Game of the Week: Mad Lads United cruise past International FC

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Mad Lads United forward Matt Kruszewski (orange) looks to dribble through three International FC (white) defenders. Picture by Franklin Heinzmann.

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – Last Tuesday night, Mad Lads United hung double digit goals on International FC. Coming into the game International FC was winless through five games in Tuesday Men’s Soccer Upper, after winning the Tuesday Men’s Soccer Lower championship last session, and Mad Lads United sat comfortably with a 3-2-0 record.

Mad Lads United got off to a blazing start as Mad Lads United forward Austin Corsby scored just 80 seconds into the game. The thrashing didn’t stop there. Within the next two minutes, Matt Kruszewski broke an International FC defender’s ankles en route to putting a shot on goal, and Mad Lads United goalkeeper known as Audi, converted a penalty kick to make it 2-0. At that point shots on goal were 4-0 in favor of Mad Lads United.

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Mad Lads United GK Audi taking a penalty kick int he first half. Picture by Franklin Heinzmann.

With 8:44 left, Mad Lads United scored their third goal of the half thanks to Crosby. It was his second of the night. After the goal, players on International FC were visibly frustrated. With 4:46 left, their frustrations were ramped up further as Mad Lads United leading scorer Lucas Metzger scored off of a corner kick taken by Elio Kotzambasis.

Just before the halftime buzzer International FC’s Ryan Hoffmann got his team on the board. Mad Lads United were ahead at halftime in goals (4-1) and in Shots on Goal (10-4).

Just seconds after the second half started, Schwartz Abellend and George Tor, International FC’s leading scorers, arrived and provided a jolt of energy to their team’s game. They both scored within a matter of three minutes of arriving and 17 seconds apart to make it 4-3 Mad Lads United with 19:18 left to go.

Kruszewski tempered International FC’s momentum swing when he scored with 17:28 left to give Mad Lads United a 5-3 lead. He made another highlight worthy play when he set up Metzger for his second goal of the night with a pass that nutmegged an International FC defender.

With 12:02 left, Metzger shifted into overdrive as he secured a hattrick after he scored on a low driven shot, and scored a penalty 2:42 later to make it 8-3 Mad Lads United. This came after he was fouled by an International FC defender, so in retaliation he widened the margin significantly.

Metzger wasn’t the only one to an a hat trick on Tuesday night. Crosby did so with 7:04 left to make it 9-3. As if the nail in the coffin needed to be hammered, Mad Lads continued to put on the pressure for the rest of the game. Metzger added another goal to seal a five-goal performance with exactly a minute left to play.

Final Score:    Mad Lads United 10 International FC 3

Shots on Goal:  Mad Lads United 20 International FC 12

After the game, Metzger commented on his team’s ability to refocus and his five goal performance.

“I was happy to see us take the game back in the second half,” Metzger said. “We lost our focus for a bit there.” He also credited his teammates for putting him in a position to net five goals.

Next week International FC plays Santos FC, the other winless team in Tuesday Men’s Soccer Upper. Mad Lads United plays Mes Que FC, who are also 4-2-0.

If a player does not have a Player Pass or does not directly give an Epic Center employee their full last name, or last initial, then they’re identity will remain protected on Epic Center Sports Report.

 To see rules, standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

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Game of the Week: Invaders defeat Team Wheels in battle for first place

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Chaos in front of the Invaders (red) net, with a Team Wheels (blue) forward lurking. Picture by Franklin Heinzmann

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. –  Coming into last Tuesday night, both Team Wheels and Invaders were tied for second place with 11 points apiece, trailing league leaders Crystal Palace by only a point. Coming into the game, Invaders-Team Wheels was only thought of as two of the top Tuesday Roller Hockey Mixed teams facing off, but later in the evening, Crystal Palace lost to Helltwigs, thus making this week’s Game of the Week a battle for first place. It was Invaders who came away with the win and first place in the standings, as they defeated Team Wheels 6-5.

 

Just over two minutes into the game, Tuesday Roller Hockey Mixed leading scorer Jake Schiffman scored to give Team Wheels a 1-0 lead. Their lead was nullified just 26 seconds later when Invaders’ Joseph C. scored his first of the night. With 13:47 left in the first half, Vincent Santoro gave Invaders their first lead of the night when he scored by going glove-side high on Team Wheels goalie Evan Crage.

 

With just over 10 minutes left in the first half, Invaders’ Michael Kemp scored his first of the night to make it 3-1. Team Wheels’ Adam Cross retaliated with a goal of his own just two minutes later to close the Invaders lead to one.

 

With 3:11 left in the first half, Schiffman scored his second goal of the game to tie the score at three. Invaders had some chances to close out the half, but Crage made a couple key saves to keep the game tied. Shots on goal at halftime were 16-11 in favor of Invaders. Both teams preached the idea of a new slate in the second half.

 

Vincent Santoro started of the second half scoring a clapper, as the kids call it, from outside the Team Wheels circle with 18:41 left. Just 23 seconds later, another Santoro scored, this time it was Dom who made the score 5-3, Invaders.

 

From there on, Team Wheels went on the attack as they controlled possession and held Invaders to zero shots on goal through the next seven minutes. Team Wheels had put six shots on goal in that timespan, the sixth one got past Invaders goalie Grant Syzmarek thanks to a shot by Adam Cross. The score was 5-4 with 12:44 left in the game.

 

With 5:12 left in the game, Joseph C. scored his second of the night to make it 6-4, Invaders. This goal prompted Team Wheels to call a timeout to gather themselves, and make a push for the win.

 

The timeout paid off as Cross scored his third of the game to make the score 6-5. In the last minute of the game, Team Wheels really put the pressure on Invaders to try and tie the game.  Syzmanek came up big for Invaders making a clutch glove sve with 39 seconds left, and another game-saving save when he dove across the crease to stop a shot with 14 seconds left.

 

 

Final Score:    Invaders 6      Team Wheels 5

 

Shots on Goal:  Invaders 27  Team Wheels 23

Next Tuesday, Invaders plays the aforementioned Helltwigs at 6 P.M., and Team Wheels plays Puckin’ Monkeys at 9 P.M..

 

 

If a player does not have a Player Pass or does not directly give an Epic Center employee their full last name, or last initial, then they’re identity will remain protected on Epic Center Sports Report.

 

To see rules, standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

Game of the Week: NYE and BCC draw in heavyweight battle

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Action from BCC Soccer (blue) vs NYE (white). Photo by Franklin Heinzmann.

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. –  The top two teams in Tuesday Men’s Soccer Lower faced off on Tuesday night. Coming into the game NYE (the alias of the Buffalo District Soccer League team NY Elite) and BCC Soccer were tied atop of the standings with 12 points each, double the amount of points third place Amherst FC has, and after Tuesday night’s thrilling game that’s how it remained. NYE and BCC drew as the score ended in a 2-2 tie. NYE led in Shots on Goal, 15-11.

The game was played in front of a rambunctious pro-BCC Soccer crowd. They turned the neutral site of Open Field 1 into BCC Soccer’s home stadium. It definitely had an effect on NYE’s mentality, as just five minutes into the game NYE GK Cody showed signs of weakness in net as he bobbled a free kick, after the crowd roared when BCC defender Jared Greer got his free kick on frame.

Cody’s signs of weakness reared its head again as BCC Soccer (and fellow Niagara Purple Eagle) F Bill tapped in a spilled shot with 8:55 left in the first half. With 6:22 left in the half, NYE’s Lucas Metzger curled a shot in the net after he stole the ball off an opposing defender for his first of the net.

The 1-1 score line held as the first half ended. Shots on Goal at that point were 7-6 in favor of NYE. Both NYE Manager James Keysa and BCC Soccer captain Jared Greer emphasized out working the other team at their respective benches, as well as keeping up the fast pace of play in the second half.

With 15:11 left in the second half, the numerous BCC Soccer fans were sent into a frenzy when Cameron McLaurin scored to give BCC Soccer a 2-1 lead. In just under two years of working at the Epic Center, it was the loudest reaction to a goal scored at the Epic Center I have ever heard.

The goal, and the crowd’s reaction, set the tone for the rest of the half: very intense. Despite nothing being on the line, the following 15 minutes or so were treated like it was the championship.

Despite all the noise, the NYE back line kept their composure and made some crucial stops, effectively taking momentum away from BCC. It’s what enabled NYE to go on the attack themselves.

Their attacks were mostly pushed away by the BCC Soccer defense and GK Bonye Lumbanraja, but with 6:10 left, Metzger scored his second of the game. The goal prompted a few members of NYE to leave the bench and pile on top of Metzger. Again this is just a mid-session matchup, but this game meant so much more than that.

Unfortunately, no one was able to break the tie in the remaining time. Both teams each came close within the last 90 seconds, but Lumbanraja and Cody both made fantastic saves within that time frame to earn their respective teams a point.

After the game McLaurin, revelaed to me that the team had been practicing a setpiece to get him open so that he could score. He also had great things to say about the game, and the fans.

“There was defintely a healthy balance of competition tonight, both teams showed excellent character,” McLaurin said. “As for the fans, … they come rain, shine, blizzard, everything! Their presence is also great to have on gameday.”

On the other side, Metzger was also very complimnetary of his opponent.

“BCC was a worthy opponent,” Metzger said. “It was a really fast paced game tonight, and I think its safe to say both [teams] had a lots of fun tonight.”

Final Score:                NYE 2            BCC Soccer 2

Shots on Goal:           NYE 15          BCC Soccer 11

Next week, NYE takes on Amherst FC and BCC Soccer takes on The Quack Attack. These two teams will face off in a rematch on April 23, and it’s safe to say that will be covered in the Game of the Week as it will me must-see soccer.

 

If a player does not have a Player Pass or does not directly give an Epic Center employee their full last name, or last initial, then they’re identity will remain protected on Epic Center Sports Report.

To see rules, standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

Game of the Week: Puckin’ Monkeys skates circles around Road Runners

 

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Puckin’ Monkeys (White) attacking the Road Runners (red) net. Picture by Franklin Heinzmann.

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – Last Tuesday night I witnessed murder, well not really, but when I watched the Puckin’ Monkeys destroy the Road Runners that’s what it reminded me of. Coming into the game, both teams each had a win in three games so it looked to be a competitive game on paper. It was not. The Puckin’ Monkeys defeated the Road Runners by a score of 8-2, outshooting them 38-12.

Puckin’ Monkeys dominated possession the entire night. Puckin’ Monkeys forward Uhteg got the scoring kicked off with 16:28 left in the first half. Road Runners forward, and leading scorer, Jack Brill tied the game at one with 12:45 left.

Puckin’ Monkeys kept peppering Road Runner G Matt Chodaczek With 9:41 left in the half, Puckin’ Monkeys took the lead with a goal by Jeff DiLucente. It was on the team’s tenth SOG, Road Runners had three up to that point. They were also the bigger of the teams. Puckin’ Monkeys forward used his size to blow past a Road Runners defender to score his team’s third goal.

As the first half was winding down, Road Runners forward Adam Revezzo was able to score to cut Puckin’ Monkeys lead to 3-2. It was short lived as the Puckin’ Monkeys scored with 39.8 seconds left after flawlessly executing a three on one. The goal made the score 4-2 heading into halftime, with the SOG total favoring Puckin’ Monkeys, 17-7.

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Road Runners (red) goalie Matthew Chodzak making a save on a Puckin’ Monkeys (white) forward. Picture by Franklin Heinzmann.

For the majority of the second half it felt as if the Puckin’ Monkeys were toying with the Road Runners. Specifically, around the ten-minute mark when there was a good couple of minutes when a few different Puckin’ Monkeys players managed literally skating circles around the entirety of the Road Runners zone with the puck, while the Road Runners were at full strength, trying to find a window to make a smart pass (the headline is both figurative and literal). Chodaczek was forced to make a lot tough saves in order to keep the Road Runners in it.

With 3:30 left Puckin’ Monkeys put the pedal to the metal, going on a 4-0 run to end the game. It started with a powerplay goal from Uhteg, then was followed by Adam Owczarcak going bardown, and goals from Andrew Hoffman and DiLucente.

Final Score: Puckin’ Monkeys 8 Road Runners 2 

Shots on Goal: Puckin’ Monkeys 38 Road Runners 12

Next Tuesday, the Road Runners take on the Invaders, and Puckin’ Monkeys take on 1017 Brick Squad.

 

If a player does not have a Player Pass or does not directly give an Epic Center employee their full last name, or last initial, then they’re identity will remain protected on Epic Center Sports Report. 

To see standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

Game of the Week: Shamrocks move atop standings with win

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Shamrocks (white) vs Mad Lads United (orange). Picture by Franklin Heinzmann.

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – This past Tuesday, two of my favorite teams to watch went head to head. The Shamrocks defeated Mads Lads United by a score of 3-2. It was the closest game of the session to date. With the win, the Shamrocks are now first in the Tuesday Men’s Soccer Upper standings, a game ahead of Mad Lads United and the Shamrocks’ parent team, Buffalo Celtic.

The goalies for both teams came up big in the first half, as they were tasked with making some tough saves to keep the game scoreless. It wasn’t until Mad Lads United’s leading scorer Lucas Metzger broke the scoreless draw with the 12:22 mark of the first half. Over the course of the first half the Shamrocks couldn’t get their shots on target, even though they dominated possession.

With 3:21 left, Shamrocks leading scorer and Tuesday Men’s Soccer Upper leading scorer Mike O’Connor scored to tie the score at one. Neither team could add another goal before the first half ended. Shots at halftime were 8-6 in favor of the Shamrocks. But as Mad Lads United player James Keysa noted, it could’ve been more.

“They [the Shamrocks] were the better team in the first half,” James K. said. “We’ve gotten lucky that they haven’t put more shots on net and finished their chances.”

Chances came far and few between for both teams to start the second half. Both teams combined for only one shot on goal through the first six minutes. With 18:08 left, O’ Connor seized an errand pass from the Mad Lads United goalkeeper and put it in the back of the net to make it 2-1 Shamrocks.

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Shamrocks goalkeeper Nick Kurtz lining up for a goal kick. Picture by Franklin Heinzmann.

With 12:53 left, Shamrocks goalkeeper Nick Kurtz went full extension to make a diving save, which was a turning point in the game. It was made to the furious applause of the Shamrocks bench, including applause from Chris Voigt, the president of the BDSL club Buffalo Celtic (who owns the Buffalo Celtic in Tuesday Men’s Soccer Upper).

With 7:35 left Oliver, forward for the Shamrocks, scored a header to earn his first goal of the session. It gave his team a 3-1 lead. The Shamrocks’ possession domination led to this goal as well. Mad Lads United’ Shane Green scored after beating a Shamrocks defender one-on-one, then shooting it perfectly in the top corner.

The Shamrocks’ possession hoarding depleted any chances of a Mad Lads United comeback, even when the entire team pressed forward in the last two minutes of the game.

Final Score: Shamrocks 3 Mad Lads United 2

Shots on Goal: Shamrocks 16 Mad Lads United 14

Next Tuesday, Mad Lads United take on D’Youvillage at 9 P.M., and the Shamrocks take on Buffalo Celtic, their parent club, at 6 P.M.

If a player does not have a Player Pass or does not directly give an Epic Center employee their full last name, or last initial, then they’re identity will remain protected on Epic Center Sports Report.

 To see standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

Game of the Week: Helltwigs beat Team Wheels in a shootout

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Jeromy Heckler scores to give Helltwigs (black) a 7-5 lead over Team Wheels (red) in the second half. Picture by Franklin Heinzmann

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – This past Tuesday, a battle of the undefeated took place. Helltwigs took on Team Wheels in what ended up being the best game of the night. This Tuesday Roller Hockey Mixed matchup truly lived up to the Game of the Week standards.

Just 8 seconds into the game, Team Wheels struck first. Jake Schiffman scored, then set up Team Wheels #9 on a two on one to give Team Wheels a 2-0 lead with 18:52 left in the game. This served as a wakeup call for Helltwigs as they went on a 4-0 run in the following three minutes. Two goals were scored by Matt Heckler, the others by Brandon Reynolds and Jeromy Heckler.

Team Wheels didn’t go down fighting. Goalie Evan Crage, rocking purple and black pads (Go Purple Eagles), made some crucial saves as throughout the rest of the first half. It’s what propelled Schiffman to score two more goals, and #9 to add another before halftime.

At halftime the score was 5-4 Team Wheels, with the shot totals favoring Helltwigs, 20-15. Both teams were visibly frustrated and tired after such a high-scoring, fast paced first half. Both teams pride themselves on defense first, and scoring on with a strong counter attack to get pucks on net.

As a result, only two goals amongst both teams in the first ten minutes of the first half; both scored by Matt Heckler and Reynolds to give Helltwigs a 6-5 lead. There were only a combined six shots amongst the two teams as well.

Helltwigs tried to pull away when Jeromy Heckler scored to make it 7-5 with 13:45 left (as seen in the top picture, but Schiffman pulled his team back to within one just 95 seconds later. With 9:57 left in regulation, Helltwigs earned their first powerplay of the night, and scored off the ensuing faceoff to make it 8-6. With 5:34 left, Matt Heckler scored on a nearly impossible angle to give Helltwigs a 9-6 lead.

Normally that’s a game sealing goal, but as previously mentioned, Team Wheels doesn’t go down fighting. They scored three goals in the last five minutes to tie the game. The game tying goal was scored by Jay Miller on a slapshot from outside the circle. It was quite the time for him to get his first and only goal of the season.

At the end of regulation with the scored tied at nine, shot totals still favored Helltwigs, 29-28. Each team was held scoreless in overtime, but each team had a prime scoring chance that was foiled by the goalie play of Crage and Helltwigs’ goalie, and Epic Center employee, Roger Collins Jr.

Tensions were high and stamina was low as the game headed into a three- round shootout. Both teams scored in the first round of the shootout. Helltwigs scored in the second round of the shootout, while Team Wheels didn’t convert, making the shootout score 2-1. Helltwigs missed in the third round of the shootout, but luckily Team Wheels had one more chance as they elected to shoot second before the shootout started.

It was score or go home, and the Team Wheels forward was unable to score as Collins Jr. made a highlight-worthy glove save. After he made that save, he celebrated with Helltwigs, shook hands with players form Team Wheels, then commented on his performance.

“I played like absolute crap,” Collins Jr. exasperated. “This victory is all on the team, they kept me in it for sure.”

When asked just how Helltwigs kept Collins Jr. in the game, he uttered two words:

“Pucks deep.”

 Final Score: Helltwigs 10 Team Wheels 9  

 Shots On Goal: Helltwigs 35 Team Wheels 33

Next Tuesday, Team Wheels takes on Knee Hockey Heroes at 10 P.M. and Helltwigs plays Don Bombs to open Tuesday’s slate of games at 6 P.M.

To see standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.

If a player does not have a Player Pass or does not directly give an Epic Center employee their full last name, or last initial, then they’re identity will remain protected on Epic Center Sports Report.

 

 

Game of the Week: D’Youvillage destroys Santos FC

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Action from Santos FC (black) vs D’Youvillage. Photo by Franklin Heinzmann.

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. – This past Tuesday, D’Youvillage defeated Santos FC by a score of 8-1. D’Youvillage, a team comprised of players from the D’Youville College Men’s Soccer team, opened up the session in convincing fashion and positioned themselves in first place in the Tuesday Men’s Soccer Upper standings on goal differential, while Santos FC has plenty of games ahead of them to recover from this loss.

The first half was competitive. AJ W. opened up the scoring with 20:16 left a low driven shot from just outside the 18-yard box, and Alf Egse followed it up with a free kick (as seen here^) just under five minutes later to make it 2-0 D’Youvillage

Santos scored their only goal of the game thanks to the speed of their strikers, Monte and Jack. It was Jack who scored just 32 seconds after D’Youvillage’s second goal. The rest of the first half was intense with each team giving it their all. D’Youvillage’s Matt Davis closed out the half by scoring two to make it 4-1 at the end of the first half, shots on target were 9-6 in favor of D’Youvillage

The second half started out oddly to say the least. Just moments after kickoff, the ball got lost in the rafters of Open Field 1, and disappeared (probably forever). So with a new ball, D’Youvillage stepped on the throats of Santos FC. They scored four goals in the first nine minutes of the second half. Jason Wilson scored three, while AJ W. scored the other.

After the 16 minute mark had passed, both teams eased up a bit. There was only a total of six shots by both teams combined in the last 16 minutes of the game. The one highlight after all the goals were scored was when Santos FC’s Marcio Vieira flawlessly pulled of a rainbow kick on an unsuspecting D’Youvillage defender. 

Final Score: D’Youvillage 8 Santos FC 1

Shots On Goal: D’Youvillage 20 Santos FC 12

Santos FC plays the Shamrocks next Tuesday, while D’Youvillage has the week off.

If a player does not have a Player Pass or does not directly give an Epic Center employee their full last name, or last initial, then they’re identity will remain protected on Epic Center Sports Report.

To see complete standings, stats, and more head to epic-center.com.