Playoff Predictions - Championship Division

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Playoff Predictions - Championship Division

Post  Raider9726 on Thu Jul 28, 2016 9:31 am

This Championship division this year was filled with low scoring games; easily the most 'defensive' division across the BDSL.  Maybe that means the keepers that occupy this division are some of the league's best, or defense as a whole is strong, or....poor finishing?  Now that I look at the top half of the division, I can't help but wonder, why didn't I predict this?  It looks so easy right now.  You're always right, hindsight.

Championship Division

#6 Lykan FC (5-4-2) at #3 Wolfpack (7-4-0)
Pre-season Predictions: Lykan to finish 11th, Wolfpack to finish 5th

I wasn't aware of the fact that Lykan was building a former HS all-star team this summer, otherwise chemistry alone would see them up a few spots from an early 11th place prediction.  But in all fairness, they probably still wouldn't have been placed any higher than 8th, based on indoor and outdoor history of recent times.  But good for them, they earned their spot here in the playoffs.  Predictably, the trailed off a bit down the stretch as the fixtures became more and more daunting, but Lykan boasts one of the best defensive/keeper units in the league, having only surrendered 10 goals all season.  The issue is they cannot score: 12 goals in 11 games for a playoff team?  Meanwhile, Wolfpack seem to be clicking on all cylinders right now, and they're starting to remind me of that time back in 2012 when they got red-hot heading into the 1st division playoffs, drew the tougher side of the bracket by having to face off against Lonestar first (beat em), then top seed Rush (beat em) and then took us Queenston boyz out in OT in the finals.  I wouldn't be surprised if they make another big run this August.  They've got a lot of weapons, specifically Weaver, Richards and Cavalieri.  I've been told Richards may not make this particular game, but I think they have enough firepower to get by without him.

Prediction: Wolfpack 2, Lykan FC 0

#5 East Aurora FC (6-4-1) at #4 Rangers (6-3-2)
Pre-Season Predictions: East Aurora to finish 1st, Rangers to finish 8th

I've already discussed my mis-step on the Rangers prediction in a previous post, so I won't go in to that detail about all of their excellent adds sometime after mid-to-late April.  What we've got here for EA is a chance at redemption, in many ways.  Redemption for that 4-0 shellacking they took against Rangers back on 5/22, which was certainly eye opening.  Redemption for the chatter that's going around "town" that suggests they're not as good as people make them out to be.  I seem to think there's an ever so slight truth to that previous sentence, but I think much more of it has to do with their true desire.  They're talented soccer players who put their lives first and Sunday soccer second, and there's nothing wrong with that.  I'm pro-choice.  I think they'll choose to turn it up a notch here in the playoffs now that promotion is at stake. Probably not going out on a limb here, but someone like Vucic could have a big game and bag a hat-trick.  A reversal of fortunes is in store for this weekend.

Prediction: East Aurora FC 4, Rangers 1

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Semi-Finals

#5 East Aurora FC at #1 Southtowns Family Practice FC (9-0-2)
Pre-season Prediction for Southtowns: 2nd

Oh brother.  I doubt either team really wants to see the other in such a meaningful game.  Will the bye week hurt SFPFC, especially considering they're coming off a 2-2 draw against Hoops?  Does EA really want promotion, or level out in the Championship for another year so they can continue to put less stock in their Sunday evenings?  I really could go either way with this one.  If EA wins, I think SFPFC sees a lot of guys leave for greener pastures.  If SFPFC wins, I think they're finally due.  There was talk this pre-season about potentially moving these guys up to Premier this season, but the Board rightfully did not want to reward them with that move based on their 8th place finish last season.  Talent has always been here though, and maybe that time is now.  I'll go Southtowns in a 2-1 game that is decided in OT off of a through ball from Rouse to Bergum.

#3 Wolfpack at #2 Buffalo Bantu (7-1-3)
Pre-season Prediction for Bantu: 3rd

I'm going to pat myself on the back here for correctly seeing Bantu and Southtowns both finish out towards the very top of the table rather than their disappointing spots from last season.  Good job, me.  The score that posted this weekend between Wolfpack and Bantu was very telling to me - I know Bantu couldn't improve or lose ground in the table, but this isn't the kind of team that sees no-shows week in or week out; they'd rather play and play to win all the time.  But they lost to Wolfpack, and this is with an improved roster since the beginning of the season, that's seen the return of Nick Clay, but more importantly the re-acquisition of Adan Mukumbira and long time BUSS defensive stalwart Prince Saysay.  That's a quality Bantu side.  I believe in momentum though.  Wolfpack have the pieces now to be a low-end Premier side (that's not an insult).  I've got Wolfpack winning 3-2 in this game.

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Final

#3 Wolfpack at #1 Southtowns Family Practice FC

Southtowns have successfully reached their Premier destination by being a part of this game, so I think they let their foot off the gas pedal for the finale.  Except Phil Pinzone, he'll be barking all game.  Renkas will make a penalty save in this one to keep it at nil-nil in the 67th minute.  Scott Berardi will float a ball over top to Eric Russell who will find the back of the net to make it 1-0 with 12' to go, and Weaver will add the insurance goal at the 85' minute mark on a 1v1 ball that he'll get to first because he's probably faster and is certainly more hungry for it now that the Trophy can be had.  Aaaaaaoooouuuuuuuuuuuu!!!!

Predicted champion: Wolfpack
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