Out of all the games that KAPOW! could have possibly faced this year, this is the game that our team was the most excited to play against, and the game we most wanted to win. The last 2 meetings between Animal Style and KAPOW! were decided by 2 points: 11-13 in the 2018 tournament (we came back from 1-7 at the half to lead 11-10), and last years regular season 13-15 loss. We have never beaten Animal Style, but with the improvements we’ve had every year, we were hoping for that W.
Both teams arrived to the Sepulveda Basin Sports Complex, a field with a cement lining around the outside. We’ve seen a few minor injuries over the years due to the transition from turf to sidewalk, but we have also seen some amazing plays on the field too! Our game did not have any. However, the soccer group before us does have the permit until 8 PM, so they kindly asked us not to use the field until they were finished.
French fries with everything on top won the toss and wanted to receive. My pull went out of bounds and hit the bleachers… I never liked that disc anyways. Chris Ludwig bricked the disc, and tossed an immediate goal to start the game AS 1 – K 0.
I think that we’ve always started down against those amazing burgers. We wouldn’t let that fact detour us from playing great. We fired back with pair of goals from Laura (she lead our team in goals with 3 for this game) and myself. And then the rest of the first half had both teams trading goals 1 or 2 at a time. The game stayed close and exciting with our scores coming from Bri, myself, Matt Cox, and Laura, and their respective assists coming from Billy Andrew, Billy, Bobby, and Billy. We were hyped when we lead the game at 6-5, and again at 7-6.
Animal style decided to cut the onions, pull in 2 scores, and take the half 8-7. At this point, we had played a great first half, and were looking at ways to tighten both our offense and our defense.
And then it came… the second half, the wind. The game started very calm. Over the first half, there was a slight breeze crosswind that built up. In the second half, the wind was much more actively pushing to the south, but no where near as crazy as the last 2 weeks of league. Does anyone have any deal on wind deflectors that we can get for games? This has to be the windiest regular winter league season, not including playing the tournament at San Pedro a few years back.
Animal Style woke up for the second half, scoring 7 to our 3. If anything, the wind helped us in our defense, as much as it helped them in offense. One play Xavier came from around Matt Cox to knock the disc down close to their goal line, and then hauled down field, going one-on-one with Billy, and left him in the dust. This would have been an amazing bookends for him, had it not been for the wind moving the disc at the last second. He should have had that. X was the one player that KAPOW! was really worried about on Animal Style. I remember seeing him at Aviators tryouts a couple of years ago, and he was grabbing just about every dependable play that he could. That kid has mad skills yo.
Our fastest and last score of the game was from Matt Lawrence to Bobby to bring the score to 10-14. We sent out offense out for one final point, which lasted a good deal of time before the game ended 10-15.
Animal Style presented a great challenge in a moderately calm night, and we thank Chris and Joanna for the good game, and the most unique cheer that we’ve heard so far this season. Also, a shout out for Dan for doing what he can to keep winter league going despite the delays. We have things to work on, especially in the second half of games and in the wind (despite coming from one of the windiest parts of LA county). We look forward to hopefully facing Animal Style in the Tournament on our own home turf.