On a gusty eveining along the Lake Michigan shoreline, the Lincoln Square Tigers hosted the Lincoln Park Pirahnas at Waveland Oval. That particular Friday arrived hot, humid, and overcast– promising a slippery endeavor for both sides. The Tigers were coming off a shattering loss to the Rhinos in the previous round, they seemed ripe for the taking and the Pirahnas came into the game hungry.
Straight from the opening siren, the Pirahnas came out strong through the middle, providing run and using the ball cleanly. Frank “Slicker than You” Bradley was a stalwart force in defense for the visitors, constantly rebounding errant Tiger disposals. Tyler “Freight Train” Dorsett, probably the loudest on the ground, was making terrific leads out of Half Forward and was marking everything coming his way. Although coming out strong and dominating for much of the quarter, the Pirahnas never got any real scoreboard pressure. At the first quarter siren it was Lincoln Square 2 Goals 3 to Lincoln Park’s 2 Goals 4.
The second quarter began as an arm wrestle and ended that way as well. Looking like a man who might do quite a bit of arm wrestling, Pedro “I drink Budweiser for the taste” Jimenez began to really impose himself in the middle. He ran strong and was able to slot a goal against the flow. Keith “Champion” Campion continues to impress in his first year. A real in and under player, many of the Pirahnas scores over the evening came from his hard work. Though the second quarter saw The Tigers begin to surge, the Pirahnas continued to put a choke hold on them by quick play at half back and keeping pressure on their opponents defense. Joel “Electrolytes” looked impressive on debut in Full Forward for the Pirahnas. He played instinctively as as a forward and took a couple of nice marks over the head of Brian “my band’s playing tonight” Hoyt who was sorely missed after half time. Once again, the Pirahnas seemed to have control everywhere except the scoreboard. By the long break, it was LST: 5.4.34 and LPP: 5.10.40
It was time for the Tigers to get a fast start, and so they did through the inspirational play of David “my wife is super cool for keeping score” Deutz.Deutzy played like a man possessed as he slotted 3 goals in as many minutes. Playing like a man posessed, he contested a ruck contest, gathered his own crumbs, dashed out of the pack and drilled one home from 30. With the Tigers mid-field finally firing, Danny “Crazy Legs” benefitted by kicking two goals. Danny has been a revelation for the Tigers this season, winning his share of 50/50s and moving the ball forward. It wasn’t all Lincoln Square, however. Billy “Metro” Ullman was a worry for the Tiger’s midfielders as he showed a big tank and ran all day long. His silky skills were on display throughout the third quarter and was rewarded with a great goal on the run from 35. It wasn’t enough though, as the Tigers took the quarter and the lead: 10.7.67 to the Pirahna’s 7.11.53
The first goal of the fourth quarter was crucial. Both squads played hard but it was Lincoln Square’s midfield that had more gas. The Tiger’s sub, Eric “the Closer” Zukowski played with plenty of dash and hit Nolan “Reminds me of someone” Schmelzer on the chest with a beautiful lace out pass. The next Ruck contest, however went in the favor of the Pirahnas. The benefactor was David “I like to Kick” Fitzgerald whose massive left foot kick whistled through the uprights at post height. Oh yeah, did I mention he kicked it from the goal square? BKOG (Best Kick on Ground), however, went to another Pirahna debutant, “Aussie” Mike. Amassing 30 disposals and going at 78% kicking efficiency. Mike’s experience showed as he slotted Lincoln Park’s last goal of the evening from the boundary line. The rest belonged to the Tigers. The dam broke when Mike “Twinkle Toes” Panek boomed a ugly looking–but true– drop punt from 40 out for a major score. On the next ball up, Joe “Sunscreen” Swierupski broke a tackle, dashed from the pack, took three bounces and kicked a goal on the run. Whatever steam the Pirahnas had was spent, and the Tigers took off kicking 6 straight to the Pirahnas 2.2.
As the final siren wailed, the Tigers finished off the Pirahnas: 16.7.103 to 9.13.67
|Piranhas: Aussie Mike (4), Fitzgerald (2), Uhlmann
Tigers: Deutz (5), Yunes (4), Schmelzer N (3), Swierupski (2), Jimenez, Panek