Polonia Eternal Sunshine of The Spotted Mind 3, Alden Eclipse 1

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Polonia Eternal Sunshine of The Spotted Mind 3, Alden Eclipse 1

Post  Matt Marcin...z on Tue Jun 06, 2017 5:51 am

Spotted, not spotless, for any movie buffs reading this.  I am not one, and I am not even a fan of the film referenced, but I went for it!

There's actually an eclipse that can be seen/appreciated continent-wide on August 21st.  Google tells me it'll be the first time in 99 years for such an event.  On that day, Alden will win any rescheduled floating game or preseason Sahlens fall session game it may happen to play.  Automatic winners.  You can't surreptitiously call yourselves the Eclipse for years and then not reap the benefits when an actual legit eclipse happens.  Alden wins all BDSL competitions on August 21st.

On June 4th, at Sahlens, at 6 PM, something much more mundane than a continent-wide eclipse occurred--a weekly soccer game in the 1st division of BDSL, between Polonia and very city-of-Buffalo-centric Alden.  The night before the game (and by that I mean around 6 AM on Sunday),  I glanced at their roster, and mentally sorted according to the goals scored column...and, to my great surprise, in first place on the squad, none other than all-time Polonia legend Mariusz Radwanski!  I thought his career ended against Depew Village two years ago when he was playing with us and reaggravated a knee injury.  Mariusz is in fact a great (if middle-aged) player and a good guy and I was psyched to see he'd resurfaced on Alden.  I was at that point also 25% that Remy Jakson would somehow emerge from the Moog complex in the seconds before the game to suit up for Alden, declare he was actually Russian and ex-KGB, and destroy us with Moog-produced weaponry that Trump had recently ordered made for...maybe both us and the Russians (I'll let the pending governmental investigations decide that).  

I knew far before 6 AM that we at Polonia would be shorthanded for this one.  Our honorary 4th manager Chuck Donner (I guess I'm 5th manager, given that I lead our team in BDSL meetings attended, tonight's included) subscribes to a soccer team app whose name escapes me at the moment (team snap?)--everyone else on the team replies via this app on a weekly basis as to whether or not they'll attend the upcoming game, so we have some idea going in about numbers and lineup issues.  I don't own a smartphone and am spotty with e-mail, so Chuck told me before the season that he'd put me down for attending every game.  Lol, fair enough.  I'm 5 for 5 so far and intend to be at least 12 for 12, barring a surprise trip to Vegas for some World Series of Poker event this month.  Anyway, this fixture v Alden was long slated to be the worst-attended match we might have all year.  The Andrews brothers were/are vacationing in The Commonwealth (of Puerto Rico), top scorer David Mack was set to miss the game, and I knew at least a couple others were as well.  To put it in perspective, we had planned a week ago to call in our on-standby backup goalkeeper Matt Gobalski to play GK and to press Brian MacDiarmid into field play due to roster constraints.

So at gametime it turned out we had 13 players, including debutante John Lerigo (a Chuck-affiliated player, as per usual), George's high school-aged son Jared, who'd apparently already played 2 tournament games that day for a U-19 team, and aforementioned usual GK Brian.  Alden had what looked to be 16 guys, but I later learned from them that they had 15 (I think I have that right--more on why I 'later learned' that possibly-misremembered fact later.  Chuck took control of the pregame assembly and assigned positions.  I'd had only two hours sleep Saturday night (not by design--I intended to go from 6:30 AM to like 2 PM), so my legs were already questionable, but given that we had what looked like a B squad with us and my enjoyment of challenges, I was kind of internally smiling as the game began in the part of Elma once known as Springbrook, New York.

Game began with us defending the East Aurora end (geographically--I guess that makes it the southern end) of the field nearest Seneca Street.  First thing I learned after kickoff is that we picked the wrong game ball--someone passed me a routine square ball early on, and my first confidence-killing touch was to trip over the ball and nearly fall it over it while losing possession.  Between the overgrown, inconsistently cut grass and the ball which was seemingly covered in some kind of wax, many a player lost his footing and his pride at some unfortunate moment on this Sunday evening.  Could've been worse, though--you could've been struck by lightning (spoiler alert).  

Anyway, I'd say the first 10 minutes of this game were semi-controlled by Alden.  Rogerio de numerous names made his various names known as a physical attacking presence--he had a decent chance early that I remember regretting him having.  He immediately struck me as the most dangerous Alden attacker and I approached the rest of the game as if that were true.  

Around the 10 minute mark, Polonia began to settle down in characteristic Polonia fashion--with CM George Wallenfels falling baclk all the way to the endline on a goal kick, receiving the pass from GK Matt Gobalski, and playing a longball up the line.  George is extremely composed on the ball and that helps to set the tone for Polonia when disorganized/temporarily outplayed.  Polonia took control of much of the rest of the first half as characteristic 11-man-strong possession-attacking play took hold (we had Aaron Calabrese at left defender for much of this game, and he is a midfielder by trade, so the buildup was all the more versatile).  Mr. Lerigo (and by Mr. I mean 'Master' not 'Mister'in this case--that is the proper legal 'nickname' for a male under the age of 18, as I was once told by my mother when she was addressing birthday cards to sons of her friends...now that I'm thinking about this at the wise old age of 30, I wonder what the etymology of that possibly archaic means of addressing 'minors' is...anyway...) received a cross on the left attacking side of the box and finished, clinically.  1-0.

Alden was a through ball-oriented team in the first half, trying a few on my side with no luck, and at some point, they equalized with a bouncing ball that slightly exposed our GK-turned-temporary-substitute-LB Brian...Brian went for the challenge on the near-50-50 maybe 30 yards upfield, lost, tracked back, and somehow the attacker lofted a volley from a few yards away from the corner of the 18 over the outstretched arm of GK Gobalski and to the far post.  Good take; 1-1.  

I'm getting too drunk and tired so I'm going to devolve into Dillon Patterson/ex-Polonian Bobby Calvaneso goal-by-goal recap mode here.  The second Polonia goal was a thing of beauty; Chuck Donner seems energized this year by playing with a team that he's largely coached before; he's good for one terrific strike a game to this point.  One of our strikers was tripped around the where the arc of the 18 ends at the box on the right attacking side; Chuck proceeded to take that free kick and drill it upper corner far post.  2-1 People Proclaiming To Be Polish.

Halftime; I greet Mariusz at Alden's bench, tell him 'Remy's finally done' while wondering if he actually is....

Second half begins; I internally question how much I have left in the adrenaline and lactic acid tanks; I hope the former miraculously far outweighs the latter.  It turned out that I had a good 34 minutes (spoiler alert, again), so the ever-doubtable always-laughable contingecy of 206 bones and 850 muscles soldiered on while the clouds roiled and signaled impending catastrophe for ongoing soccer games if not human beings susceptible to electric shock.  Alden was controlling more of the play than they had in the final 35 minutes of the first half; I prepared for a second half of potentially defending a one-goal lead.  But Alden are not the fastest of teams and I was hoping we could continue to attack.  We did exactly that (if irregularly) and at some point buried a third off a semi-counter where the initial shot was taken from close to the edge of the six...saved, but punched out to a Polonia trailing forward (I believe Justin Bracci), whom Alden defenders wanted to be offsides but may (or may not?) have been behind the ball when the initial shot was taken.  3-1.  

I had a couple fun forays forward in the time between this goal and the premature end of the game, but I won't bore you with the details of my almost-assists.

Clouds form, liquidate their contents, and, in warmer months, often portend thunder and lightning.  In a year my atmospheric science-majoring younger brother better be able to tell me the finer points of the science of atmosphere v troposphere v ionosphere v mesosphere v all other -sphere activity...for now, all I can tell you is that our game was halted and eventually determined to be un-resumeable due to the 30 minute provision...not that anyone on somewhat-shorthanded Polonia was complaining.  

Afterwards I lost my car key for a half hour or so and nursed a donated Yuengling with 6 guys from Alden, all of whom were good dudes.  Much gratitude for the hospitality and the assistance in tracking down the lost key in the lost bag which was unluckily/unintentionally taken in by a teammate.

GG to Alden-seeming-Elmwood Village/Delaware District and GL GF (going forward, to coin an easily identifiable abbreviation)

Matt Marcin...z
EPL
EPL

Number of posts : 286
Team : Polonia
Full Name : Matt Marcinkiewicz
Registration date : 2013-06-28

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