Pirates Scuppered (match report by Chris Arcari) ..........
The Pirates travelled to the Classics new home with a bare bones 11 players, which would prove to be part of their undoing (that is called foreshadowing). The Classics, on the other hand, had a season high 17 players dress for the occasion, even though one of them (Fisher) was really only there to run the line - bad cold.
The game began somewhat cautiously with neither team exerting any dominance over the other. However, the red-hot Gordie Macklin soon changed that by opening the scoring. Apologies go out to Macklin because this reporter can not remember even one detail of his goal. I'm certain it was scored in typical Macklin fashion, showing for the ball from a teammate, fending off several Pirates before turning and unleashing an unstoppable shot into the corner of the net.
Shortly thereafter, Chris Arcari, who seemed out of sorts from the beginning, (the story is he got out of bed on the wrong side, put on his crotch-padded biking shorts instead of his soccer gear, and his day went downhill from there) had a hissy fit with a couple of the opponents. It remains a question as to whether he was pissed at #4 or #16, whether or not he was actually tripped, and whether or not he was PMSing, but the referee had to dodge out of the way from his embarrassingly poor attempt to draw a foul - at midfield when his team was attacking the opponent's goal. Everything seemed to settle, and shortly after Robbie Keam sent a delightful ball across the box. Arcari, finding himself all alone just inside the six simply had to direct the ball into the gaping net - the goalie having commited himself on stopping the cross. The ball didn't take a bad bounce, it didn't come at Arcari too quickly, the goalie didn't get a piece of it, and neither did Arcari. It was, quite clearly, a very early and strong candidate for the Crap Award.
Gene Crowley presented the fans with a bit of slapstick when he found himself all alone in the opponent's 18-yard box and attempted to head, no kick, no head, no kick, no head, no kick, no head the ball for goal. The result, a stumble to ground reminiscent of a falling redwood (get it, redwood . . . Gene with red hair). As this match report is being written, it is still unknown whether or not Crowley has decided to head or kick the ball. Another Crap Award candidate. The score remained 1-0, even though the Classics were clearly carrying the play, until just before half time when a Pat Rohla left-footed shot hit the net. Half time arrived with the Classics enjoying a well-deserved 2-0 lead.
The second half delivered much the same as the first, with perhaps a little less passion. It seemed as if Rohla's goal just before the break really took the wind out of the Pirates sail (get it, Pirates are in boats, boats have sails, sails need wind, etc.). It became 3-0 Classics when Rohla, who was now playing outside on the left, popped another into the Pirates goal. After the game, many Classics could be heard lamenting the quality of crosses from the left side of the pitch in the second half. A side-line reporter noted the frustration level of Rohla's teammates escalating throughout the second half as runs into the box were in vain, only to see crosses from the left resulting in opponent goal kicks.
The Classics scoring ended with Robbie Keam turning from about 25 yards and firing a laser towards the net. Charles McGill deftly avoided blocking the shot and it found its way into the Pirates net. There remains some doubt as to how much effect Charles' gravitational pull had on the flight of the ball. Nevertheless, Keam is being credited with the tally. At this point it was simply a matter of whether or not the Classics defenders could preserve Hack's shutout, which brings me to the third Crap Award candidate. It should be noted the game slowed down considerably with the Classics passion for scoring ebbing and the Pirates seemingly content to play out the game with their 11 players. Enter Hack who proceeded to allow a relatively slow rolling Pirates attempt at goal to bounce off his left hand, then his right hand, then his left hand, then slip through his legs. It was noted by one Classics defender he was able to count the stitches between the panels of the soccer ball (30). Hack, in true goalie fashion, found blame elsewhere by commenting that his defenders don't keep him in the game and he gets cold and bored. Is it any wonder?
Final Score: 4-1 (2-0)
MWG: P. Rohla
Crap Award: Most weeks, any one of the three candidates mentioned above would be full credit for winning this week's award. Not on February 12th. This week's award goes to Larry Thorlakson, who after attempting every pass up the sideline to "Sparky" Massender (who was having a cracker of a match, get it "Sparky" - match), decided to pass the ball into the middle of the pitch to a wide-open Gene Crowley. It was perfectly weighted, on the ground, and led the player (an opponent) directly towards the Classics net.