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Thursday, July 29, 2010

CILA Summer League - Week 8 Results

***Sorry for the Delay in Posting***

League play continued last night with a rejuvenated Clark Physical Therapy team looking to advance past Wellspring Parable and a dominating Lightning Wear squad looking to remain undefeated against the struggling Mi Casa Rustic Furniture team.
Game 1 - Wellspring Parable 5, Clark Physical Therapy 12
When they lost on Monday, the Young Guns were missing Zielonko; last night they were missing Nielsen. Benny Arends missed both games. This means they were missing two strong scorers in both games this week, which limited their offensive play. Left to shoulder the midfield load by himself, Zielonko performed admirably and set up numerous plays to keep Wellspring Parable in the game.
After losing numerous players for various reasons, Clark Physical Therapy acquired two players via allocation. Coming from Iowa State, Berg previously played in the inaugural CILA box league so he was familiar with many players on the field. Ladd brought a strong history of prep school championships from Connecticut. Both seemed to compliment the existing talent and complete the team's offensive puzzle. Their presence was definitely strong and proved to be the biggest factor in Clark's victory.
When these teams meet again in the playoffs, both should have fairly full rosters. It will be interesting to see how the fully stocked Young Guns meet up with the newly augmented Clark team. In fact, I predict that that game will be the best game of the season - period. Either team definitely has the ability to win the league championship.
Game 2 - Lightning Wear 5, Mi Casa Rustic Furniture 3
The Mi Casa boys were missing a handful of players last night including Miska and Johnston. I was still out with my back injury, but hope to be back next week. Both Aukes and Blay were on the field with Cook rounding out the defense. Kaufmann was strong on attack again with Ladd filling in for the missing Johnston. Van Dyke looks more impressive at the midfield every week. Thompson plays well under his age. Everything was clicking for Mi Casa last night.
Lightning looked a little off for most of the game, despite the win. The absence of goalie Hunter Couch (Duluth lax camp) may have been the culprit, or maybe the team is just getting too comfortable with winning. As always, Shelton was a force to be reckoned with and Ben Couch was a strong shooter.
Mi Casa still can't close out a victory, but the closeness of this game is promising. Next week will be of little consequence as we are stuck with the fourth seed, but you can bet that we will fight for a win to close out the regular season and build momentum heading into the playoffs. Our goal is to upset the mighty Bolts in the semifinals.
Lightning Wear will attempt to reassert its dominance against Wellspring Parable next week. The Bolts will have their work cut out for them as the Young Guns will be hungry for a win to secure their second place position. If a full and energized Wellspring team shows up, Lightning will risk going down early and often.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CILA Summer League Predictions - Week 8

Technically this is the second batch of games this week, but Monday's games were actually make up games for Week 6. Tonight's games will be the eighth for each team. Okay, yeah, this is Week 8 then. Whew, that was confusing (maybe it's just the prescriptions I'm on).

Monday's game featured teams working together for a win. Tonight's games will turn those allies into enemies. Based on the current standings, we could be looking at a preview of the playoffs tonight. No matter what tonight's games bring, Lightning Wear is assured the number one seed with their perfect record.

Game 1 -5:45 - Wellspring Parable vs Clark Physical Therapy
The Young Guns are fighting to stay in second place while Clark is hoping to pass them. A win tonight secures Wellspring's second seed. A Clark loss opens the door for a Mi Casa to make a move up the rankings which could come to a head in next week's games. The question is whether the two recent additions will be enough to push Clark over the Young Guns.
Prediction: Wellspring Parable holds onto to its second place rank with a 3 goal win
Game 2 - 6:45 - Mi Casa Rustic Furniture vs Lightning Wear
Mi Casa's only win came on Monday via their cooperation with the Bolts. A win tonight would be a major upset and is the key to Mi Casa jumping out of last place. Standing in their way is the likely absence of Nick Blay whose defensive presence boosts Mi Casa's confidence. If Mi Casa can somehow push past the Bolts it would be the premier upset of the summer.
Prediction: Lighting is almost as tough as they are cocky; they win by 4

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

CILA Summer League - Week 7 and a halfish Results

We made up the July 14 games last night. The original goal was to have two games like usual, but I figured it would be tricky given that it was an off night. As game time approached, we realized that we would not have enough guys for two full games. After a brief assessment of our options, I devised a simple solution and discussed it with the captains present at the field. In the best interests of the league, we opted to play a single game with combined teams.
To keep things fair, we combined #1 Lightning Wear with #4 Mi Casa Rustic Furniture and #2 Wellspring Parable with #3 Clark Physical Therapy. This also kept the scheduled matches in tact. Both winning teams received the victory and points while the losing teams did not. The goal differential was not added to the standings.
Make Up Game - Lightning Wear/Mi Casa 11, Wellspring Parable/Clark PT 4
WP/CPT came out firing against Lightning utility player/back up goalie McDougal. They were up 2-0 within in the first five minutes which led to some bitching about the format by a few Lightning players (usually they are the first to piss and moan under such circumstances). It did not take long for LW/MC to come back and score eight unanswered goals. Along the way, Mi Casa goalie Burk took over the net for McDougal, who returned to his usual LSM position.
The game took a very controlled pace from there with long possessions by both teams. The face off battle seemed to swing back and forth throughout the second half. WP/CPT seemed to be on the verge of rallying, but it was too little too late.
Last night's game also introduced two new players to the league. Brian Berg previously played for Iowa State University's MCLA team and last year's box team. Austin Ladd played for the Salisbury School in Connecticut, which won the New England Preparatory School Athletic Council championship three times while he was there. From there he played at the University of Iowa. Both players have been allocated to Clark due to the loss of several players.

Monday, July 26, 2010

CILA Summer League Predictions - Week 7 and a halfish

To be honest, I am not sure how tonight's games will go down. After cancelling the the July 14 games due to extreme heat, the majority of players picked tonight for the make up. I am unsure of how many players will actually come tonight, so I have a couple of contingency plans ready to go. For now though I am assuming the games will occur as scheduled, but I am asking that everybody comes in time for the first game - just in case.
Game 1 -5:45 pm- Wellspring Parable vs Mi Casa Rustic Furniture
The Young Guns beat a depleted Mi Casa handily last week (10-6). Both teams will be missing a few players tonight - including a captain on each side. The absent captains may prove to be the difference makers. Wellspring is missing Zielonko, who is a constant scoring threat and the undisputed field commander for the Young Guns. Mi Casa is missing me. I have been ineffective nearly all season but last week I showed some improvement despite nagging pain in my lower back. That pain got bad enough on Thursday and Friday to force a doctor visit. Diagnosed with a severe back strain (probably not lax related according to the doc), I was prescribed muscle relaxers and pain killers. But I was told no reffing, let alone playing for at least a week. So I'm pretty pissed right now.
Zielonko's absence will be a much bigger factor than my own.
Prediction: Mi Casa by 1
Game 2 -6:45 pm- Clark Physical Therapy vs Lightning Wear
The Bolts are an unstoppable force of nature. Last week they handed Clark a five goal loss. Very few players are expected to be absent for Lightning. Clark will be missing a few, but will still have key players like Ripchinski. As always, Clark will battle hard but Lightning's depth and youth will wear them out.
Pediction: Lightning by 3

BTW, I screwed the pooch when I picked Japan over Australia for the bronze. Luckily I chose the winner in the game that really mattered. Not only that, but I actually picked the US to win by two goals. What a great game. Rabil proved that he can make big plays in big games. Truly a worthy competitor.

Tribe 7