POLONIA 1, Dsc 0

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POLONIA 1, Dsc 0

Post  Matt Marcin...z on Fri May 20, 2016 4:44 am

Winners earn rights to caps lock IMO.

Delaware Soccer Club, now headquartered next to Mes Que if their Twitter page is to believed (and I see no reason why it shouldn't be believed, but due to my long-standing aversion to Hertel Avenue, I cannot directly confirm its authenticity-not-Photoshoppedness), gave us a fun game tonight. I'll refrain from saying that they should've won, but they certainly could've won. In fact, well, they had the better of the play, probably. From the opening kickoff, when #12 Jack Milligan nearly intercepted my routine passback to SW Dave Ciepiela, I knew they were up for competing, #44 Greg Bennett's pregame self-effacing chatter notwithstanding (although the dude did legitimately yawn when I walked by him en route to the Polonia bench, which led him to comment on the fact that I had the right idea by having a coffee, and led me to offer him some, haha).

For those who didn't attend Queenston-Yemen, D'Youville is a big, pristine turf (technically an oxymoron, that) field. The many soccer-infatuated Buffalo citizens driving slowly and admiringly by on the 190, wishing they themselves were on that field, only add to the ambience...okay, maybe not. It's both the best field I've played on and also a prison surrounded by the former Lakeview-not-Lakeside projects (now demolished, but as a lifelong Buffalonian, don't think I don't remember that sh*t) and a thoroughfare that many enlightened urbanists would wish to see removed. Anyway, this is a field that plays to Polonia's strengths. If you gave us a field made of some unused farmland out in Alden Eclipse territory, dimensions one mile by one half mile, we would win every game against BSC Raiders. Because endurance and tenacity and spatial awareness are what we do well. Kind of. I'm obviously overstating our relative strengths, literary license and all that

On to the game. We started on the south end--no wind to speak of, and the sun 'may rise in the east, at least it settle in a finer location' (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Californication, verse X, line Y). The lights were at times a factor in terms of judging aerial balls--nearly every punt (pretty much always from the Dsc (okay, DSC) keeper) bounced in this game before being headed or otherwise dealt with, a throwback to high school ball. They often went in my direction, and I'm never one who's too eager to incur chronic traumatic encephalopathy from being overzealous in heading any ball with a lot of force behind it...call me a pus*sy if you wish (and Dave might, heh), but I'll always take the high-impact header as the last option, personally, even though my field position and height demand that I be exposed to more headers than most during a given 90.

Given all the space and the generally not-exacting DSC marking, Polonia generally wanted to slow the pace down to a walk and Barcelona our way to victory. We did this well at times. I think I myself and RM Dan Helman and CM (for this game) Adam Funke combined well on a few plays in the first half. George did, too, until he pulled a hamstring maybe midway through the first half (he still played the majority of the remainder of the game, on one leg). The optimal strategy from our perspective was to pick these guys apart one short pass at a time...but we got too impatient far too often and made poor decisions too many times.

For DSC, they had the speed advantage and the overall physical advantage, one might say. From what I can gather from their roster, they were missing their leading scorer, but probably had the rest of their key guys (whereas we were missing many key players--perhaps a wash, relatively, when all is accounted for). Anyway, there were many more unforced errors in this game than I am accustomed to seeing in Championship. I don't think DSC is far at all away from being of the caliber of Championship's level of play, but what they had for physical fitness, they lacked in clinical ability. I think they're (generally) really young, right? Paul Welker's presence (and #44 seemed none too young, either) notwithstanding...probably will come with age, in many cases.

I had more of the ball in this game than any game I've had since I joined Polonia. George Wallenfels has long been a Marcinkiewicz in-game advocate, yelling "Matt!!" or "Look to Matt!" when I'm open, but today...it actually happened. I got probably 15-20 goal kicks passed to me, and thus started the attack many times. We were generally fine in possession for the first 4-5 passes, then would give it away around midfield, typically. DSC was, as stated (or at least hinted) a little harder to the ball than we were.

This is a really disjointed write-up as a function of my buzzedness, I realize. So allow me to say the following: the first half was rather evenly matched, and 0-0 was the result. The second half, DSC came out stronger initially, and really, they remained that way throughout. There were plenty of dangerous attacks on their part. SW Dave did his best Derek Andrews impression and broke up most--the turf also helped, as many of their final balls were too strong and went to our keeper. DSC certainly had one legitimate call for a penalty kick go unheard when their somewhat Francesco Cardillo-like midfielder twisted and turned with multiple Cruyffs versus me in the box, getting by me in the process, only to be (possibly, theoretically, hypothetically, anything but 'actually') fouled by Adam Funke...this went uncalled. DSC got two yellows for dissent not long after, not coincidentally. 75+ minutes in, it's 0-0, and DSC have the momentum, but Polonia does one of our typical labored-enough buildups, and eventually M Dan Helman is sprung forward...and, attacking from the right side, he makes a defender miss (as he did many times this game, albeit not usually in as dangerous of a position on the field), then, with some time to calculate his actions, picks the far upper 90 corner with aplomb. 1-0, admittedly against the run of play.

For the remaining time, DSC was on the front foot, but often they'd make some error or other. When they didn't, there were legitimate opportunities, but backup GK Nick Nolte was tremendous in extinguishing the threats. One rush comes to mind, where I was sprinting back, thinking I was going to have to cover an open net, once one of the two onrushing DSC forwards evaded an also-onrushing Nick on a 50-50 near the edge of the box...and somehow, Nick secured it as the forwards both trampled him.

PS: I also nearly had another own-goal, as one of my defensive clearances (which I was pretty confident was directed wide of our net) hit our post. Whatever odds you're getting on me leading the league in OGs, take them.

Good game to DSC and good luck the rest of the way in a DII I assume is winnable for them.


Matt Marcin...z
EPL
EPL

Number of posts : 285
Team : Polonia
Full Name : Matt Marcinkiewicz
Registration date : 2013-06-28

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