MR4: WOLVES Tenacious in Bittersweet Victory!
By: Tony zito, TEAM MANAGER
I must start this game summary with apologies. When I pre-ordered the pizzas for our post-game celly, I ran out of ideas for toppings so I said, ‘surprise me’!
And that’s why we had pineapple on pretty much ALL of them.
NO pizza should ever have pineapple as a topping….NEVER again!!!
Okay, my is rant over. 🙂
We knew coming into this game that we wanted to build on the narrative we’ve already written with our performances and string of unbeaten matches. We knew we wanted to make Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Cardarello Chiazzo’s last game of this season a memorable one.
I didn’t expect that we would start with such tenacity, hunger, and passion. Usually we have slower starts but we built a tidy and dominant 3-0 lead at the half.Other than the 10 or so minute lull displayed late in the 2nd half that gave our opponent’s hope (full display to how quickly a lead can change) we saw this one through to the final whistle. Our determination to keep possession in the last 5 minutes was crucial and all your efforts are appreciated. This game appears, on the scoresheet, to be closer than it really was.
Our post-game pizza celebration was bittersweet as we bid farewell to one of our stalwart players.
We were fortunate to have Nacho as part of the Wolf Pack for almost 2 seasons. He promised that he will be back. Until then, I’m sure we’ve all learned a thing or two from watching him play.
That is one man who never seemed to lose a ball.
Thank you all once again for making the arrangements to attend our game. We hope we made the type of memories that can transform a so-so day into a good one. The type of special moments you reach back for when you need a reminder that life, and the good people we meet in sport, can be special.
We won the season series against this team 2 games to 1.
OT2: Sweet Revenge!
By: Mark ‘Maaaakk’ Burger, TEAM COACH
The Setting: An extremely waterlogged Lion’s pitch, with 6-inch-thick grass clippings sprayed all over the field. A referee with a determination to instill discipline and explain every call being made. ( editor’s note: which isn’t always a bad thing )
The Scenario: A grudge match against Gloucester Inter. For those who remember, our Wolves and Inter battled all the way to the end for the title last season. Inter won their last match to overtake the Wolves, who had lost to the Falcons. Inter were presented with champion t-shirts. Their title was stripped and handed back to the Wolves thanks to the Falcon’s use of ineligible players. Needless to say, Gloucester wanted revenge.
The Stakes: Heading into the match, Inter sat in 4th place with the Wolves 3 spots behind in 7th, after a slow start to the season. Both teams had ambition to push up, not drop into the relegation fight.
The Subs: For the 2nd straight match, the Wolves fielded a strong lineup with 4 subs, including 2 call ups from OT 5, keeper Frances Breault and Captain Tim Ralph.
The Start: Clearly feeding off their motivation, Gloucester started on the front foot and pounced on a Wolves turnover to slot home against OT5 reserve keeper, Frances.
The Second: After fighting off the early pressure, the Wolves started to get into the match and were able to get back into the match after a great buildup down the left flank, as Kyle Ingram fed Mike Popiel, who cut into the box and cut back to Maakk, whose shot was blocked off the line, with Liam Smithies slotting home the rebound.
The Shift: After being stretched for much of the 1st half, the Wolves adjusted its formation from a back 3 to a 4-5-1, which made an immediate impact. The defence strangled all chances, the wingers were able to push further up and the chances started to come.
The Spot Kicks: One of these chances included a foul against Liam, who ceded the penalty kick to Kyle whose first attempt was saved, but his successful rebound was nullified by a couple of infractions, again explained in voluminous detail by the referee. The subsequent kick was hammered home giving the Wolves their first lead.
The Strike: The goal of the match was struck home with a first time volley by Liam off a delicious cross from Kevin Beyer or Jeff Dennis. The Wolves were cruising at this point and almost stretched their lead to 3 when Maaakkk’s free header banged off the crossbar off an amazing cross from Liam.
The Scramble: A late goal by Inter closed the gap to 1 which led to a last 5-minute onslaught that the Wolves defence and keeper were able to withstand. The Wolves hung on for a 3-2 victory, over last season’s main rival, which felt doubly satisfying.
The Supper: The rookies, MR4 call-up Kevin Ridgway and Jeff Dennis, combined on the post-game celebration which included home-made beanless chili, 3 kinds of sausages, dips, chips and cookies and a cooler of cold beer.
G. INTER 2
The Star: Our ‘Man of the Match’ was Liam Smithies with 2 goals, 1 penalty earned, 1 beautiful cross, one yellow card and a few arguments.
The rightful divisional winners eventually received their recognition and League Championship jerseys plus bonus Wolves Club merch!
Team Manager, Lloyd Fernandes seemed content with his team’s accomplishments.
OT5: More Maradona than Primadonna!
By: Adam Black, TEAMMATE
Last Friday’s game, under the lights at the Richmond Lions Park vs. Ottawa Bolides (The 2nd place team in the OT5 division) was set up to be dandy. A previous match saw these two teams fight, tooth and nail to a well-earned 2-2 draw. Our Wolves OT5 knew they had to deliver and with low numbers heading in to the match, Team Manager, Tim “the Tugger” Ralph knew he’d better call in some reserves; A savvy managerial move that ended up paying dividends for the Wolves, and very likely solidified Ralph’s job as manager for yet another season!
It was the man who fans are starting to refer to as “Mr. Automatic” that started things off on the “right foot” as Jay “Doc” Leclair hammered home the game’s first goal only moments after the opening kick-off. It was a terrific strike and not only did this goal fire-up the team early, it also stretched-out Doc’s goal scoring streak to 4-consecutive games! It’s becoming evident, Leclair is looking more and more like “Maradona” and less like “primadonna” with each passing game this season!
There were many story lines within the match as the game was filled with both on-the-field and off-the-field theatrics (albeit, all harmless in nature) but clearly falling behind early in this match was enough to throw the Bolides off their game. Our Wolves never did look back after the opening goal and powered through to a dominant 6-1 victory. This was a tremendous feat for our team!
There were many great performances across the board for the team. Honorable mentions go out to Jeffery “drop a beat” Beaty with his 2-goal game, and as well to Robbie “Lasorda” Lafleur for keeping the Bolides honest throughout the match. However, with a fabulous 3-goal performance in the match, Q. Vuniqi led the charge for the Wolves. After all, who better than the one they call “Q” to be out there on the pitch, dotting the “i’s” and crossing the “t’s” all game long! Hands-down, with his heavy foot, Q was our ‘Player of the Game’ !
And what better way than to wash this victory down with a curated selection of cold beverages and some hand-stuffed, homemade sausages that were grilled to perfection.
What a game it was… and what an all-around great night for these Wolves!
All the best,
OT6: No Match, No Story
By: Tony Z, CLUB MANAGER
Our Wolves OT6 team did not play their game. We received a request to reschedule, by our opponents, the Fitzroy Dam Busters. They could not field a full team due to injuries, etc..
Rather than take the forfeit win, we’d prefer to play the game. It was moved to September.