cell phone and took shots on Arthur, and we all thought a whole lot about Jello Shots. Mmmm, Jello Shots. The bottom line is that we werent' ready to play when that whistle sounded, and they scored twice on us before we really woke up. The good news is, that it was pretty much an all around team effort. The even better news is that we picked it up a LOT in the second half, played a lot better, never even considered quitting and deserved to win the game.

Brian:
Interesting start to the night -- PI were quite late showing up. Ref #1 decided that this was our responsibility, and got Mike making some calls. Then he started shooting on Arthur with us. Now I did tell Arthur to let him score, but Arthur saved every one of his (rather weak) shots.

PI showed up. Well, they fielded a team. Maybe the origin of the expression "fielded a team" comes from looking all around the field to get your team -- they did have more ringers than last time. They had a woman in goal - meaning 6 men/4 women out, and all 10 were strong. Not that the goalie was weak -- see below.

The game started pretty horribly. We were down one woman, and they basically played keep away with us for 20 minutes. Good passing, but we didn't show much fight for the ball at that point. They managed to get a shot by Arthur on a slightly weird bounce. Pretty soon afterward, they scored again when they had two consecutive corner kicks, though the shot was a very good one to the far corner.

Fortunately the first half was shortened, though we did pick up our play considerably after the first goal. #1 fan Julie agreed with me on this I think. Jeff had two chances in the first half, though not the greatest. However, Ref #1 came up to me at the end of the first half and said something like, "Why are you losing. You had two chances."

We did regroup a bit more in the second half, thanks to some good pep talking. We closed off some passing lanes and fought hard for a lot of balls. Really great hustle all around, I thought. It was nice to see that we didn't give up at all.

DiCarlo, who hustled for a lot of balls, but was pressured consistently by their defense, decided that a corner kick would give him enough time to line up a good shot. I myself was trying to catch up to the nice high cross to head it, when it just kind of went in by itself. Nice shot Jeff. That pulled us to within 1.

At some point afterward, Mike made a clean check on one of their women, but she fell down. Ref #1 made another one of those MCI long distance calls like last week. They didn't quite score on the free kick, but shortly afterward one of their defenders made a spectacular shot to the top right corner from around the 18.

More hustle, and we had quite a few opportunities. In fact, "So many opportunities..." was the popular opinion. However, I'll take summary-writer's priviledge to express the opinion that they pressured us much more on the shots than usual, which was a factor. Skipper's enthuastic "Shoot-it, shoot-it, shoot-it" is still ringing in my ears. Any rabbits, ducks, foxes and deer in the vicinity of the park are now long gone.

On a nice pass up from Heather, Amy flicked the ball on to DiCarlo. Jeff went in on goal before making a nice quick pass to Grant for a good finish. So we got it to 3-2, which was fairly respectable.

I'll use SWP one more time to complain about the goalie on the other team. The one time I head the ball toward the net (in fact just below the crossbar) she gets up and pokes it upward. It bounced twice on the crossbar before she grabbed it. Not very sporting to save that shot. Ooops - I think I was supposed to say that about one of Mike's shots too. Oh well.

I'd go on with little details, but instead just say that I enjoyed the game a lot. The start felt rough, but the amount of hustle from people filling open spaces and slowing their passing was very impressive. Our 4 women ran their hearts out - well done Bea, Heather, Amy and Vasey. Grant, Jeff and Skipper worked hard up front. Ramsey made some offensive pushes too, which is good to see as well. Arthur was strong again in goal, and Mike/Daniel/Ramsey/Bea were strong as usual on defense -- despite their strong passing, we really held them to very few shots.

Scoring:

  1. DiCarlo Unassisted
  2. Grant from DiCarlo and Amy