Our Cup Runneth Over

Yea…again we had a bunch of wins and guys played well.

OK, Sunday the 21st of August 2017 will go down in history as the day the Orillia O35 team won something in the league. That’s right boys…2017 Cup Champs!!

The game started off very inauspiciously, as we were all wondering if we would actually have 11 at game time. But Wilson showed up at a coont hair to kick off giving us 2 subs. We played well initially, with short crisp passes that usually ended in me passing to one of their players. Neither team had any real threats going though…perhaps it was the 30 degree heat and collective 31% body fat. No man in his late 30s or beyond should ever face a soccer game in those conditions. Barrie had the two best chances in the first with one being a shot from a sharp angle that Will pushed away and the other being a pass at the edge of the 6 yard box that somehow went through the legs of both Chris Miles and Ponytail “On the Game Sheet For Sure” Ringer. We went to the half tied at nil.

And there were a lot of hard faces around that bench.

In the second, even though we had the wind and sun to our advantage Barrie had by far the better chances. But whether a timely offside, a Johnny 82 seek and destroy run, or Kevin “Just Throw a Party Already” narrowly avoiding an own goal they just couldn’t seal the deal. But the continued pressure was getting to us…you could see the energy slowly draining from our team.

I had hope though…you see, there’s something I’ve noticed this year in particular with 2 of our best players – Iain and Hugo. They really choose their spots well, and don’t waste energy needlessly. A guy like me, well, all I have is effort because I have 0 talent (except for turnovers…lots of talent there). So I saw Hugo walking a lot..and I shit you not, I was thinking “save your energy Hugo, let them tire out…you only need 1 chance to change this game.” For like 10 minutes that thought was in my mind…and then it really did look like we were going to penalties.

But then it happened.

I don’t know who passed to Hugo but he got the ball, cut left, cut right, cut right again, and then I think after the 4th deke he was fouled. They were lunging, out of position, and just gassed. I didn’t see the foul, but the way that play unfolded you knew it was either a goal or a penalty. And sure enough…

That came in about the 92 minute….and like that, we were champs!

Man of the Match: Hugo “Do Whatever You Want Out There Bud” Vicente

Too…many…handsome champions…

The Portuguese Man ‘O War

So I haven’t been updating for a while…big whoop wanna fight about it?  Anyway, after starting the season with a loss and and a tie we have now reeled off 4 straight wins, including beating 1 of 2 unbeaten teams in the league and trouncing the league leading team. I’ve said it before, this is the best team we’ve ever had while I’ve been here.

Onto the latest victory.

For the second game in a row we had good numbers, and that is always promising.  Bradford showed their polished offense early and often, but within 5 minutes of the kickoff Hugo “Fuzzy Neymar” Vicente got the ball, undressed two guys like they were at a party at Will’s house, and calmly finished to put us ahead.  It was a real atmosphere setting goal, with Bradford realizing their mistakes would be capitalized on, and the skill level that Hugo possesses.  Did anyone else notice how they rarely challenged him while dribbling thereafter?

From then on it was back to the usual with Bradford generally controlling the play but not able to crack the defense to break through.  With about 15 mins to go in the half Nelson “#3” (by far their best player) ran on to a through ball and collided with Steve, who went down with a knee injury.  He went off, and it did not take long for them to capitalize on our defensive disorganization.  Another passing play and through ball resulted in a breakaway which they finished.  We went to the half tied 1-1.

Bradford took the field early to start the second half, and we lingered, perhaps nervous, but also getting our strategy down. They heckled to get us on the field…which was their big mistake.  It awoke the Malt within us (for those new to the team he’s a bit of a legend from the past couple years).

Early in the second half Hugo again had the ball in their zone a drew a penalty with a daytime Emmy winning performance.  Perhaps not Oscar worthy, but hey, he got the penalty.  His second in as many games I might add.  Mark “The Merciless Meatball” Bramhall stepped up and pounded a shot past the keeper.  It was another tone setting goal, because they always had to play catch up, aka keep Nelson “#3” on offense.  Cuz he’s a bit of a defensive monster as well.

From there, it was back to the usual; Bradford attacking, us eventually stopping and clearing, and then they would regroup and attack again.  Eventually we gave a corner and when delivered there was a bit of a scrum and it went to Johnny 82 who deftly showed his crossover dribble and passed to Lee “Why Are You There?” Sweet, who passed to Iain “You. Complete. Us.” Hill who smartly lofted one over an out of position keeper.  Given Johnny 82’s slick manouvers, Bradford was a bit upset.  There was the usual carrying on, except this time the ref actually red carded a guy on the side for F bombs.  Don’t poke the bear I guess, especially after the bear warns you about poking prior to the game…

I subbed off then, and things looked a bit chaotic.  Bradford was pressing, and you knew what was coming.  They soon pulled one back with what looked like a broken play on the side, despite Chris “Draymond Green”  Sattler recording the first shot block of the season moments earlier.

I subbed back on, and the game continued with Bradford getting more and more desperate, and leaving their defensive line open.  A while later Meatball The Redeemer took a pass, deked a player,  slotted one in the corner, and then struck the pose that gave both the nickname and the title to this post.  It was classic.  I kinda want that pose after every goal now.

With precious few minutes left Bradford went for broke, but again an outlet pass to Iain resulted in him setting up a streaking Johnny 82 who deked the goalie and scored the nail in the coffin goal, if the one prior wasn’t.

It was all over.  We move on after a 5-2 victory, 2-0 in round robin play, and a +9 in goal differential for the cup so far.  We are the best team in the league this year boys, and don’t you forget it.

As an aside, I would like to mention the contributions of guys who didn’t make it into the write up.  Will was awesome, as always.  He’s the best in the league and with him we always have a chance to win.  Kyle was great at shutting Nelson down.  Ryan had some excellent defensive covering and offensive moves, Tyson and Mike C had excellent positioning and instincts making key stops when we needed to.  And without mentioning everyone else, you guys played your heart out.  We have a had a synergistic effort the last couple games where guys are playing really, really well across the board.  Even I am shitting the bed less than normal.  Let’s keep it up, and hey, we might as well win every game from here on out.  Cuz this year, we are the kings of this league.

Man of the Match: Hugo “And the Academy Award Goes to…” Vicente

A Red Tie Affair

Coming into week 2 we were a confident bunch. The new additions really showed some promise and we had more subs (always a key advantage if you’ve ever noticed).

Bradford came out smart with their typical tikki takka crisp passing plays, and there was heavy pressure, But we adjusted, a short time later a beautiful pass from Daryl to Iain “New Guy #3” Hill resulted in a blast that found the back on the net.  We were up by 1 at half.

In the second, Bradford found their footing.  Their 1-2s and passing resulted a few near misses, and on a very clear offside a shot found Gilewicz, whose clearing attempt ricocheted off our D to one of their guys, who calmly placed one in the side.  Their pressure continued, and about 10 mins later a ball through the area resulted in a tap in.  They were up 2 -1… and teams from years past may have wilted.

But not this team.

Moments later a another nice pass, this time from Ryan “Dirk Dangler” Davison (2nd assist by Daryl on this one too, btw) resulted a beautiful Mike “Definitely Onside”  Sutton finish. The game ended 2-2, but not without some hairy moments for us at the end.

Special thanks to our Goalies Ryan and Chris (they have punched their tickets for the year).

Man of the Match: Daryl “Crosby” LaPointe.

2017 Is Upon Us!

A little updating here but the start of soccer season happens to coincide with the busiest time of year for me, the time when my male pattern baldness seems to become a bit more pronounced.

Getting down to it, we need fees, especially if we are to have these magical new uniforms before the season starts. We also need waivers.  There are links to that form on the right (if you read this on the 35s page.  If you’re on the homepage…go there).  For new players we need a passport photo as well to make your book.

Practice is Friday nights at the turf field (look on the fields page for directions if you need them.  Its titled “WOSC”).  They start at 8:30 and run until 10ish depending.  Our first game is on June 2nd, and then we go hard until July.

If you have any questions feel free to email me.

Sept 14th: A Black Tie Affair

Things were not looking good heading in attendance wise…Kyle had a hangnail, Ryan got a yeast infection, Shane went to Chippendales and no one could figure out what the hell Wilson was going to do..amongst others. So when we had 11 at kick off things looked promising. Bradford came out strong, but this game felt different, like we were never really under pressure, despite some hectic moments. About 20 minutes in we won a free kick and Hacksaw Daryl Duggan sent in a beauty kick that found Chris “I Got It This Time Boys” Gilewicz who flicked one just wide of the far post. Bradford responded in kind with a typical crisp passing play resulting in defensive chaos during which they hit each post back to back. But Will “Can I Touch Your Penis?” Gormaly scooped up the ball (with his hands) and calmly restored order. He booted it down the field where it was expertly flicked by Mike “Air Force One” Sutton, just missing sending Chris G clear. From there it was a more measured affair with Bradford having the balance of chances but never really getting traction – mostly due to the stellar play of our midfield, and the stone cold offensive shut down by Steve “That Should be Our Go To Defensive Arrangement” Mason. We went into the half tied 0-0.

It was more of the same in the second half, though we did gain the addition of one Welsh farmer. Though Bradford remained composed through the middle they never could mount anything substantial…except on set plays. This team has shown a few glaring weaknesses over the course of this season, and they are, in no particular order 1. Giving up late goals 2. Giving up goals in set pieces, and 3. Letting the one guy you know is dangerous score. All 3 of those factors came together on a corner with about 10 minutes left. Bradford got a corner and one hopped it through the box, where the one guy on their team that had shown any potential in that situation (he had two free headers of corners already in the game) moseyed in and nudged it home. It might have broken a weaker team, but not a team with as many pounds per inch as us. We started pressing, and won several kicks in succession just over their half that were placed dangerously in the box. on one such kick Will put one in the area the jumbled around and went to the chest of Wilson “The Mayan Prophecy” Zabala who controlled it beautifully and slotted in short side to tie it up. There were a few tense moments, but that was the score that would stand – 1-1.

Well played boys, we are really coming together. It only took a season, but considering how we made out against the top team in the league there is no reason we can’t win this whole thing next year if we keep this group together. We are really starting to click.

Man of the Match: Wilson “The Email Enigma” Zabala, with special mention to Steve “Kill Switch” Mason” and Chris “Nice Pantyhose” Gilewicz.

Sept 9 Vs Bradford Red

What can I say lads…its been a while. 6 ties are kind of boner killing….and the one time I really wanted to write one I had to go to the hospital. Anyway, it was a good showing tonight. We started strong, and had noticeably good passing, which is not a traditional Orillia strength. Bradford was giving us a good go for first 20 minutes or so, and at about the 25th Daniel-San made a good run and caught the ball in stride and I committed for him to shoot, only to have him punk my geriatric ass and leave Will with no choice but goonery. Shaft promptly converted the spot kick. We put the heat on afterwards. Hugo “Chatterbox” Vicente (a weak nickname, I know) hit the crossbar, and shortly thereafter Ryan “Run Forrest, Run!!” Davison curled one just over the crossbar as well. The chances were so numerous that everyone felt pretty confident going into half, even though we were down 1-0.

As the second began, it was more of the same. We dominated them like it was our job, and soon enough our persistence paid off. Ryan “That’s How Fuckin Good I am Bitches” Davison got the ball in area, did a few pirouettes and launched one that took a favourable deflection and went in the net. It seemed like we were destined to win, carrying the play and only giving up a few chances in our end (though to be fair, both were quality scoring chances with them just roofing it). About 2/3rds of the way through the second half a cross happened to catch Steve “That was a wicked body check in the Barrie Masters game btw” Mason in the elbow. They got a free kick, and some dude who you would never suspect possessed that kind of skill tucked one of the nicest shots you’ll ever see in this league into the top corner. We just went back at them, with Mark “Robert Baratheon” Bramhall hitting the crossbar yet again, and Chris “Switch Your Header Setting to ‘Offensive Zone'” Gilewicz showing that our team also has a bit of a roofie addiction. And yes, that was a quote within a quote. Anyway, despite our absolute control of the game – and I must say, everyone played really well tonight – we ended up losing 2-1. That’s ok though, as we’ll see these guys again. Cue the Jaws theme…

Man of the Match: “Ryan “What a Skilled Wipeout That Was” Davison. But again, everyone played extremely well. Probably the best team game we’ve played in years.

So I’ll see you all on Wednesday for a bullshit mid-week game.

Cup Game: Barrie FC

We played ok, but left Chris “Their Only threat” Miles open and he converted a header on a free kick, and then they converted a penalty. We lost 2-0.

Man of The Match: The posts and crossbars.  They saved a lot for us that game…

Game 3: Staying Consistent

After a whack of bail outs, things did not look great heading into our contest with league leaders Bradford Red.  We did manage to field a full team (barely) in time for kick off and even gave applied some pressure briefly in the beginning.  The tide soon turned however, as they displayed a coordinated attack and almost as much talent per pound as our own Brama bull.  But Will was solid as always, and his excellent positioning meant they shot wide on every attempt.  Kevin “I Work Out With Harper” Johnson was a hive of activity in the midfield, rushing and taking chances, and was complemented by Dave “Whatever You Drank Last Night, Drink That Every Time” Malt who showed a perfect midfielders instinct.  Just before half, Kevin’s constant pressure paid off, when a miscue by their defense allowed him the chance to beat the goalie to the ball and lob one over his head and into the net.  We went into the half up 1.

The second half was more even in terms of pressure, with both teams getting chances.  About a third of the way through Sutton was awarded a penalty and promptly converted, putting us up 2-0.  Bradford was not impressed with the call, and began to voice their concerns in an even more whiney style than usual.  A few minutes later they got on the scorecard with a well struck shot, but we respo0nded in kind to go up 3-1.  However, that leas was short lived when they were awarded quite possibly the worst penalty call I’ve ever seen.  Shoulder to shoulder head ball. They converted.  Afterwards, we pressured well, With Dave “That’s It, You’re Mid From Now On” Malt comically impersonating their complaining after a minor brush with one their players.  They scored on the last play of the game and we ended up tying.

Man of the Match: Dave “Peak” malt.

Game 1: Home vs Barrie FC

Preamble: After 4 months of sitting and sleeping I decided to do some extreme stretching and strained both hamstrings.  Dunno if you noticed how hobbled I was, but it was bad.  More on that later.

The started off full of promise. We had a bunch of new recruits show up, and it was awesome.  There is a pretty strong correlation in this league between having subs and winning games.  That connection and our confidence was on display early, as we had numerous chances to take the lead but just could not finish any of them.  The fact they started with 8 or 9 guys helped too.  About midway through the first Mike “The Finisher” Sutton caught the goalie cheating and buried a nice shot pretty well in the center of the net.  We had our lead, and things looked good.

After the half the game evened out somewhat, though on balance we were still getting the majority of the chances.  About halfway through Sutton found himself mano a mano with the goalie and showed some soft feet by nudging the ball into the net super slo mo style when both hesitated to avoid a collision.  Being up 2-0 the outcome seemed assured and we started looking for more chances.

With about 5 minutes to go we turned the ball over and they swarmed like like a nest of fire ants.  Why fire ants you say?  Cuz even though Mike “The Last Line” Christie did his best to stop the attack they stung us on the 3 on 1.  Still though, what are their chances with 2 minutes left right?

Well, cue Sargeant Gimpington.  On the last play of the game they put a free kick to Miles (my guy on that play, who left my crippled ass in the dust) who tucked in a goal similar to Sutton’s second in that both players kind of froze and then there was the lightest of touches that scored.  It ended 2-2, though it felt like a loss.

On the bright side, we have 6 new players.  There were some growing pains, but that is to be expected.  Things will sort out as we get used to playing styles.

Man of the Match: Mike “The Deuce Dropper” Sutton