Well, the title says it all. It was hot (88 degrees Fahrenheit at kickoff) and hazy (smoke from Canadian wildfires is cascading down into Wisconsin). All in all, bad weather to play in. Both teams were equally adversely affected. On the plus side, both clubs had plenty of depth, so changes were fast and frequent.
There was a strange moment early in the first half. Both coaches were beckoned onto the field about 15 minutes in after a fan loudly criticized the center referee. Our WPASL Head Coach, Josh Ranft, stated to this particular fan that made that referee abuse is not to be tolerated in any form, and anyone wishing to make any negative comment can leave the stadium. Without referees, there is no game. Plain and simple. Moving on!
The pitch left a lot to be desired, but hey, let's be happy that we have one to play on. The various bumps and divots took away shooting chances for both teams. We converted two of our big chances and held onto another clean sheet. A 2-0 road win is nothing to shake a stick at.
Chuck Rogers was responsible for both goals, each coming either side of half time. The first was knocked in right before the first half water break at about 20 minutes in. After spurning his first chance, he made amends and buried the second following a beautiful through ball from David Ripplinger.
Immediately after the restart of the second half, Cade Klusendorf played a ball over the top of the Jets defense. Rogers latched on, turned on the burners, and finished a 1v1 into the far corner for his and the team's second.
We kept pushing and had a few more chances but ultimately failed to convert. Several shots went high and wide simply down to the state of the pitch. Those missed chances also come down to our oft-misplayed final ball and a general hesitancy to shoot. The lads continue to work hard to free those fears of missed chances from their minds. After all, the best teams take many chances each game. Most go begging. That's just the game.
Next up in WPASL: We host Superior Wolfpack FC in the first leg of the Connect Four Derby. A brief history on the formation of this derby... In 2020, during COVID lockdown, Bateaux and Wolfpack got locked into a friendly and very drawn out Connect Four game on Twitter. Thus came the name. On the field, the clubs have been evenly matched, splitting results each year since. Wolfpack won 3-0 (2020), 4-3 (2021), and 0-6 (2022). We have won 3-1 (2020), 1-2 (2021, Primary Cup Final), and 1-2 (2022). Even in results, not even in goals.
Despite both clubs introducing teams into UPSL divisions in 2023, the rivalry remains. See the latest battle take place this coming Saturday at 7 PM on Bollinger Fields #5.