My predictions may have been light yesterday, but I felt pretty confident that I made the right calls. As far as predicting the winners, I hit 50%. But I screwed the pooch on the scorelines...
Game 1 - Clark Physical Therapy 3, Wellspring Parable 6Late yesterday afternoon, Shoff confirmed that five players would be missing from Clark so we filled in with subs from Mi Casa and Lightning. Taylor was out for Wellspring; luckily Mark Anderson was able to fill in in net.
Despite not getting much playing time over the last several months and not being a goalie by trade, Anderson was as solid as ever. On the other side of the field, Fitch looked strong in net as well. Both teams had great efforts at defense. The midfield units were both linking up regularly too. The biggest issues plaguing both teams revolved around linking up at attack. Communication in the offensive end was nearly nonexistent regardless of who had possession.
With both Zielonko and Neilsen on the field, the Young Guns were more organized than the leaderless CPT team. Their presence may have been the deciding factor in the game.
Game 2 - Lightning Wear 7, Mi Casa Rustic Furniture 2I came into this one with high hopes, not realizing that Johnston and Von Ahsen would be out for the week. Complicating matters further was the late decision by goalie Burke to miss the game for health reasons. Despite only playing goalie a couple of times, Kaufmann volunteered to fill in. Unfortunately this took away our leading scorer from last week, which in light of Johnston's absence was detrimental to our success.
Kaufmann played an admirable game and it is reassuring to know that we have a capable back up. The defense, led by Aukes and Blay, were solid in front of him. The midfield unit, anchored by Miska, played a complete game as well. Stachan's return was extremely beneficial as well as his ability to run well into the fourth quarter provides a real boost to the team. Van Dyke and Kayser had strong games at attack, but my presence up top was definitely questionable for the first half. I wasted chances with candy shots and had poor off the ball movement on a few occasions. Despite improving significantly as the game wore on, I feel that my actions cost Mi Casa at least four legit scoring chances early on.
The Bolts played as solidly as ever. Shelton manhandled our attack as usual and Mundus bore into our heads with his nonstop jawing. Hunter Couch and McDougal swapped out in goal at half time and both played strong games in net and out. McDougal made one of the most amazing saves of the season with some odd footwork to stop a strong five hole ball less than an inch from the goal line.
Despite improved play all around for Mi Casa, we (by we I am mostly referring to myself) just could not finish. The thing is, I know I am a better shooter than I have demonstrated over the last two weeks. Whatever my mental hang up is, I need to get over it or we'll never rise from this slump. The good news is that we definitely have found a motivating on field presence in Blay.