March 24th 2016
by Gordon Weidle
Both the Bucket Brigade and the Panthers started with energy under the lights Friday Night. The Brigade brought some life to the stadium with their chart topping rendition of “Work the Wrists” and the Panthers started to attack from the opening whistle. The speed difference of the SM attack vs the EC defense would be evident all evening and was a factor in the opening goal. In the 3rd minute, Jonathan Ulversoy shook off a defender and crossed to Sam Pompeo who finished for a quick lead. The Panthers continued to press and capitalized again in the 17th minute when Patrick Bonilla led a defender for a 20-yard gallop before crossing a ball that Pompeo lunged for and the keeper was not able to handle. The ball continued to bounce across the box and Brandon Weidle tapped home after a long run from the midfield for a 2-0 lead. So, as mentioned ad nauseam in just about every write-up, if you go forward with the play you will either be rewarded with a scoring opportunity or you will improve your fitness in getting forward and back. So, you benefit either way. Then an interesting turn of events. The Brigade and the team both went silent at seemingly the same time. Apparently, an EC spectator became annoyed with the drum beat and the mounting score and wanted both to stop. They took out their frustration with a request to silence the creativity. I was annoyed as well and was planning on recreating a scene out of the Bad News Bears by leading the chant of “Let them Play, Let them Play.” Fortunately, it didn’t come to that as parents and administrators got involved to resolve the issue.
In the interim, however, our team seemed to lose some energy as well content to sit back on the lead. Combine this with a pretty good offside trap and flag happy officials, we were having trouble putting EC away. As a result they got back into the game just after half time with a strike to reduce the insurance to 2-1. The “ Brigade” started up again although somewhat less vigorously switching to Smooth Jazz instead and the Panthers regained their rhythm as well. The Panthers scored the nicest goal of the evening in the 51st minute. Jonathan Ulversoy won a ball in the defensive zone. He looked up and saw Ryan Shanahan straddling the center line in a gaping hole between 2 defenders. Jonathon pushed a great ball into his path. Shanahan did the rest and dribbled half the field with the ball velcroed to his feet with 2 defenders giving chase. He made his way into the box drifting slightly right and waited for the keeper to come out and challenge before hitting a grounder under pressure into the far corner for a 2-goal lead. The Panthers again sagged in energy and the pesky Indians would not concede quietly coming back with a goal of their own with 10 minutes left. Despite some anxious moments the Panthers hung on extending their record to 10-2-1.
To the “Bucket Brigade.” Based on how much EC seems to appreciate you I have gone to their administration with the request that they allow you to play a few songs at their upcoming prom. If successful, please wear your Starr’s Mill spirit wear. Let them Play… Let them Play…