Strutting into the Woodshed to AC/DC’s ‘Back in Black’ the Blues felt pretty good about their chances of taking down the league’s second place team, Dynamo Eden Prairie – a team they should’ve done better against in the beginning of the season but failed to put away their chances.
All week the manager talked about how good, yet beatable this opponent was and the squad really took this to heart. As with the last 4 weeks the Blues came out strong right from the off, however, this week the soccer gods had a different script prepared. Crashing the net early and often Campbell and Clayton had chances to put the good guys in front but Dynamo’s defense, their keeper, and (sadly, again) the grounds keeping were up to the challenge.
Ryan Haeg, so deserving of a goal, somehow has his early effort cleared off the line.
Dynamo was not to be under the cosh for the entirety of the game and eventually found their foothold. Though, unlike the SOBs they finished when the opportunity presented itself. Down 1-0 the SOBs were not to be too deterred, and it was the manager who popped up to fashion two more bites at the cherry only for a quick defense to snuff out Clayton on Sindt’s assist and then the second chance gone begging due to Dynamo’s defense and Sindt’s lack of quickness and sharpness in front of goal. And it was at this point that the air went out of the SOBs.
Captain Derric Johnson had this to say, “We had our chances but couldn’t finish and then they scored their second of the match. When the second goal went in it felt like someone just reached out and collectively punched the team in marbles.”
Manager Sindt: “After all those chances went begging and they scored two, we just flattened out; our reactions, our thinking, our play all became flat for the remainder of the half.”The second half was almost verbatim of the first. The SOBs had about 10 minutes of sustained pressure with chances blocked, saved, and blazed over. After the initial pressure subsided Dynamo again capitalized on the Blues scything through the midfield and defense with a lightning quick counter-attack.
If the Blues looked dazed and confused as the soccer gods frowned upon their efforts towards goal, they looked absolutely forlorn when that third goal went in. It took some industrious work from Thomas Larson and John Carney to get the Blues out of the fog, but it wasn’t to be as their offensive mindset exposed them to getting carved open on the counter-attack twice more. Down by five, it took a snarling Ilijas Zimic to bring the Old Boys some joy; receiving an over-the-top ball at the 18, Zimic took a half turn and fired over the keeper’s outstretched hand. Injured Old Boy Andy Delain on the strike: “that was thing of beauty, the keeper nor his super sweatshirt could stop that one.”
After the goal Zimic’s defending from the front inspired the Blues to finish the game strong.
Vice-captain Farrell “Ilijas was growling like some enraged animal at the end there while chasing their players. I wouldn’t have wanted to get in his way.”
The post-match presser was more somber than usual with the SOBs at a loss to explain what happened. The manager had this to say “it just wasn’t our day today…” while Andy Delain was a bit more colorful in his commentary; “the ref got a few calls wrong and used some poor discretion, but it was that keeper’s super sweatshirt that did us in. I don’t know how, but that shirt is more than this guy’s lucky charm…I think I saw the shirt make some saves while the keeper was off eating a corndog and drinking a beer or something.”
Captain Johnson had the final words on the match “Well that sucked…like a fat chick trying to break in to the cool group at high school. Now we need to clear our heads of this mess as soon as possible and focus on taking care of business against Sound & Fury to assure ourselves of our playoff position.”
Starting XI: B. Larson, Johnson (C), Pomeroy, Savitt, Erzberger, Haeg, Shanafelt, Farrell, T. Larson, Campbell, Clayton
Subs: Davies, Sindt, Zimic, Gorrell, Carney
Man of the Match: Zimic – a goal and some dominant hold-up play in the second half when the Blues desperately needed it. Honorable mention goes to the play of Thomas Larson in the center of the park and out wide.