BSC International 5, Polonia Intranational 0

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BSC International 5, Polonia Intranational 0

Post  Matt Marcin...z on Mon May 07, 2018 11:07 am

I always kind of doubted BSC's claims to internationalism through the years.  Interregional, sure--Ross is I believe from Rochester; my former SPAL teammate Liam McManus is from PA; former forum poster extraordinaire Brian Minehan might be from Massachusetts if I recall correctly some former forum posts lost to time and Ski's deletions...but for some years, they were mostly a collection of white American guys from what I could tell.  This year, however, I noticed a tweet from them where they posted the pictures of maybe 7 different flags, many of which I definitely could not identify offhand--so I think the international cred is pretty legit this time around.  Maybe the name was aspirational rather than descriptive all this time....

Speaking of things which are legit, another thing that might be described as legit was BSC-I's play yesterday.  This is a team 2 years removed from premier, and I would have to say that based on what I saw yesterday, they're a favorite to return, assuming they get the 19 or so guys they had on hand yesterday to show up on a weekly basis.  When Otmane Boussag is a substitute, your depth is probably in pretty good shape.  As for us, well, what they had in depth we had in, uh, shallowness--we had 11 dudes once I got there just before gametime, and it remained that way for the duration.  'For the duration' is an appropriate phrase to use here from my/our perspective, because it suggests a battle, or something to be endured, and this game was indeed something to be endured and not necessarily enjoyed if you were sporting the Polonia red and white yesterday.

As I walked up to the field sipping my tea out of a thermos, someone must've made a joke about what exactly I was drinking (which would not be the first time I've heard such a joke), because I then heard ref Steph Serrano make a comment along the lines of, 'No, Matt has to be able to make his forum posts...he can't drink.'  To which I replied, 'Drinking is what fuels the forum posts.'  That being usually the case, note the time of this posting--being maybe 7 hours later than usual, you're getting a rare sober write-up here.

Speaking of Steph, she was joined by two female ARs, making for what might've been the first all-female officiating crew I've ever seen.  BDSL veteran George Wallenfels noted the same thing after the game, and given that he's got about 20 years on my 31, his observation means a bit more than mine.  So maybe we made BDSL history yesterday...or maybe this same crew reffed a dozen games together last season and I'm making more of it than I should.  Anyway, for the sake of this write-up, I'm claiming historical significance--let Scott Hollander dig through the archives and find proof to the contrary.

Game probably kicked off slightly after 6, and it was under BSC's control from the start.  I've played against these guys several times through the years, mostly in Sahlens 11v11 indoors, and their defense and midfield looked like their familiar, solid selves, with typical smart possession-oriented play and also some physical presence.  The major difference from past versions of this squad was what they now have to offer up top.  I mean, they've had good strikers in the past, but nothing like what we had to deal with yesterday, from a quickness/speed perspective.  Both Lorne Maxima and Devonte Black made BDSL Rumors' Preseason Top Xi, and yesterday served as a lesson for me as to why they did.  I'd never played against either, and left the field wishing that it had remained that way.  Devonte in particular was an absolute force, mostly at my expense.  He did not start the game on my side (he either started in a more central role or on the bench), but he eventually gravitated to a left midfield/left striker position (upfield enough to be a striker, but always wide/along the touchline when he'd receive the ball), and it only took one run at me 1 v 1 to make me aware how difficult of a day it was to be.  I'd taken a nap before this game and did not feel particularly energetic; this was not the day for lethargy, as even at my best I'd have had a serious speed/quickness deficit against Mr. Black.  BSC does a good job of cycling the ball around and distributing to both sides of the field, so that was in reality my only reprieve here.

Their first goal was scored on the second of I want to say four times when I was cleanly beat by Devonte--he dribbled against a backpedaling me (by now backpedaling dangerously close to my own near post), then beat me to the endline before turning the corner and attempting a cross from close to goal...except it took an unfortunate bounce towards goal, catching us all off guard as it trickled into the net past an otherwise well-positioned GK Matt Gobalski.  1-0 maybe midway through the first half, and I was already wishing we had subs.

We were actually able to preserve that scoreline to the half, despite pretty constant BSC possession.  I'm not sure that they had any tremendous chances aside from their goal, but the pressure was constant and I do recall Matt making a nice play on a cross where he may've saved a goal by getting a hand to it.  For our part, we did hit a crossbar early on a chance from outside the 18 that was against the run of play, but we struggled in possession all day, and we never got F Jake Kowalewski sufficiently involved.

At halftime, down only 1-0, CB Derek Andrews floated the idea of taking one of our top couple players, Nick Donner, and moving him from left back (where he'd spent the entire first half) to striker to try to get the equalizer.  Pretty much everyone disagreed with that idea due to the pressure that BSC was applying...in an alternate universe where Nick went and played forward in the second half, maybe we lose 6-1 instead of 5-0, IDK.

The second half picked up where the first half left off, except with us perhaps a bit slower than we already were, and it didn't take long for BSC to get a second.  Devonte received the ball a bit closer to midfield than usual, maybe midway between half and the 18, and as I went out to challenge, he played it past me, setting us up for a footrace in which I'd rather not have participated.  I actually thought I was going to be able to get a touch on it, at least enough to knock it out of bounds (I did have a head start of a couple yards after all), but Devonte managed to win the not-really-50/50 with a lot of space in front of him.  Derek came over to challenge around the top of the box, and that's almost always a win for us, but in this case, Devonte cut inside and created enough space for him to finish between Derek and a charging Matt Gobalski.  2-0 in rather demoralizing fashion.

It did not take long for them to get their third.  I once again faced a 1v1 with Devonte, and this time I was entirely conscious of not letting him get to the endline, but he instead passed it back to Roberto Cruz in support around the corner of the 18, and the unmarked Cruz took a touch and found the far top corner on a nice strike that Matt got a couple fingers on.

I was at this point put out of my Devonte-induced misery, as I switched sides with the faster Nick Donner in a move that we perhaps should've made earlier in the game.  The remaining 2 BSC goals were nothing much to write about--I didn't even see the 4th, as I was dealing with a calf cramp at the time that sidelined me for a minute, and the 5th came off an ill-advised Polonia backpass to the GK from maybe 35 yards upfield that was intercepted and finished well.  All in all, quite the struggle for Polonia, but given that I personally rank BSC (as currently constituted) #1 in the division...I guess it wasn't bad to play that game now and have it serve as motivation and a wake-up call that we're stepping it up a bit from the competition we faced in 8 v 8 most of the winter.  

Good game to BSC and good luck getting consistent attendance, because if you have the same squad you had yesterday, the results will be there--no need for me to wish 'good luck' on that front.

Matt Marcin...z
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Re: BSC International 5, Polonia Intranational 0

Post  bmini on Mon May 07, 2018 2:31 pm

Marcin, you're making it difficult to come out of retirement when you carry the water on a recap like that. It's too cliche to mention that you've covered damn near everything, so I will hit on some highlights that warrant mentioning.

First things first, I don't know who in the Polonia organization decided that all of their games must be played on field Z at Sahlens, thus maximizing the amount of field saturation and Zika, but can I get on your board for even one meeting to bring a motion to play on the top field near the entrance. Somehow Rangers and Tri Town have mustered enough sense to play their games there, perhaps you should pull seniority on them. That said, since the field was simultaneously lumpy and soggy, we were all treated to physics performing a magnificent suplex on Liam McManus in the first half. I think that's the first time I've ever seen Liam dispossessed by himself.

Second, the depth and lack there of featured in this match can't be overstated. Given the conditions and the fact that we all just spent the offseason getting spoiled by turf, legs tired quickly. Former Polonian(esian?) Max Wojtasik provided a pretty accurate scouting report, noting that Polonia would run at us hard regardless of numbers...and they did that...and that was indeed their undoing once the second half came. This was a very different Inter/Polonia game then I'm used to. No broken bones and Ross still has both hamstrings intact. Presuming more people show up for Polonia, I imagine they won't see results like this going forward.

Devonte and Otto are obvious candidates for the game ball on our end, but I'm putting Rob Williamson in the running. He got himself involved on at least two of the goals playing out of the center back and is clearly going to be an x-factor through the middle for us this year. The man can roam. Other side of the ball, notwithstanding the score, Gobalski had a very strong showing in net and had some fantastic saves.

Lastly, while we have Hollander in our employ, can we see if we broke the record for the oldest combined starting centermidfields in non-over-35-BDSL history? Myself, McManus, Jenaro, Donner, and Wallenfels? What is that, 40?

Good game Polonia and good luck.




bmini
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Re: BSC International 5, Polonia Intranational 0

Post  Matt Marcin...z on Tue May 08, 2018 4:17 am

Haha, so you made your return after all.  Got a good laugh out of the part about the field...I have to admit that I was disappointed to pull into the Sahlen's parking lot only to see the first field occupied by unfamiliar jerseys (didn't check the schedule closely enough beforehand to see which field we drew).  Seems to me like we split our games between fields 1 and 2 pretty evenly, but I definitely remember that last Polonia-BSC Internazionale game being on Field Z as well, so clearly we're just trying to embarrass Liam as much as possible with our field choices here.  Your input at Polonia board meetings is always welcome but I might suggest a crash course with a Rosetta Stone Polish disc beforehand...I'd volunteer my paternal grandmother for language lessons, but seeing that I personally never progressed beyond learning how to count to ten in Polish, I'm not sure about her track record as a tutor.

Matt Marcin...z
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