November 30, 2013 -- Soccer City (Indoor), Game 2 - "Ouch"
The 01 Fury ran into a nearly unstoppable foe, the defending state champions and nationally ranked 01 OFC (Phillips). Although the Fury struck first with a goal from Keely Chapman, things went downhill from there. The final tally was 13-1 in favor of OFC. Special recognition should be given to the brave field players, Elle Abbey and Kelsi Fitzgerald, who stood in as goalkepers against the onslaught, and did well to keep the scoreline from truly unraveling.
Ben Fowler was guest coach this week. Asked for comment after the game he told me to get a life.
November 23, 2013 -- Soccer City (Indoor), Game 1 - "Coach C Falls Flat in Debut"
Every once in a long while fans get to witness something special. A new coach arrives on the scene and sets the world on fire. The fans scream. The referee swoons. And the world seemingly comes to a stop, because frankly nothing else matters.
This is not what happened for fill-in coach Adam "Coach C" Childers Saturday morning at Soccer City.
Instead, the 01 Fury girls did their level best to keep Coach C from infecting them with bad ideas and habits. Unfortunately, that was not enough, as the Fury fell to the 00 OFC (Red) by a score of 2-1.
In just the third minute of action the Fury jumped out to a lead. Keely Chapman supplied the opening goal, banging home an assist from Kelsi Fitzgerald. Coach C looked very proud of himself, and could be heard muttering thinngs that rhymed with "Coach of the Year."
Unfortunately, the older OFC team equalized late in the first half, and scored the winning goal in the second stanza. Playing without regular keeper Allison Austin, the Fury used a patchwork combination of Elle Abbey and Maddy Childers to watch the net. Elle and Maddy were fabulous, turning away almost every shot they faced, and many times absorbing contact while meeting OFC attackers inside the spherical box.
The Fury were more technically gifted, and they held the lion's share of possession and took more shots on goal. Almost every player on the team had shtos on goal including, Katie Fowler who peppered the goal with shots, as well as Juliette Davis, Eden Holetzky, Ashlee Cabbiness and Megan Jones.
Apparently bowing to the pressure brought to bear by the creation of a new "FireCoachC.com" web-site, Coach C and his family are going to Las Vegas next weekend to get some much needed rest and relaxation. The next in line to take the temporary coaching reins will be Ben Fowler. Time will tell what nickname he will earn and what results he will post.
November 17, 2013 -- OPL Game 6 - "Fury Fall in Physcial Match"
The 01 Fury closed out the Fall 2013 OPL season with a 4-1 loss to the 01 TSC Hurricane (Gold). It was the Fury who jumped out to a quick lead, but that lead evaporated in a second half blitz of goals, that came in rapid-fire succession. The Fury were tough on a day when the play was physical, but in the end they simply did not have enough firepower to keep up.
The game got off to an ominious start when no officials showed up by game time. Instead, the author was forced to run around adjacent fields at the NYSA complex begging and cajoling available officials until finally a single referee could be found. Cassidy's father, OU Coach Matt Potter, was even called upon to put his soccer expertise to the test, as he manned one of the sidelines until an assistant referee arrived later in the match.
Once the men in yellow were settled, the game got started, albeit 45 minutes later than scheduled. In just the 7th minute, the Fury struck for the first goal. Jenna Miller got things started by depositing a pass in the path of Keely Chapman. Keely raced into the Hurricane box and laid off a perfect pass to Girl of the Match ("GOM") Megan Jones who was streaking down the right side. Megan took a quicksilver strike at goal, which was necessitated by the advancing keeper who managed to block the shot. Megan did not give up, though, and she corraled the rebound and slotted a beautiful ball that evaded the keeper and drug across the goal's mouth and arrived at the feet of Keeely just a foot from goal. Keely took care of business and slammed the assist home, sending the home fans on NYSA's showcase field into a frenzy.
The Fury held on to that lead for a long time. In the 9th minute, central defender Kelsi Fitzgerald made a critical clearance to avoid the Fury's standard practice of giving up a goal immediately after scoring. In the 11th minute, the Fury threatened to double their advantage. Jenna Miller lined up a free kick from a long distance, so long in fact that her Dad James was overheard saying, "there is no way she can reach the goal from there." Maybe Jenna secretly heard her old man and took his words as personal motivation, because Jenna's free kick was not only long enough, it was just high and wide of the mark. A remarkable strike from a strong-legged Jenna Miller.
At the 18 minute mark it appeared that the Hurricane had grabbed the equalizer after the Hurricane forward banged into Allison Austin and dislodged a ball that she was attempting to secure. The ensuing goal was disallowed for the illegal contact, and just a minute later Allison made a wonderful save from a one-timer thumped at her off a Hurricane corner kick.
The Hurricane finally made their breakthough at the 22nd minute of the first half. A foul was whistled on a Fury defender, and the Hurricane free kick was long and true. Allison was able to tip the ball, but it still managed to find its way over her head and into the back of the net.
The Hurricane pressed hard for another first-half goal, but the Fury back line stood strong. First Katie Fowler made a fine defensive clearance out of traffic. Then with just seconds left in the first half, Allison made a strong sliding save in the six yard box. The ball rebounded to a TSC giantess who unleashed a cannon ball shot, but Maddy Childers was on the scene for a goal line clearance, thundering the ball off the line and away from danger. It was clear that the Hurricane had the momentum, but the score at halftime showed the teams deadlocked at one goal per team.
In the second half the Hurricane outshot the Fury 12-0, increasting their overall advantage to 22-4. That kind of pressure usually cannot be overcome, and the second half showed why. The ball was constantly on the Fury's side of the pitch, and despite the best efforts of all involved, the barrage of shots finally broke down the Fury's resolve.
Allison Austin was contantly under fire, but she turned away 13 shots on the afternoon, including a great catch save in the 40th minute, and an amazing stop in the 43rd minute in a one-on-one battle with a break-away Hurricane player in which Allison came far off her line to make a kick save.
Allison's luck ran out in the 44th minute when she was betrayed by a bobble on a free kick that slid by her and into the net for a Hurricane goal. The Fury's luck was even worse two minutes later when a shot ricocheted off the back of Katie Fowler and into goal. The Hurricane finished their scoring in the 55th minute, using a clinical cross and finish to put the finishing touches on a 4-1 victory.
The Fury put on an aerial display on Sunday, winning balls in the air time after time. Ally Mayberry led the way with 7 headers, followed closely by Maddy Childers with 6 and Elle Abbey and Rylee Langerman with 5 a piece. Katie Fowler led the team with 11 defensive clearances. GOM Megan Jones not only notched her team-high 5th assist of the year, but she also connected on 7 passes and made 3 tackles.
Keely Chapman's goal was her team-high 17th of the year, and Keely also showed off her passing skill, with 7 passes completed. Cassidy Potter again got the start in midfield, and she rolled up 6 passes and a tackle. Juliette Davis and Ashlee Cabbiness patrolled the wings and applied pressure on the Hurricane back line.
Rylee Langerman was part of a valiant Fury back line that never surrendered in the face of an onslaught of pressure by the Hurricane. Rylee had 5 clearances and 3 tackles, with Maddy Childers putting up similar numbers with 7 clearances and a team-high 7 tackles. Elle Abbey had a consistent game across the board, with 5 headers, 2 clearances, 4 tackles and 5 passes.
Kelsi Fitzgerald led the team in pancakes, and chipped in with 5 clearances, 2 tackles, 6 passes and a penalty drawn against the Hurricane. Jenna Miller had one of the Fury's 4 shots on goal for the day, and she posted 3 tackles and 6 connecting passes. Eden Holetzky buzzed around the midfeild, collecting 5 passes and a tackle. Ally Mayberry once again led the team in passing with 12 connections. Cara Compton drew a penalty on the opposition, and had a pancake, a tackle and 3 passes.
Sunday's loss may spell relegation for the Fury in the Spring edition of the OPL. However, if the Fury's commitment does not waiver, a return to the OPL's First Division seems likely. Stay tuned loyal readers. Stay tuned.
November 16, 2013 -- OPL Game 5 - "Overturned Goal Leaves Fury With a Draw"
The OPL relegation battle between the 01 Fury and the 01 Tulsa Blitz (Black) ended in a goalless draw Saturday afternoon after Keely Chapman's second half goal was disallowed in controversial fashion. Making the pain of the waived off goal even more acute is the fact that the tie leaves the Fury at the foot of the OPL First Division table with just one game remaining. Meaning that the Fury face potential relegation to the second division.
The Fuy fought several foes - the Blitz, the referee and the wind. With gusts of wind that constantly knocked down shots and passes and pushed the ball out of bounds, both teams had to be mindful of the effect that the wind would have on every play.
In just the first mionute of the match it appeared the Fury were already getting the knack of it. Midfielder Ally Mayberry struck a mighty shot that was blocked by a Blitz defender's head, which absorbed the contact and re-directed the ball to the feet of Keely Chapman who took her own shot at goal that was received by the Blitz keeper.
The Fury continued to press the advantage in the first half. At the 24 minute mark, winger Cara Compton executed a tackle on the boundary and then threaded a cross into the Blitz box at the end of a long run. Ashlee Cabbiness was streaking towards the far post and was unlucky to arrive a step late before the ball bounded out of reach.
The last signficant action of a fairly dull first half was a strong defensive clearance by Elle Abbey. Elle put a strong boot to the ball to send out a dangerous free kick that was ricocheting around the Fury box. With that play in the books, a few minutes later the first half came to a close with neither team finding the net.
The second half brought with it much more action from the Fury. Girl of the Match ("GOM") Katie Fowler kick-started things in the 38th minute with one of her team-high 3 shots on goal. Charging up from the back line Katie weaved her way past several defenders and only a bad hop as she struck the shot kept it from being on frame. The Fury finished the game with a 15-7 advantage in shots on goal, and Katie was a big reason why.
The Fury continued to escalate the pressure. In the 40th minute Katie spun a long ball that picked out attacking midfielder Keely Chapman in space. Keely swung her shot wide, but the mounting pressure was exposing cracks in the Blitz defense.
The Blitz were not going to roll over, though. In the 45th minute, a hard foul by left back Maddy Childers left a Blitz player in a heap on the pitch. A free kick was awarded and it took a strong palm from keeper Allison Austin to force the ball over the bar and preserve the tie.
Keely Chapman reversed the field minutes later, taking another long pass from Katie Fowler and streaking all the way to the end line before sending a gorgeous crossing shot that rolled invitingly across the entire length of the Blitz goal. Cara Compton was unable to poke in at the far corner, but she did gather the ball and loft a shot at goal that was ultimately secured by the Blitz net-minder.
Keely came even closer to goal in the 53rd minute. Working her way through traffic, Keely found a spot of daylight and squared for a shot. The strike was true, but it was buffeted by the wind and lost just enough steam to allow the keeper to grab the shot before it could find the net.
The clock was quickly becoming the Fury's enemy. At the one hour mark Jenna Miller connected on one of her team-high 15 passes, finding Ashlee Cabbiness. Ashlee maneuvered her way down the right channel and then unleashed a wicked cross that found Cara Compton at the near post, but a Blitz defender arrived in the nick of time to scuttle the ball away before a shot could be taken.
Cara was involved again a minute later when Juliette Davis stole a pass in enemy territory and made a pass to Cara at the edge of the box. Cara made every effort to unlock a shot on goal, but she was swarmed by Blitz defenders.
Controversy erupted at the 66 minute mark. With just 5 minutes left in the game, GOM Katie Fowler won a penalty (one of her team-high 4 penalties drawn). Katie dusted herself off and lined up the free kick from 30 yards away. The free kick was strong and it forced the Blitz keeper to come forward a couple of steps and dive to make the stop. But, she bobbled the ball and it spilled from her grasp. Keely was waiting and made short work of it, spinning the ball into the net. It appeared that victory belonged to the Fury....until someone noticed the line judge holding up the flag to signal offsides had been called.
Coach Abel was vociferous in her protest, and the head official consulted with his line judge to determine if the call should be overturned. It was not to be, though, as the call was affirmed, and shocked Fury fans lamented what could have, and probably should have, been.
The foul taste of the disputed call could have been made even worse in the final minute of the game when the Blitz came desperately close to pulling out a last second winner. Maddy Childers used an amazing slide tackle at the corner of the box to ward off one challenge. Then the Blitz re-set the offense, and one of their giant players belted a shot that struck the crossbar. Moments later the game came to a close and the draw was in the books. With the tie, the Blitz stay one point ahead of the Fury in the OPL standings, wiht both teams playing their final game on Sunday. Relegation to OPL Second Division will hang in the balance.
No clean sheet is achieved without strong play from the defenders. Allison Austin posted 4 saves and cleared 2 balls from danger with her feet. Rylee Langerman had one of the Fury's 15 shots on goal, and she had 2 clearances and 2 tackles. Maddy Childers contributed with 4 clearances, 5 tackles and 12 connecting passes. Katie Fowler led all players with 9 clearances, and she rounded out her day with a team-high two pancakes, 9 passes, 5 tackles and the aforementioned team-high 4 penalties drawn. Kelsi Fitzgerald was not far behind with 6 clearances and she connected on 5 passes. Elle Abbey rotated back to the line long enough to rack up 5 clearances, a team-high 8 tackles, 2 headers and 9 passes.
Ally Mayberry was second in passing with 12 connections, and she trailed only Megan Jones in headers with two. Speaking of Megan, the casted warrior took aim at goal twice, and she led the team with 3 headers and she also chipped in with 10 passes and 6 tackles. Cassidy Potter got the start in the midfield, and she rose to the challenge with 7 connecting passes and 2 tackles. Eden Holetzky had a strong afternoon, putting up 9 passes, 5 tackles and a clearance.
Fury fans now turn their attention to the action on Sunday. The Fury must win or draw against the TSC Hurricane (Gold) and then wait for the results of the Blitz (Black) and Cosmos game to figure out what division will be their home in the Spring.
November 10, 2012 -- NYSA Classic Cup, Semi-Finals -- "Fury Exit the Semis, but Not Without a Fight"
You can forgive the 01 Fury if they are tired of seeing the Cosmos. After all, between the regular season and tournaments, the 01 Cosmos has been the opponent the Fury have seen more of than any other this Fall. However, after the Cosmos escaped with a 1-0 victory over the Fury in the Semi-Final game of the Classic Cup, it is likely that the Cosmos will not be looking forward to future matches with the Fury, who look like a team on the rise, as they pushed the Cosmos to the brink, before surrendering the decisive goal with only five minutes left in the match.
The game kicked off at 7:30 a.m., with the cold morning air sending a chill through the fans huddled on the sidelines under a sunless sky. The first half was a defensive stalemate, However, the Fury held more possession, and in the 12th minute the Fury won their first corner to be taken by Jenna Miller after central defender Kelsi Fitzgerald dribbled to mid-field and used a long pass to put pressure on her counterpart on the Cosmos back-line, who was forced to jettison the ball over the back line in the face of pressure from an attacking Keely Chapman.
The Cosmos were not without punch, though, and in the 20th minute it took a fantastic effort from co-Girl of the Match ("GOM") Maddy Childers to fend off a near goal. The Mad Dog was positioned at the back post as a Cosmos attacker wacked a long distance shot that was destined to land in the far corner of the net. Maddy used a directional header to clear the ball off the line and preserve the tie as the Fury crowd breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Allison Austin took matters into her own mitts four minutes later, punching a shot over her goal as the Fury back line fought back all efforts of the Cosmos. Helping to lead that charge was co-GOM, Katie Fowler. Katie was merciless to her Cosmos guests, leading all players with 10 defensive clearances and she was second with 6 tackles, and stil had time to lead the team in passing with 13 connections.
The last challenge on goal mounted by the Fury in the first half took place in the 25th minute. The Cosmos keeper came off her line to make a clearance, but Juliette Davis stepped in front and galloped into position to take a shot while the net-minder was scrambling back to get to her line. Juliette's shot was wide of the mark. Halftime ensued not long after, and the teams huddled with their respective coaches.
As the second half began, the teams knew that only 30 minutes separated one team from a place in the championship match. Again, the Fury had the brighter start. In the 35th minute, Jenna Miller lined up one of her trademark free kicks and was on target from approximately 35 yards, but the shot was gathered by the Cosmos keeper. In the 42nd minute, the Cosmos returned the favor, coming close with a free kick of their own that landed on the roof of the net after passing just over the target.
Fury fans were busy looking up the tournament rules on what appeared to be a pending overtime session, when the Cosmos found the break-through they had been seeking. It started with a long pass that took a fortuitous bounce and fell at the feet of a streaking Cosmos forward. The forward gained the corner on a Fury central defender and found herself in space as she advanced on Allison Austin. With a low hard shot in the corner, she found the net, and the scoreline read 1-0.
The Fury put in a frenetic finish, searching for an equalizer, with Coach Abel even sending Katie Fowler up top in an effort to marshal all of her offensive firepower. It was not be, though, as the shrill whistle cut through the tumult, letting our little warriors know that the battle had come to a close.
Jenna Miller and Keely Chapman jointly led the Fury with 2 shots on goal per player, part of 7 shots on goal by the Fury, eclipsed only by 2 by the Cosmos (9-7). Cara Compton led the team in pancakes, helping to send the message to the Blues that the Fury are done bowing down to their neighbors to the immediate North.
Rylee Langerman topped the charts with 7 defensive tackles, constantly picking the pockets of the Cosmos players who dared to test her side of the defensive pitch. Ally Mayberry and Maddy Childers took their customary spots at the top of the stat sheet with 3 headers a piece. Cassidy Potter missed out on the game due to illness.
Co-GOM Maddy Childers had 5 clearances and 5 defensive tackles to go with 12 connecting passes. Elle Abbey was hobbled by a sprained ankle, but she toughed it out for her teammates, and posted 5 passes and a tackle. Ashlee Cabbiness put in a strong shift on the wing, with 4 passes, 2 tackles and a header. Eden Holetzky fought hard all morning, collecting 3 clearances, connecting on 2 passes and drawing a penalty against the Cosmos.
Jenna Miller's renaissance as a passer continued, as she strung together 11 passes from her forward position. The indomintable Megan Jones refused to quit. After suffering what is suspected to be a broken wrist, Megan spent a spell on the sidelines. Anyone who knows Megan could guess that she would not stay there. She re-entered the game and contributed 10 connecting passes and a tackle. Kelsi Fitzgerald had a very productive morning, with 2 headers, 3 clearances, 3 tackles and 9 passes along with a penalty drawn.
The tournament is over and in the book for the Fury. Losing is never easy or fun. But, it was hard not to feel a sense of satifaction as a Fury fan leaving the Gillis-Rother soccer complex, while reflecting on a weekend in which the Fury appeared to turn a corner towards a future that is full of good things.
November 9, 2013 -- NYSA Classic Cup, Game 2 - "Gobble, Gobble, Chapman has a Turkey, Fury Secure Spot in Semi-Finals"
The 01 Fury put the bad taste of Friday night behind them, and thumped the 02 TSC Hurricane (Griffin) by a score of 4-1 in a comprehensive display in which Girl of the Match ("GOM") Keely Chapman struck pay-dirt 4 times. With the victory, the Fury wrapped up second in Bracket A of the U13 division, and will now play in the semi-finals in the morning.
The Fury were on fire right out of the gate. With only 2 minutes off the clock, Megan Jones got the action started. Megan was playing on the wing, replacing Elle Abbey, who was out with a twisted ankle. Megan executed a tackle, winning posession on a 50/50 ball. Megan then dribbled ahead and sent a deft flick into the path of Keely Chapman. Keely flowed with the ball into the right channel and blew her shot past the TSC keeper, choosing the upper left part of the net as the resting spot for the first of her 4 goals.
At the 10 minute mark the Hurricane evened things up. It started with a goal line clearance by Rylee Langerman, who used a directional header to keep TSC out of the net. Unfortunately, the Hurricane played the ball back in and a deflected shot left Allison Austin wrong-footed, and she could only watch as the ball dribbled in to make the score 1-1. That was the only ball Allison would have to dig out of the net, though, as she had 8 saves on the afternoon, including several acrobatic plays by the Fury's fearless keeper.
In the 23rd minute the Fury regained the lead on what may be the prettiest play of the year. This time it started with midfielder Ally Mayberry, who won possession on a tackle near midfield. Ally then worked a diagonal give and go down the sideline with Megan Jones, as the two worked seamlessly together weaving through traffic as they advanced into TSC territory. Megan topped off the passing display with the 5th connecting pass, putting a seal on her 2nd assist of the game as she picked out Keely in space and freed her for another foray at goal. Keely knew what to do from there, whizzing a high and tight shot past the keeper, giving her a brace for the half, and the Fury a 2-1 lead, which the Fury would never relinquish.
In the second half, the Fury picked up just where they left off. Exactly like the first half, the Fury struck for a goal in the second minute of action. Left back Maddy Childers fed a pass to Jenna Miller just past the mid-line. Jenna then lofted a perfectly weighted ball that beat the defense and fell into the coveted area in which the keeper cannot come out to gather, but a speedy striker can pounce. That is exactly what Keely did, cruising in to snap up the assist and post a hat-trick with a cooly taken shot that increased the Fury advantage to 3-1.
The Fury closed out the scoring in the 45th minute, as Jenna matched Megan in assists with her second, and Keely put her stamp on the fabled "turkey," a 4 goal outing. The pass was a thing of beauty as Jenna used a step-back at the top of the 18 yard box to survey her surroundings before threading a pass into a landing zone that seemingly only she and Keely could predict would be available. Keely took care of the rest, blasting home her "gobbler" of a shot.
The Fury continued to press for more goals. In the 53rd minute, Juliette Davis brought the Fury faithful to the edges of their chairs as she headed just over the crossbar on a cross in the TSC box. The effort was unsuccessful, but the shot on goal was part of a nice afternoon of work for Juliette, who had 3 headers and 5 passes along with this shot on goal.
A minute later Ashlee Cabbiness was the last Fury player to threaten the TSC goal. Ashlee intercepted a pass in the TSC box and dribbled into position for a shot. Ashlee's effort soared through the air, but just drifted wide, in part because she was jostled to the ground just as she made contact. A penalty call may have been proper, but with the score out of reach for TSC, perhaps mercy was in order.
The final bit of action took place in the 56th minute, when Allison used a sliding save to break up a TSC attack. Maddy Childers was on hand to clear the ball from danger, and that was the last look the TSC squad would have of the Fury goal.
The emphatic Fury victory secured a place in the semi-finals for the Fury. Just as importantly, though, the game was a validation of the Fury's commitment to playing as a true team, unified in their commitment to supporting each other and building something we can all be proud of.
The stat sheet was full of happy tidings. Rylee Langerman was a stat-stuffer with 3 headers, 5 clearances, 3 tackles and 8 connecting passes. Maddy posted a similar line, leading the team with Ally Mayberry with 5 headers, and adding 4 clearances, 5 tackles and 13 passes from her spot on the left defensive flank.
Cara Compton led the team in pancakes and put up 2 headers, 2 tackles and connected on 4 passes from the wing. Ally Mayberry was a maestro in the midfield, glueing together 11 passes and sharing top honors by winning 5 tackles. Ashlee Cabbiness added to her shot on goal with 3 tackles and 3 passes.
Katie Fowler was all over the field. She stung the hands of the TSC keeper with a long distance shot on goal, and she hit double digits in defensive clearances with 10 to go with 4 tackles and a penalty drawn on TSC (a category that Katie leads all players in this campaign). Eden Holetzky had a nice passing afternoon with 7 connections, which was gravy on top of her 3 clearances, tackle, header and pancake.
Jenna Miller and Megan Jones each had 2 assists. Jenna had 3 corner kicks and 11 passes. Megan matched those 11 passes and added 3 tackles. Kelsi Fitzgerald 3 clearances, 3 passes and a tackle. Cassidy Potter posted 7 passes and collected 2 headers.
All in all, it was a comprehensive team victory, which was much needed.
November 8, 2013 -- NYSA Classic Cup, Game 1 - "Highway Robbery"
So much for home-field advantage. The Fury were robbed of a draw Friday night, as a clear goal by Girl of the Match ("GOM") Jenna Miller was disallowed, dooming the Fury to a 2-1 loss to the 02 Cosmos (Blue). Despite the loss, the Fury looked sharp in their opening game of the NYSA Classic Cup.
The teams were evenly matched, but in the early moments it was the Cosmos who threatened first. In the 4th minute Allison Austin was forced into the first of her 10 saves on the night. In the 9th minute of action Megan Jones was forced out of the game for the balance of the first half with a hyper-extended knee, but she managed to return in the second stanza. In the 18th minute Maddy Childers slid through the mud left by rains earlier in the week to make a vital tackle and clearnce that stymied another Cosmos attack.
The Fury started to find their stride in the 23rd minute. Jenna Miller sent a long pass to Keely Chapman, who was prowling on Cosmos turf. Keely found resistance in her dribble drive, but she won a tackle and skipped into the Cosmos box to take on the keeper in a one one one. Keely lost this battle as the Cosmos keeper beat her to the spot and took the ball of Keely's foot.
Keely may have lost that battle, but she did not lose the war. Because a minute later the whole scenario happened again, but with much, much better results for the Fury. Again Jenna found Keely with a pass that isolated her with the Cosmos' gloved defender. This time, though, Keely was able to round the keeper and turn Jenna's assist into the opening goal of the match.
Unfortunately, the Fury continued a trend of surrendering quick goals after taking the lead. In the 26th minute a Cosmos cross could not be cleared in time before a looping shot found its way into the back of the net to square the score at one goal per team.
After halftime the teams continued their back and forth affair. In the 33rd minute, Cara Compton won a corner kick for the Fury. Jenna Miller's ensuing corner was a thing of beauty and it came ever so close to being headed in by several Fury players fighting off their marks.
At the 37 minute mark another corner kick by Jenna caused havoc for the Cosmos. In a chaotic scrum at the goal's mouth both Cara Compton with a toe poke, and Megan Jones with a blocked shot, took aim at goal and came perilously close to gaining the goal cravedy by the Fury.
Rylee Langerman had a wonderful clearance in the 39th minute, and drew a penalty to win a free kick on the Cosmos player who tried in vain to win back the ball. The Fury were not as lucky in the 46th minute. A long ball pass by the Cosmos left a Cosmos forward in a fast-break opportunity, going head to head with Allison in the box. Allison committed to one direction, but the Cosmos player was able to stutter-step her way past and around and slotted home what would prove to be the game-winner.
Then things got weird. With 5 minutes left in the game, Rylee drew another penalty on the Cosmos and Jenna Miller was teed up for a free kick from about 30 yards. Jenna's strong leg propelled the ball through the night sky and the Cosmos keeper reached above her head to stop the ball's blazing path. However, the ball struck her hands and trickled over her head. The keeper instinctively turned and stepped to pick up the errant ball, and in so doing it was apparent to anyone with a set of two working eyes that she had to reach OVER the line in order to retrieve the ball. Meaning that by all that is good and right in the world, Jenna's shot was a goal that should have earned the Fury a much deserved draw. Unfortunately, and to the great chagrin of this author, the men in yellow did not see it that way. In fact, one could argue that they didn't "see" anything all all.
In the hearts and minds of Fury fans, that shot will always be a goal for Jenna to go with her prior assist. But, as they say, the scoreboard does not lie, so the Fury will have to live with an opening loss in this year's edition of the Classic Cup.
Kelsi Fitzgerald helped to anchor the back line, with 4 clearances, a tackle, 8 passes and a penalty drawn to her credit. Megan Jones was likewise very active, shaking off her hurt knee while drawing a penalty of her own, connecting on 10 passes and leading the team with 6 tackles. Cassidy Potter showcased her new commitment to the aerial game, winning two headers and contributing with 2 passes.
Keely Chapman opened her tournament account with a goal and posted 12 passes and 2 tackles. GOM Jenna Miller had 14 passes, 3 corner kicks, 2 tackles, 2 headers, an assist and the goal that should have been. Eden Holetzky connected on 3 passes and helped out on the defensive side with 2 clearances.
Ally Mayberry was on fire with her passing. Seventeen times Ally found the open player and she added a tackle and 2 clearances for good measure. Katie Fowler continued a trend, hitting double digits again in clearances, increasing her season team lead by putting up 11 more. Katie added 5 tackles and 13 passes as polish on her evening.
Ashlee Cabiness had 3 passes and a tackle working from the wing, and Juliette Davis partnered with Ashlee to force penetrating runs on the Cosmos defenders. Cara Comptom had 3 tackles on her ledger in addition to the shot on goal from a corner kick. Elle Abbey dreew a penalty on the Cosmos and racked up 8 passes and 2 tackles.
Maddy Childers led the team in headers with 4 and did yeoman's work on the back line with 5 clearances, 4 tackles and 11 passes. Rylee Langerman was a stat-stuffer with 2 penalties drawn, 8 passes, 3 tackles, 7 clearances and 2 headers. Allison Austin patrolled the sticks and turned away 10 Cosmos shots.
The Fury will look to put the sting of this game behind them on Saturday, when a crucial second preliminary game of the tournament will determine whether or not they play in a semi-final game or a consolation match Sunday morning.
November 2, 2013 -- OPL Game 4, "Last Second Goal Dooms Fury"
A frustrating OPL campaign for the 01 Fury took another frustrating turn, as the Fury surrendered a goal on the final kick of the first half, giving the 01 TSC Blitz all the offense they needed in a 1-0 loss for the Fury. It was an afternoon at the Tulsa United Soccer Complex where the Fury played a muscular, physical game, but simply lacked offensive punch. By game's end, the Fury had been out-shot 19-4, and the Blitz took 11 corner kicks to zero for the Fury. Not a recipe for long-term success.
On the bright side, the Fury played a fine defensive game against a team that finished second at last year's state tournament. In fact, the Girl of the Match ("GOM") was a joint effort this week, with left back Rylee Langerman and center back Kelsi Fitzgerald both standouts on the defensive back line.
Speaking of Kelsi, it took a goal line clearance from the co-GOM to keep the Blitz off the scoresheet in the 5th minute of the contest. Keeper Allison Austin was called into action often, including on the many corner kicks won by the Blitz. The Blitz failed to score off any of the set pieces, thanks in great part to Allison's strong work in the box, including brilliant catch saves in the 8th and 24th minutes, part of her eleven save afternoon.
Elle Abbey showcased the Fury's physical play in the 20th minute, pancaking a Blitz player and causing play to be stopped while the sobbing girl in red and white was scraped off the field. The Blitz offensive on the Fury goal continued, though, and right back Maddy Childers made a last minute goal line clearance (one of her 9 clearances on the day) in the 27th minute to save the Fury's bacon, sweeping the ball off the line moments before it creased the Fury goal.
The Fury's luck ran out with only seconds on the clock. Allison lined up a goal kick with 30 seconds left before the end of the half. Her kick was intercepted by a Blitz attacker who dribbled into the heart of the Fury box and laid off a neat pass to an overlapping run that ended with a sliding shot that barely eluded Allison's grasp, and was literally the final play of the first half. The score was 1-0.
The Fury were stronger in the second half. They only concedeed 2 corner kicks, after 9 in the first half. And, the difference in shots fell from 15-2, to 9-2. Leading the effort were GOM's Kelsi and Rylee. In the 43rd minute, Kelsi made a long dribbling run from the back line, puncturing Blitz territory and reversing the field advantage. That was just one of several such strong runs by Kelsi. Meanwhile, a noticeably hobbled Rylee Langerman was the Fury's engine. Rylee led all players (by a long shot) with 19 connecting passes, and she was second in tackles and clearances, time after time stymying the Blitz's efforts to increase their advantage.
The Fury made their first real challenge at goal in the 49th minute. Attacking midfielder Keely Chapman was the catalyst. Keely made a nice run into the Blitz 18 yard box. Keeping her head up, Keely laid off a perfect pass into space, finding winger Ashlee Cabbiness. Ashlee did not break stride and used her right shoulder to hold off the Blitz defender while she lined up a shot with her left foot. The shot forced the Blitz keeper to ground, who lunged to her left to knock down and gather the Fury's closest chance at goal on the afternoon.
After a long spell of no signficant offensive action by either side, in the 66th minute Keely forced another diving save out of the Blitz net-minder with one of her team-high 2 shots on goal. A minute later, the Blitz had a goal disallowed for beng offisdes after an alert play by center back Katie Fowler. WIth a minute left in the game, Katie launched a wonderful long ball that came whisper close to picking out Ashlee in a knot of players, but that was the last stand, and the game closed not long after, with the Fury losing their 4th straight OPL match.
Cara Compton had a nice passing day from the wing, swinging in passes from the outside, connecting 9 times. Ally Mayberry took over the team lead in headers, using her noggin 4 times, and she was second in passing with 14 connections. Juliette Davis had one of the Fury's 4 shots on goal.
Katie Fowler led all players in clearances with 11 and she was also the pace-setter in penalties drawn, ringing up 2 fouls on the Blitz. Eden Holetzky tallied two defensive tackles. Jenna Miller posted 2 tackles as well, paired with 5 connecting passes. Cassidy Potter had her first pancake of the year and added a clearance, a tackle and 4 passes. Megan Jones was busy in the mid-field, with 9 passes, 2 tackles and a clearance.
Next up for the Fury is playing the part of host, as the NYSA Classic Cup kicks off next weekend in Norman.
October 19, 2013 -- Fall OPL, Game 3 -- "Rusty Fury Outclassed by Cosmos"
It has been nearly 3 weeks since the Fury played a game. In the interim, weather has forced the Fury off the practice field more than a few times. The end result? It was more than apparent that the Fury were rusty and out of sorts as they were handily dispatched by the 01 Cosmos (Blue) by a score of 4-0, dropping the Fury to the foot of the OPL table.
In just the second minute of the game the Cosmos bared their teeth and put the Fury on their collective back heels. Midfielder Ally Mayberry was forced to make a nice clearance right off the bat to stop a dangerous Cosmos cross that was headed straight for the heart of the Fury 18 yard box. Two minutes later Katie Fowler had to get on her horse and track back to almost single-handedly stave off a Cosmos attack.
In a rare moment of offensive pressure by the Fury, in the 7th minute winger Elle Abbey found Keely Chapman in space and Keely neatly laid off a pass to forward Jenna Miller who whizzed a shot over the Cosmos goal. That pressure did not last long, though, and Katie Fowler made a brave block in the 9th minute as the Cosmos surged back into Fury territory.
Twelve minutes after kick-off Allison Austin was called into action to make one of her 16 saves on the day. Allison snagged a cross moments before it was nodded home by a maraduing Cosmos player.
The Fury's luck, and resolve, ran out in the 20th minute. A Cosmos midfielder dribbled across the mouth of the Fury box, dragging Fury defenders in her wake. Suddenly, she squared and fired at goal, blistering a shot that struck both posts before ending its pin-ball ride in the back of the net.
In the 22nd minute the Fury attempted to find an equalizer. A strong punt off the leg of Allison Austin bounded over a Cosmos defender and was latched onto by Ashlee Cabbiness. Ashlee made a bee-line for the Cosmos goal and warded off the only defender in her path. Unfortunately, the Cosmos keeper rushed out to the top of the box and slid to gather the ball off of Ashlee's foot before a shot could be taken.
The Fury continued to fight hard to preserve the one goal defecit. Girl of the Match ("GOM") Eden Holetzky spear-headed this effort. On a day when the hustle and overall effort of many of the girls was under scrutiny, Eden's engine never stopped. In the 25th minute Eden used her trademark stop and start back heel move to scoot around a Cosmos player and clear the ball from danger down the sideline.
Unfortunately, with just minutes left on the clock in the first half, the Cosmos unlocked a second goal, this time slotting home a shot after a failure to clear by the Fury's defensive back line. Jenna Miller slammed a free kick into a Cosmos wall just before the halftime whistle, and the girls huddled up with birthday girl Coach Katie for instructions.
Not much changed in the second stanza. The Cosmos continued to push the advantage, and the Fury continued to be without a counter-punch.
In the 41st minute, Allison Austin made a strong save, jumping high to gather the shot. In a rare moment of attack, in the 47th minute Cara Compton intercepted a Cosmos pass and rambled down the wing before swinging in a cross that had to be cleared by a Cosmos defender. Jenna Miller fired a shot wide of goal a minute later.
Things unraveled in the 52nd minute when another scrum in the Fury box resulted in a failure to clear and a snap-shot goal for the Cosmos. It took a fantastic reaction save from Allison just two minutes later to avoid another goal.
The Fury were not as lucky in the 60th minute when the Cosmos closed out the scoring, bringing the total to a hard to stomach 4-0. In the 74th and 75th minutes Keely Chapman showed some fire, striking two separate shots on goal that went wide. But, that was all that was left to write about, as the game ended without any more fanfare.
Statisically speaking, the Fury had a few numbers worth mentioning. Maddy Childers and Megan Jones topped the charts in tackles, with 8 and 7 respectively. Katie Fowler (10), Elle Abbey (7) and Kelsi Fitzgerald (6) led the way in defensive clearances. Ally Mayberry and Megan Jones led all players with 4 headers a piece.
Juliette Davis had a productive game, posting 3 tackles and completing 7 passes. Keely Chapman led the team with 4 shots on goal, followed closely by Jenna with 3. Elle Abbey was tops with 13 completed passes, with Katie (12) and Maddy (11) nipping at her heels.
Cassidy Potter collected 2 tackles and a clearance to go with her 6 connecting passes. Eden Holetzky earned her GOM with all-out hustle and 4 tackles, 6 connecting passes and a penalty drawn on a Cosmos player. Rylee Langerman was a stat-stuffer, hauling in 2 headers, 3 clearances, 4 tackles, and 9 passes. Ashlee Cabbiness compiled 3 tackles, 3 passes and one penalty drawn against the opposition.
It is safe to say that this game, and the Fury's effort, was not the birthday gift wished for by Coach Katie. The Fury need to get better and fast.
September 29, 2013 -- Sheffield United Invitational, Game 4 -- "Fury's Championship Dreams Dashed"
The sun was out, and the weather perfect. And all that stood between the Fury and a berth in the championship game was the 00 Sheffield United (Black). Although the Fury took an early lead, they ultimately surrendered that advantage and dropped a close game to a more experienced team, 2-1.
In just the first 30 seconds of the match the Fury got off to a fast start. The United's opening kickoff was intercepted by Keely Chapman who embarked on a solo run that ended with a shot on goal. The shot was saved, but the message was clear. The Fury were ready to roll.
Over the next few minutes it was the Fury defense that had to step up. In the 4th minute Maddy Childers was isolated on the sideline dueling with a goliath United attacker. Maddy executed one of her game-high 6 tackles, and knicked the ball away cleanly and drove up the field to start a counter-attack. When the United did breach the Fury back line, Allison Austin was there to stop them. In the 8th minute, keeper Allison Austin grabbed one of her 5 saves, snagging a ball out of the midst of a gaggle of opposing players waiting to pounce.
The referree on this day liked to blow his whistle. A lot. He was particularly fond of making calls that are rarely made. For example, in the 16th minute, Katie Fowler was called for a high kick. The ensuing free kick fizzed over Allison's goal.
Three minutes later the Fury benefitted from yet another high kick call. Keely Chapman drew a high kick on an opposing player just outside the box while battling for posession. Free-kick artist, and Girl of the Match ("GOM"), Jenna Miller, took center stage. Jenna curled her effort over the defensive wall and the ball smacked the bottom side of the post and jetted straight downward. The ball was still live, and Keely headed the rebound, striking the cross-bar. The ball was finally cleared from danger. However, after the frenetic scene came to a close, the head referree took a moment to reflect and visit with his line judge. That huddle resulted in a decision that Jenna's original strike had crossed the line. Fury fans erupted with cheers, as a call finally went their way.
The Fury were up 1-0 and were getting under the skin of the home team, which picked up a yellow card for dissent 3 minutes after the goal was awarded. To their credit, though, the United fought back. In the 27th minute they headed a shot over goal. A minute later the United unlocked a goal.
United sent a cross into the Fury box. Allison Austin gloved it for a moment, but it trickled off the tips of her fingers and bounded in front of the goal line. Maddy Childers slid to make an iniitial clearance, but three United players were on hand to trap the ball's escape and send it back in the net for the 1-1 equalizer.
The score remained tied trhough halftime. Once again, in the first minute of the second half, Keely launched a break-away on the United goal. Unfortunately, her effort was snuffed out at the last moment.
.The United were not without their own punch. They fired over the Fury goal in the 38th minute. The Fury exacted some revenge for the rough play of the older girls in the 47th minute when defender Maddy Childers absolutely leveled the United coach's daughter, leaving her in a sobbing heap on the pitch, the recipient of one of Maddy's 2 pancakes on the day.
The Fury's best chance of a winning goal in the second half occurred in the 52nd minute. Keely burst into space just outside the United box, skipping past a defender, only for that defender to scuff the back of Keely's cleat with a mis-timed challenge on Keely's way to goal. It was a foul, but no reasonable referree would have done anything other than play out the advantage. No such luck here. The Fury attack was stymied before it had a chance to begin. The resulting free kick was inviting, but Jenna's effort was high and wide.
Allison Austin was called upon to make sparkling saves at the 54th and 56th minute marks. But, it was Allison who was the victim of the most bizarre officiating call of the day. She was called for stepping over the line while unloading a punt. This kind of call is basically called never, ever, ever. Making things worse, the United scored on the resulting free kick, giving the Sheffield outfit a 2-1 lead.
The Fury's fate was now sealed, considering that only a victory, and not a draw, would send the girls to the championship game for a rematch with the Blitz. The Fury did not give up, though. In the 68th minute Katie Fowler forced a sliding save out of the United keeper on a sizzling free kick. That was the final signficant action, and the final score showed the Fury on the wrong end of a 2-1 count.
Maddy Childers led all Fury players with 21 connecting passes. Kelsi Fitzgerald and Katie Fowler were the principals in charge of the back line, with 15 defensive clearances between the duo. Ally Mayberry led the team in penalties drawn with 3, and she led the team in headers and all midfielders in passing with 14.
Elle Abbey and Emma Base piled up 6 clearances and 4 tackles. Cara Compton had one of the Fury's 5 shots on goal. Juliette Davis, Ashlee Cabbiness, Eden Holetzky and Cassidy Potter colleectively patrolled the back line and wings, collecting vital clearances and tackles. Jenna Miller and Keely Chapman were the attacking forces for the Fury, and it was Jenna's wonder goal that earned her the GOM. Megan Jones followed up on her GOM-worthy game 2 with another strong effort, compiling 12 passes and tying Ally with 3 penalties drawn.
The Fury now have a few weeks off with no soccer, after an action-packed September. When the Fury do return to action, the quality of play on display this weekend against older and more experienced players should serve the Fury well.
September 29, 2013, Sheffield United Invitational, Game 3 -- "The Easiest Victory Ever"
The Fury's opponenet for game 3 of the tournament was to be the 99 NEOFC (Blue). Unfotunately, the NEOFC squad took the easy way out and went home, choosing to forfeit rather than face the girls in green and white. With the forfeit, the Fury picked up 3 more points in the standings.
With no one to give the GOM to this time, I will give an honorary GOM to the Fury fans. Why? Because I know they would never allow our girls to walk away from a game in such a discourteous and unprofessional manner. And that is all I am going to say about that.
September 28, 2013, Sheffield United Invitational, Game 2 - "Fury Throttle United"
The rain finally ended, and the sun even made a brief appearance, smiling on the Fury as they put the finishing touches on a 4-0 dismantinling of the host 00 Sheffield Unnited (White) in game 2 of the tournament. The victory was a sweet finish to a long water-logged day.
The Fury rolled up 31 shots on the night, with Cassiy Potter getting things started with a long distance effort that tested the United keeper. Jenna Miller came even closer in the 6th minute, stinging the United goalie's gloves, who only barely managed to push the shot over the post.
Allison Austin kept the United at bay, posting a clean sheet, including gathering one of her 5 saves in the 8th minute to snuff out a United break-away. Keely Chapman won a corner kick a minute later, one of the Fury's 5 corners, with 3 booted by Jenna Miller.
The Fury broke down the United defense for the first time in the 16th minute. Juliette Davis applied pressure to the United keeper who was covering up a loose ball. The net-minder shifted to get away from Juliette and instead found Keely who flicked the ball away when it dislodged for just a moment. With the hard work done, Keely skipped towards goal and posted the first goal of her hat-trick night.
It is amazing that was the only goal of the first half, as the Fury peppered the goal with 20 shots to 3 by United. Megan Jones teed up Katie Fowler in the 25th mnute and her shot was fierce, but wide. Three minutes later Keely Chapman made a stunning pass that sprung Cara Compton, but once again the finish was just wide. In the final minute of the half, Keely and Katie executed a brilliant give and go that ended with a shot b Keely that was gathered at the post.
It was the second half in whcih the Fury pried the lid off the United goal. In just the first minute, co-Girl of the Match ("GOM") Megan Jones notched the first of her two assists, lofting a picture perfect cross to Keely who supplied the perfect finish to polish off her second goal.
In the 8th minute, the Fury defense decided to join the fun. Right back Maddy Childers blazed down the sideline and muscled her way into position to blast a cross into the United box. Keely gathered and fired, and it took a diving save to prevent another goal.
Megan and Keely teamed up again in the 15th minute. First, Megan made a slick tackle to win possession in the middle of the park. A few dribbles later and she found the perfect pass, practically hand-dellivering the ball to Keely who arched her shot over the goalie and into the net for a 3-0 lead.
Keely's hat-trick had the Fury girls in a goal-scoring frenzy. Ally Mayberry had the fourth goal on her mind. First, she took a pass from Maddy and popped a shot at goal that was parried. Ally bided her time while Juliette Davis set up Katie Fowler for a shot that pushed a foot wide. Then, in the 70th minute, Ally struck. Keely, now playing on the back line, played a ball to Elle Abbey. Elle, the co-GOM with Megan Jones, chalked up an assist on her team-record 21st connecting pass of the game, when her pass found Ally on the break. Ally struck a fierce ball that left the keeper flat-footed and defensless as the shot punctured the back of the net, putting an exclamation mark on the 4-0 thrashing.
Emma Base continued to look strong in her return with a 4 pack each of clearances, tackles and pases. Ashlee Cabbiness contributed a shot on goal along with three tackles. Eden Holetzky had double digits in the passing department with 10 passes to accompany a clearance and a tackle. Cassidy Potter was a stat-stuffer with 4 shots on goal, a clearance, 4 tackles and 14 passes. Kelsi Fitzgerald had a quiet night, as the central line was rarely threatened, but she still put up 4 tackles. Jenna Miller had game-high 9 shots on goal, and Cara Compton tallied three shots on goal of her own.
With the victory, the Fury ended day one of the tournament in a good spot. Not top of the table, but within strikign distance with two preliminary games on the schedule on Sunday.
September 28, 2013 -- Sheffield United Invitational, Game 1 -- "Blitz Find the Magic Hole, Nip Fury in Driving Rain"
On a day when the OU Sooners were busy dispatching the Fighting Irish in sunny South Bend, the Fury were in Bixby, Oklahoma...in a driiving rain storm. Two and a half inches of rain soaked the Keas Soccer Complex and delayed the Fury's first game of the Sheffield United Invitational by a few hours. Despite the later start, the rain never subsided, and Fury fans huddled under a tent to watch the game (and listen to the Sooners!).
Luckily, the Fury fans were treated to a strong performance by the girls, as they were only barely pipped 1-0 by the 01 Blitz Thunder-United, last year's State Cup runner-ups. The Fury never backed down from their Tulsa antagonists, and it took a bizarre sequence of events to deliver victory to the Blitz.
It only took two minutes for the Fury to send the message to the Blitz that they meant business. Girl of the Match ("GOM") Keely Chapman burst into the clear and took aim at goal. Much of the shot's steam was absorbed by a giant puddle of rain water in the goal's mouth. Just enough so that the shot was gathered by the Blitz keeper. Megan Jones pressed the Fury's advantage, zipping past Blitz defenders on the wing in the 7th minute and forcing a catch save from the Blitz net-minder on a shot from the right flank.
The Blitz flexed their muscles two minutes later, overloading the Fury box with marauding strikers and midfielders. It took a brilliant sliding kick save from Allison Austin to deny a goal-bound effort.
The Fury's next opportunity was created by right back Maddy Childers in the 16th minute. Maddy left her post on the back line long enough to make a run down the boundary. Maddy completed her run with a looping cross which careened into the Blitz box and picked out Cara Compton on the backside. Cara received the pass and nudged the ball towards goal, but the full strength of her effort could not be realized because the ball was snatched off her foot by the diving goalie.
Just a minute later the Fury came closest of all to breaking the seal. Left back Kelsi Fitzgerald got things started with a beautifully placed long bal that bounded into the path of lethal Keely Chapman. With a quick side-step, Keely cleared the last defender and slotted the ball home in the corner of the net. The cheers were short-lived, though, as the off-sides flag was fluttering in the rain-soaked wind. The dubious call erased the Fury goal, and nearly left this author with an full-blown aneurysm brought on by a full-throated critique of the decision.
In the 25th minute, Keely kept up her barrage on goal, forcing a spill from the keeper that a hustling Juliette Davis was nearly on hand for to knock home. Allison Austin closed out the fireworks in the first half, closing out a Blitz attack by gathering a dangerous ball in the corner of the 18 yard box. The shrill whistle of the referre pierced the pitter-patter of rain, and halftime commenced.
Only two minutes after the re-start, the ridiculous met the sublime and had a baby, and its name was Blitz goal. A Blitz attacker scorched a shot at goal that passed over an elevating Allison's hands, and appeared to be headed for the back of the net. To the crowd's surprise, though, the ball did not find a home in the goal's strings. Rather, it bounded out of the goal at a strange angle and rolled to a rest 25 yards away. After a few moments of reflection, and a cursory glance at the net, the referree ruled a goal kick was in order. It was not over yet, though.
The Blitz coach argued and apparently the referree listened. Because in a stunning reversal of fortune, the Blitz were awarded the goal. A post-game inspection found the "magic hole" in the net, so apparently a goal was actually scored. But, the conduct of the ref and his crew, particularly cowering in the face of managerial pressure was the definition of unimpressive.
The Fury were clearly rattled by the about face display. However, the defense did not crack. In the 45th minute Elle Abbey made a spectacular goal line clearance to keep the Blitz at bay. And, in the 52nd minute Allison used her steady paws to make a nice catch save on a free kick.
With 12 minutes left in the contest, Keely picked out Ashlee Cabbiness with a through ball. Ashlee streaked towards goal and picked a nimble path around the Blitz back. Ashlee had just the Blitz keeper in her path, but her angle was reduced by the advancing net-minder, and the shot and save were nearly simultaneous.
Things got chippy in the final moments. Megan Jones drew a foul after a vicious elbow left her on the muddy pitch. Maddy Childers likewise tasted mud after being laid out by a a collission of legs. Who could blame Katie Fowler then, who summed up the Fury's feelings by picking up a late yellow card for dissent after another hard foul by the Blitz went unpunished.
The game ended with the Fury down one "magic" goal. A great effort, but a win or even a draw was the Fury's objective in this critical opening game.
One of the reasons the Fury kept pace with the mighty Blitz was crisp passing. Maddy led the team with 18 completed passes, just ahead of Elle Abbey with 15 and Ally Mayberry with 14 precision passes. Katie Fowler was the rock on the back line, doling out 4 pancakes and clearing 7 balls from danger. That latter effort was only bested by Kelsi Fitzgerald who paired 11 clearances with 11 connecting passes.
Guest player Emma Base was a welcome sight to Fury fans and players alike. It was like she had never been gone as Emma used her long frame to sweep away five clearances and post two tackles. Eden Holetzky racked up 3 tackles, 2 clearances and a pancake. Jenna Miller had one of the Fury's 8 shots on goal and was second on the team with 5 tackles. Cassidy Potter overcame the soggy conditions to thunder a free kick at the Blitz goal that created a scoring opportunity for the Fury.
The Fury had just enough time to get back to the hotel, and throw their socks in the dryer. Game 2 beckoned on the same wet fields.
September 22, 2013 -- Cosmos Cup, Championship Game -- "Fury Battle to the End, but Come Up Short"
The shorthanded Fury came out swinging, but were not able to stop the Cosmos, falling 3-0 in the championship game of the U13 division. Without the services of Eden Holetzky, Juliette Davis and Rylee Langerman through a combination of injuries and other commitments, the Fury were down to a single substitute against a Cosmos team that manhandled them just 24 hours earlier. Fury fans could be nothing but proud of the girls' effort, though, as they looked like a different team than the night before, and for stretches of this game the Fury had the upper hand, if not the better of the scoreline.
It took only two minutes for the Fury to serve notice of their attacking intent. After only managing two shots on goal against the Cosmos Saturday night, the Fury quadrupled that number in the championship game. The first of those eight shots was taken by Keely Chapman. Keely latched onto a long ball pass from Katie Fowler and beat her defender to the edge. From there Keely uncorked a shot that stung the Cosmos keeper's hands, and it took a full stretch dive to keep Keely's shot from finding its way to the back of the net.
A minute later Megan Jones secured a corner kick for the Fury, winning a 50/50 ball. It was the first of 3 corners for the Fury after having none the night before. But, it was in the 5th minute when the Fury came closest to a goal.
Cassidy Potter received a pass approximately 35 yards from goal. With no ball pressure applied by the Cosmos, Cassidy had a moment to wind up her mighty leg. She lashed a shot at the Cosmos goal that burned white-hot on its path to the goal's mouth, where it took a vicious skip just before the goal line. The Cosmos keeper made the save of the day using a combination of her diving body and her gloved hands to push the shot away at the final moment. Fury fans gasped as they realized just how close Cassidy's audacious shot had come to glory.
The sting of that near miss became even more acute in the 8th minute when Cosmos mounted their first serious challenge, and came away with the opening goal after a Cosmos attacker lofted a shot over keeper Allison Austin's head. Unlike the day before, the Fury did not let this opening goal dampen their spirits. In the 11th minute, feisty defender Maddy Childers, a co-recipient of the Girl of the Match ("GOM") with Katie Fowler, made a deep penetrating run into Cosmos land, and sparked a Fury offensive run at goal.
The next team to strike was the Cosmos, although this was one was a bit of a fluke. After hand ball was called on a Fury player on the left flank, former Fury girl Turner Mattingly-Harnden lined up for a free kick. Turner's kcik looked tame, but it bounced in the Fury box and Allison Austin was caught in between hops. The ball took one giant bounce and scraped its way over Allison's fingertips for what can only be described as a bit of luck, combined with skill.
Again, the Fury's resolve was tested, but the girls did not waiver. In the 22nd minute Maddy made a goal-line clearance, chesting a shot away from danger. A minute later Cara Compton had a shot on goal after a well designed pass from Jenna Miller. A minute after that the Fury kept up the offensive, with Megan Jones using a perfectly placed headed pass to spring Keely for a pass that was pushed wide. In the final minute of the first half Keely was Johnny on the Spot, clearing a Cosmos corner kick before a shot could be taken. The whistle sounded shortly thereafter, and the Fury gathered under the tent with Coach Abel to discuss strategy.
Unfortunately, any thoughts of a comeback were diminished when the Cosmos scored their third and final goal in the 3rd minute of the second stanza. Allison was unsighted by the sun and players in her path, and as a conseuqnce, a benign shot nestled in the corner of the net. Again, Lady Luck was not shining on the Fury, but appeared to be in full radiance for the Cosmos.
The Fury never stopped pushing for a goal. In the 9th minute Jenna Miller's corner kick was scuffed, but the ball still managed to trickle across goal and several Fury players came close to knocking it home. On another set piece in the 17th minute, Jenna's corner kick was met by Maddy with a header which had plenty of force, but was left of the goal.
The Cosmos managed to go the entire weekend without surrending a goal. But, the Fury certainly came close in the 20th minute when Elle Abbey made a perfec through ball pass to Keely Chapman. Keely was one one one with the Cosmos keeper, and she attempted to dribble around her. The keeper managed to push the ball back out of the box, but Jenna Miller was on hand and she let fly with a shot that was just high and wide of the mark.
The final Fury foray on goal was courtesy of Elle and Cara. Elle sent in a great cross and Cara had sight of goal when she was bunlded over by a Cosmos defender. A penalty pick would have been a just reward, but the man in yellow swallowed his whistle.
Allison made an excellent save on a short distance blast in the 29th minute to preserve the three goal defecit. After that, there was nothing left but to listen to the final whistle and head over to the tournament headquarters to receive the runner-up medals. Not the ending the Fury craved, but a nice result after a strong weekend of soccer.
The co-GOM's, Maddy and Katie, were passing fanatics from the back line. Both players posted 16 connecting passes. Katie had an amazing 15 defensive clearances, and Maddy led the team with 7 tackles, many of which came at great sacrifice to her small but sturdy frame.
Ally Mayberry strung together 10 passes and collected 4 tackles of her own. Ashlee Cabbiness had 2 tackles, and on two different occassions she stretched the Cosmos defense with long dribbling runs down the sideline. Kelsi Fitzgerald was second on the team with 8 defensive clearances, and Megan Jones led the team in headers (3) and was second in passing with 12.
There is no rest for the weary. The Fury return to action next weekend in Bixby, Oklahoma at the Sheffield United Invitational. The Fury will look to build on the positives from their second place finish at the Cosmos Cup.
September 22, 2013 -- Cosmos Cup, Game 3-- "Fury Run Rampant, Secure Berth in Championship Game"
The 01 Fury (Abel) exorcised some demons Sunday morning, blitzkrieging the 01 Stillwater Apex by a score of 7-0. The Fury rolled up 40 shots on goal (23 in the first half) and did not give up even one shot on their own goal. If it wasn't for Keely Chapman playing the ball back to Allison Austin a couple of times late in the match, Allison might have laid down and taken a nap during her second clean sheet of the tournament.
The fun got started in the very first minute, when Keely intercepted a goal kick and struck the crossbar with a shot. Just a minute later Keely found pay dirt after Elle Abbey supplied the assist and Keely weaved through traffic and completed a clinical finish.
In the 3rd and 4th minute of the first half Elle and Ally Maygerry continued the assault. First, Elle came close with a headed shot on goal. Then a sliding Ally came close on her shot on goal, only narrowly being denied by the Apex keeper.
In the 5th minute Elle Abbey broke free and sailed a shot just over the crossbar. Megan Jones got in the action in the 11th minute with a lively bouncing shot that was gathered by the oveworked Apex goalie.
Finally, in the 12th minute, the Fury made a breakthrough. It began with a free kick by Rylee Langerman that picked out Keely Chapman, whose shot was blocked by an Apex defender, winning the Fury a corner kick. Jenna Miller took the first of the Fury's 11 corner kicks on the day and her lofted ball created a scrum in front of goal. With a gentle toe poke, defender Maddy Childers got the assist to Elle Abbey who thundered home the shot for her first goal on the season. It was no less than Elle deserved in this her first Girl of the Match ("GOM") performance of the year.
A minute later, a super-confident Elle Abbey clanged the crossbar with a powerful strike. Elle played a role in the next goal, drawing a penalty at the edge of the Apex box. Elle took the free kick and Ally Mayberry was perfectly placed to shoulder in Elle's assist and t(Ally) (get it?!) her first goal of the year. It was a tremendous effort by both Elle and goal-scorer Ally, and it made the score 3-0.
At the 24 minute mark, Juliette Davis came close, ripping a shot into the side-netting. Juliette was tough all afternoon, even after suffering a severely sprained wrrist, which was confirmed after the game and will keep her out of the championship tilt.
In the 28th minute speedy winger Cara Compton intercepted an Apex goal kick and her cross found Ashlee Cabbiness. Ashlee came agonizingly close to scoring, but was stonewalled by the keeper at the last moment. The Fury closed out their first hald scoring in the final minute when Rylee Langerman whizzed one of her trademark bullet throw-ins to Keely Chapman who took the assist, dancing her way through the Apex defense and sending a laser into the goal for a 4-0 halftime advantage.
In the second half the Fury tinkered with the lineup, but the domination remained the same. Jenna Miller sent a bending shot at goal in the 2nd minute that only narrowly missed the mark. In the 7th minute right back Maddy Childers made a run deep into Apex territory, and forced a diving save out of the Apex keeper with a fizzing strike from outside the box.
It was Ashlee Cabbiness who broke the seal on the Fury's second-half scoring. Ashlee slid in front and stole a goal kick in the 11th minute and sprinted towards goal. The Apex net-minder advanced on Ashlee, but Ashlee cooly dispatched her shot into an open area and netted her first goal of the season. The goal was well deserved for a player whose work rate was exceptional all morning long.
Keely must have liked the look of Ashlee's shot, because she replicated the feat in the 16th minute. Keely completed her hat trick, and tallied her 5th goal of the tourney, when she anticipated the trajectory of the opposing goal kick, grabbed the intterception like an OU cornerback on a Saturday, and snaked her way through traffic until the goal was at her mercy and the score was 6-0.
Defender Kelsi Fitzgerald got to help lead the line, and in the 26th minute she took her first shot on goal. Cassidy Potter took a try at the flagstick, firing in a corner that nearly set up another Fury goal. The scoring came to a close in the 28th minute when Kelsi picked up an assist with a nifty lay-off pass to Katie Fowler who let fly with a thunderbolt with velocity which threatened to puncture the roof of the net. The rout was complete at 7 to nil.
Statistics of note in the game include: Keely leading the team in goals (3), shots on goal (8) and tackles (5); Elle Abbey leading the team with two assists to accompany her early goal; Maddy Childers leading all players with 19 completed passes and tying with Cara Compton for team lead with 2 pancakes; Megan Jones leading the team in headers (3) and defensive clearances (3); and Cassidy Potter leading the team with penalties drawn against the opposition.
The best news of the day is that the victory vaulted the Fury into the championship game in a rematch with the 01 Cosmos (Blue). The game kicks off at 3:40 in the afternoon in the closing hour of the Cosmos Cup weekend.
September 21, 2013 -- Cosmos Cup, Game 2 -- "Fury Lay an Egg, Get Rolled by Cosmos"
The 01 Fury (Abel) were thoroughly outplayed by the 01 Cosmos (Blue) in the second preliminary game of the Cosmos Cup, losing to the Cosmos on their homefield by a score of 5-0. The only thing more stunning than the final score was the disparity in shots on goal, with the Cosmos taking aim at the Fury goal 21 times, to only 2 shots on goal by the punchless Fury. It was a rough game to watch for Fury fans, who have never watched their girls lose to the Cosmos like this.
The first half was the most competitive portion of the game. In the 3rd minute, midfielder Keely Chapman dribbled free into space and came close to feeding winger Elle Abbey with a pass deep in Cosmos territory. But, the trouble began in in the 6th minute when the Fury defense failed to clear a simple ball, and a well placed Cosmos attacker was on hand to slot the ball home for a Cosmos lead.
The pressure continued in the 8th minute, but a busy Allison Austin made a very nice leaping save, part of her 12 save evening. Allison got some help in the 12th minute from Girl of the Match ("GOM") Rylee Langerman who cleared off the line to keep the score 1-0. If that wasn't enough Rylee made two more goal line clearances, back to back, in the 20th minute, almost single-handedly keeping the Fury in the contest. Right back Maddy Childers pitched in a couple minutes later with a headed clearance to keep the Cosmos at bay. It was these kinds of defensive efforts that kept the score 1-0 at halftime.
The second half was a disaster. The Fury started brightly enough, with Elle Abbey, Keely Chapman and Jenna Miller combining for a dangerous run that pressed the Cosmos defense. But, the Cosmos stepped on the gas. In the 2nd minute Allison was forced into a smart save off a long Cosmos free kick. In the 6th minute center back Katie Fowler made a fantastic clearance to ward off a one-on-one in front of Allison's goal.
The Cosmos made their breakthrough with a familiar face, former Fury midfielder Turner Mattingly-Harnden. In the 8th minute Turner used her strong leg to boom a long downfield pass that took a bounce over the Fury back line and was pounced on by a Cosmos forward. The Cosmos forward darted towards goal and just slipped in a shot, clipping Allison's leg with the shot, but using enough force that the ball still trickled into goal.
Turner was the provider again when the Cosmos scored a third goal in the 11th minute. The rout was now on. Just a minute later the Cosmos posted a 4th goal off a rebounded shot that was initialy saved. It was not until the 13th minute of the second half, the 43rd minute of the game, that the Fury got their first shot on goal when Elle's cross set up Keely for a shot that went wide. Winger Juliette Davis came close to setting up a scoring opportunity in the 22nd minute when her crossing pass to Ashlee Cabbiness was nipped away by a Cosmos defender at the final moment. In the final minute of the game, former Fury player Jacie Thomas put the finishing touch on the Cosmos victory, nailing a long free kick to close the books on a 5-0 thrashing of the Fury.
As one might imagine, there is not much to brag about in a 5-0 loss. However, special mention should be made about the play of GOM Rylee Langerman. Rylee exhibited a fire and determination that was sorely missing from much of the team this night. Rylee led the team in defensive clearances with 13, in tackles with 10 and in passing with 12. Behind the stats, though, was the unmistakable feeling that Rylee would not let any Cosmos player get past her. Her play was inspiring, and her GOM is much deserved.
Maddy Childers let our her frustration on the Cosmos with a career high 7 pancakes. Elle Abbey and Keely Chapman were jointly second on the team with 4 tackles a piece. Ally Mayberry and Jenna Miller were at the top of the class with 3 headers per player. Kelsi Fitzgerald was second only to Rylee with 9 clearances, followed closely by Katie Fowler with 7. Megan Jones was second to Rylee with 10 connecting passes. Cassidy Potter contributed with a tackle, 2 passes and several strong free kicks.
The loss leaves the Fury in a must-win situation Sunday morning. A win over the 01 Stillwater Apex will put the Fury in the Cosmos Cup U13 champsionship game. Most likely that means a rematch with the Cosmos.
September 21, 2013 -- Cosmos Cup, Game 1 -- "Fury Open the Cosmos Cup in Style, Extinguish the Fusion"
On a picture perfect day for soccer, the 01 Fury (Abel) took the field at the South Lakes Soccer Complex and took care of business, blanking the Clinton Fusion by a score of 2-0. Girl of the Match ("GOM") Keely Chapman was the catalyst, posting a brace of goals to support a fine all-around team effort by the Fury.
In the first half, the Fusion's defensive set-up stymied the Fury. Playing an extremely high line designed as an offsides trap, the Fusion were bottling the Fury up in the middle of the park. It was not until the second half that the Fury made the proper adjustments and used through-ball passing and strong play on the wings to unlock the goals they were seeking.
It was the Fusion who tested goal first. In just the first minute Fury net-minder Allison Austin was forced into a strong catch save on a long distance effort that was goalward bound. GOM Keely answered back, winning a corner kick in the 3rd minute after a nice tackle deep in Fusion territory.
In the 13th minute it was winger Elle Abbey who swung in a strong cross that Keely nearly re-directed into goal. The Fusion returned the pressure in the 22nd minute. It took the combined efforts of right back Maddy Childers and center back Katie Fowler to make a vital clearance after a dangerous ball was sent into the six yard box on a Fusion free kick.
The closest that either team came to breaking the tie in the first half was in the 29th minute. Birthday girl Cara Compton celebrated her 13th year by using her speed to burst into the open on the left flank and pop a cross into the path of Ashlee Cabbiness. Ashlee met the pass just feet from goal, and when she chested the ball down it took a reaction save from the Fusion keeper to first stop the shot, and then to give her the half second she needed to grab the errant ball before it trickled over the goal line. A minute later the half ended and the teams huddled up with their coaches for instructions.
The halftime strategy mapped out by Coach Katie Abel must have been heard and received by her Fury crew. Although Allison Austin was forced into a fine leaping save in the 5th minute, after that, it was all Fury, all the time. It started in the 8th minute. Cara Compton switched the field with a smart pass that picked out forward Jenna Miller. In turn, Jenna used a through ball to unlock the high defensive line of the Fusion, springing Keely Chapman free in space. A shark knows what to do when it sees defenseless prey, so it was no surprise that Keely looked like a Great White closing in on a tasty seal as she broke into the open with only the keeper to beat. Keely mercilessly deposited a shot into the right hand corner, and the deadlock was broken as the Fury took a 1-0 advantage.
The Fury wasted no time before doing it all over again. The Fusion lined up for a goal kick, and waiting for its arrival was Elle Abbey. Elle stepped into the breach and knocked down the kick. Quickly settling the ball, Elle used another speedy through ball into space to unleash Keely. Once again, Keely was up to the challenge of winning a one on one with the Fusion keeper, and as her shot nestled in the back of net, the Fury players and fans erupted with cheers.
In the 10th minute, Jenna Miller came close to making it 3 goals in 3 minutes. Jenna intercepted a pass and charged towards the Fusion goal. Jenna had a shot from a tight angle, and she used her strong leg to fire away. The shot blazed over goal, but served notice that the Fury's domination was not ending any time soon.
In the 14th minute midfielder Ally Mayberry made a crunching tackle, winning posession of the ball before threading a perfect pass to Keely who took aim at goal. The shot was saved, but it accounted for one of Keely's team-high 8 shots on goal. Defender Maddy Childers was the next to tee up Keely. Maddy polished off a long and mazy run down the sideline with a seeing-eye header that picked out Keely in space. Keely was once again all alone with the keeper, but this time the keeper managed to palm away Keely's shot.
The Keely show continued in the 19th minute when Keely created her own space with some fancy foot-work, settling a corner kick from Jenna Miller and zipping another shot on goal. In a rare moment of danger for the Fury defense in the second half, Rylee Langerman made a wonderful defrensive clearance in a one on one setting to thwart the Fusion. Not to be outdone, winger Elle Abbey used her noggin to clear a corner kick in the 23rd minute.
The late flurry of action by the Fusion culminated in Allison Austin making a fantastic sliding save in the 26th minute, breaking up possession on an advancing Fusion attacker. The danger was not over, though, until Megan Jones, who had tracked back from her midfield position, swept the ball out of the six yard box.
The last bit of action took place in the 27th minute when Keely Chapman sent a looping cross into the Fusion box, and a hustling Juliette Davis was almost there in time to tuck it away. No problem, though, because 3 minutes later the whistle sounded and the victory was in the books.
Allison Austin posted a clean sheet and tallied 8 saves. Katie Fowler was a menace on the back line, posting a team-high 12 defensive clearances, and putting a stop to almost every Fusion scoring opportunity. Her central defender partner, Kelsi Fitzgerald, was also up to the task, with 6 clearnces on her personal ledger and 2 pancakes to her name. Maddy Childers led the team in passing with 13 connections, and Rylee Langerman was tops with 3 headers and she had 6 clearances and 2 tackles.
Birthday girl Cara Compton celebrated with a team-high 3 pancakes. Ally Mayberry continued her strong commitment to the passing game, finishing second only to Maddy in connecting passes. Juliette Davis had 3 tackles and drew a penalty on a Fusion player. Ashlee Cabbiness added 2 tackles to her near-miss shot on goal at the close of the first half. Cassidy Potter was part of the glue in the Fury midfield, contributing tackles and passes in equal measure.
The Fury's victory was crucial, as a tough test awaits in the second preliminary game. The 01 Cosmos (Blue) are the next opponent with familiar faces like former Fury player Jacie Thomas and guest player Turner Mattingly-Harnden.
September 15, 2013 -- Fall OPL, Game 2 -- "Fury Wilt in the Heat and Fall to TSC"
The 01 Fury (Abel) was looking to get back on the winning track against a team that it beat in dramatic fashion last season. However, there would not be much drama today, as the 02 TSC (Parker) dispatched the Fury by the score of 3-1, leaving the Fury without a win early in the OPL Fall campaign.
The temperature soared to 98 degrees at the 5:00 kickoff at the NYSA Gillis-Rother soccer complex. The temperature didn't seem to bother the TSC squad much, as they came out on fire. In the 5th minute, a TSC forward's shot was just wide of goal, the ball twising itself in the side netting as a reminder of how close the effort had been.
A minute later TSC came even closer to pay dirt. A poor effort at clearance was directed to the middle of the Fury box. The result was not one, but two separate TSC shots striking the crossbar, clanging back onto the field, with the reverberations of the metallic casing of the goal serving as a stark reminder of TSC's fervent desire to open their scoring account.
In the 8th minute, the close calls for TSC came to an end and they found the goal that thus far had eluded them. A free kick was awarded to TSC just inside the mid-field stripe. A TSC player unleashed a cannon ball that skidded into the Fury box and on its second bounce made contact with a TSC forward's shin, redirecting the trajectory just enough to wrong-foot keeper Allison Austin. A lucky break for TSC perhaps, but nonthing less than they deserved after a bright start to the match.
In the 19th minute the Fury nearly found an answer. Keely Chapman made a strong run through the teeth of the TSC defense. Keely laid off a perfect pass to winger Elle Abbey who took the pass in stride and took aim at goal. Elle calculated the shot to go high in order to take advantage of an undersized TSC keeper. Unfortunately, the shot was just a tad bit too high, and it rattled the crossbar and TSC nerves, but did not result in a goal.
If that shot had been an equalizer, the game may have unfolded very differently. Instead, in the 29th minute TSC doubled the advantage. TSC drug a pass across the mouth of the Fury defense. The pass was latched onto by a TSC attacker who made a nifty move around a Fury defender and directed her shot into the corner of the net.
In the balance of the half, Allison Austin made an excellent aerial save in the 32nd minute. And, in the 36th minute, forward Jenna Miller let fly from long distance, testing the TSC netminder, who bobbled the save, nearly leading to a Fury goal in the scrum. It was not to be, though, and halftime found the Fury on the wrong end of a 2-0 tally.
The Fury showed more spunk in the second half. Cara Compton provided a spark in the very first minute of the half, intercepting a TSC pass and then galloping down the right sideline and past a TSC defender. Cara advanced all the way to the corner flag and then sent a looping cross that dropped just behind the TSC goal. Notice had been served that the Fury would not be giving up without a fight.
In the 12th minute, right back Maddy Childers pushed far upfield and launched a cross into the box. The pass was only barely gobbled up by the TSC goalie before it could be slotted home by a sliding Cara Compton.
The Fury's momentum was on full display. But, that did not stop the TSC from a chip shot by a TSC forward, who used a little elevation to beat an advancing Allison Austin.
The score was now 3-0, but the Fury did not quit. In the 17th minute Cara Compton again attacked from the wing. Cara struck a wicked ball that swerved through the air and struck the TSC keeper's gloved hands with such force that the keeper could only parry the ball back into play. The ball fell straight to Keely Chapman who stuck out one leg and managed to put just enough cleat on the ball to send a moon shot over the keeper and just past a TSC defender desperately trying to clear the shot. The ball trickled into the goal and the Fury were on the board with a goal by Keely and an assist from Cara.
Not long after, defender Rylee Langerman showed off one of her specialties, a goal-line clearance, that preserved the 2 goal defecit. Then in the final minute of the game, Keely came shisper close to making the game even closer. Keely dribbled through traffic, juking and jiving her way past two defenders, and clearing enough space to take a shot that beat the TSC keeper. Unfortunately, a TSC defender was on hand for a vital clearance that denied the Fury a second goal. Which is why when the final whistle blew, the score remained 3-1 in favor of TSC.
Girl of the Match ("GOM") honors go to Katie Fowler. Katie earned the GOM for showcasing her trademark hustle and determination on a day when the sweltering conditions and lopsided scoreline made it easier to slack off. That will never be Katie's mind-set, though, and she posted a shot on goal, a pancake, a header, 10 defensive clearances, 7 tackles, 10 completed passes and she drew two penalties on TSC players.
Allison Austin was tough on a day when she was peppered with shots, making 9 saves. Rylee Langerman was productive in her defender's role, with 5 clearances, 6 tackles and 10 completed passes. Rylee's partner on the right side of the pitch, Maddy Childers, led the team with 8 tackles, and continued her excellent work in the air, adding two more headers to her personal stat sheet, which was only bested by Jenna Miller who won 3 battles for the ball using her melon.
Elle Abbey continues to settle into her new role as a winger. Elle strung together 13 passes, and added 5 tackles and led all players with 3 penalties drawn on the opposition. Ally Mayberry was one better than Elle, leading the team in passing for the second straight game, connecting on 14 pinpoint passes. Ally was also the Fury enforcer for the evening, dishing out 3 pancakes of unsupecting TSC foes.
Juliette Davis and Ashlee Cabbiness gave the Fury a spark off the bench, with Ashlee winning a 50/50 ball with a well-placed header, and Juliette winning several balls on defensive tackles. Eden Holetzky contributed a strong clearance in the final minutes, and was amongst the leaders on defense in connecting passes.
Jenna Miller tied with Keely Chapman for the team lead with 2 shots on goal, and she piled up 12 connecting passes. Keely added 2 tackles, a clearance and 7 passes to the Fury's only goal, which she netted. Cassidy Potter had her own personal high of 9 completed passes and also pitched in with 4 clearances from her holding midfielder position. Megan Jones put in her usual hard work, with 5 tackles, 4 clearances and 8 passes. Finally, Kelsi Fitzgerald anchored the back line, playing every minute and clearing 6 balls from danger and winning possession on 4 tackles.
There is no sugar-coating where things now stand for the Fury. They need to start winning, and soon. The Cosmos Cup next weekend at South Lakes is as good of a place as any to start.
September 14, 2013 -- Fall OPL, Game 1 -- "Fury Relinquish Early Lead, Drop Fall OPL Debut"
In what has become an alarming early season trend, the 01 Fury (Abel) once again surrendered an early lead and gave up a goal in the waning moments of a half, on the way to a 2-1 defeat to the 02 OFC in the opening tilt of the Fall 2013 OPL season. The two teams were well matched, with OFC only managing one more shot on goal than the Fury, But, it was a second half strike by OFC that wrapped up the victory.
Early in the match it was the Fury who were pressing the advantage. In the 4th minute, winger Elle Abbey picked out Cara Compton with a wonderful cross. Cara settled the soft pass and took a swing at goal. Cara's shot took flight and clanged off the top of the crossbar, just a foot from opening the Fury's account.
In the 7th minute it was attacking midfielder Keely Chapman who used a deft through ball to spring Elle into space. Elle received the pass and blazed a shot at goal that screwed wide of the mark.
In the 9th minute the Fury made the breakthrough they were seeking. Forward Jenna Miller helped keep the flow of play alive with a timely tackle and pass. But, it was Cara Compton who sealed the deal, drawing a penalty in the box after being crushed by an OFC defender. Keely Chapman stepped up to the spot to take the resulting pentalty kick, and converted Cara's crash into an assist by slamming her penalty kick straight down the middle and off of the OFC netminder's mitts and into the back of the net.
With a one goal lead under their belts, the Fury seemed motivated to find a second. Right back Rylee Langerman rampaged into enemy territory and made a slick tackle to dispossess an opponent of the ball before sending a shot on goal that was gathered by the OFC keeper.
Around the midpoint of the first half, OFC began to find their way. In the 16th minute an OFC attacker broke free on the right flank and sprinted twoards goal. Defender Maddy Childers would have none of it. Maddy charged alongside the OFC winger and went shoulder to shoulder, managing to rub off the OFC player and leave her in a heap before clearing the ball from danger.
The Fury pushed back in the 19th minute when Keely Chapman sent a pass out wide to winger Ashlee Cabbiness. Ashlee zipped a low shot at goal that forced a diving safe that was bobbled and almost led to a rebound goal by waiting Fury attackers.
In the 20th minute, Fury keeper Allison Austin made a brave sliding tackle to break up a scoring opportunity that was voided anyway when the offside flag was raised. Five minutes later Juliette Davis won a 50/50 ball with a crunching header that initated another Fury run at goal.
OFC really turned up the heat in the final five minutes of the first half. In the 32nd minute Allison was forced to make a strong catch save on a long distance shot. A minute later midfielder Megan Jones tracked back and made a bone-jarring tackle in a one on one situation that allowed the Fury to sweep away a dangerous ball. Jenna Miller similarly made a crucial clearance off of an OFC corner in the 34th minute.
Unfortunately, the Fury's luck unraveled with only 13 seconds left in the half. After a penalty was whistled on the Fury about 30 yards from goal, OFC lined up for a free kick. Just like in game 3 of the Plano tournament, the Fury gave up a last second first half goal when the free kick was crushed into the upper right hand corner of the goal, leaving Allison no chance at a save. Halftime ensued with the game knotted at one goal per team.
OFC looked to be the livlier side in the second stanza. However, in the 2nd minute, it was the Fury who threatened first. Elle Abbey struck a fine free kick that bounded into the box and nearly fell at the feet of an advancing Cara Compton before being tucked away by the OFC keeper.
In the 10th minute, free kick specialist Jenna Miller launched a pile-driver from the right wing but it was high of the mark. In the 17th minute center back Kelsi Fitzgerald did well to clear a ball that had ricocheted into the Fury's 6 yard box. It was one of Kelsi's astonishing 14 clearances on the afternoon, earning her the Girl of the Match ("GOM") designation.
Even the Fury's stout back-line could not stop what transpired in the 23rd minute. OFC launched a long ball into the Fury box that took two big bounces. Allison Austin did her best to get to the ball, but she was shielded by an OFC player who took advantage of the situation to wrap her leg around a Fury defender and snake the ball into the net for the decisive goal.
The Fury looked deflated. With 12 minutes to go, the girls only mounted one more challenge on goal. Cassidy Potter rifled a free kick in the 26th minute that was just high and right of goal. It took a fine diving save from Allison in the 33rd minute to keep OFC from adding to their lead. The final whistle ended with OFC on top 2-1.
Ally Mayberry led all Fury players with 11 passes and she was second to Maddy (5) in headers with 4 uses of her noggin. Katie Fowler was a stat-monger, giving Kelsi a run for her money for GOM, piling up 9 defensive clearances and a team-high 11 tackles. Eden Holetzky had a fine game, using her non-stop hustle to rack up 3 clearances, 2 tackles, 3 passes and a pancake. Megan Jones was another on the short list for the GOM, with a fine all-around game including a penalty drawn, 10 passes completed, 7 tackles, 3 clearances, 3 headers and 3 pancakes, trailing only Maddy in the final category.
The Fury don't have to wait long to try and turn things around. They play the 02 TSC (Parker) tomorrow at the NYSA fields. They will look to reverse the recent trend of giving up untmely goals and get their OPL season back on track.
September 1, 2013, Plano Labor Day Invitational, Game 3 - "Fury Draw Not Enough to Advance"
Soccer can be cruel. That maxim was on clear display Sunday morning, as the 01 Fury twice surrendered the lead to the 01 East Texas United, the final time with only 5 minutes left on the clock, resulting in a 2-2 draw that left the Fury just out of the quarterfinals and ending their trip to Plano.
Coach Abel got the girls to reverse the trend of the day before, and get off to a great start. In just the 7th minute, the Fury opened their scoring account. Cara Compton charged in from her winger position and let fire with a missle of a shot. It was too hot for the United keeper to control. The bobble fell to the feet of Keely Chapman, who cooly dispatched the ball to the back of the net.
In the 20th minute, a similar scenario almost played out. Cassidy Potter unleashed a free kick with her strong leg and it was bobbled by the net-minder. Keely was on hand to gather the spill, but her shot was denied. In the 23rd minute, Eas Texas threatened, with a midfielder sending a long pass into the Fury box. Maddy Childers was on hand and she used her blonde noggin to send a header all the way back to the mid-line, clearing the ball from danger and triggering a counter-attack when the clearance fell to a waiting Ally Mayberry.
With just a minute left on the clock before halftime, the game took a turn. A Fury defender was whistled for hand=ball in the box. The resulting pentalty kick left Allison Austin with no chance, as it was fired low and into the corner. The penalty left the teams tied at 1 at halftime.
The see-saw affair continued in the second half. In just the 3rd minute, Jenna Miller was called upon to take a corner kick. Her in-swinger was perfect, and Girl of the Match Cara Compton booted the ball into the net. Fury fans erupted in cheers with the realization that if the Fury could maintain this lead, the quarterfinals beckoned.
The Fury came agonizingly close to adding another goal in the 5th minute. Kelsi Fitzgerald sent a long pass from the back line and Keely Chapman managed a wonderful chip shot that got over the advancing keeper, but trickled wide. In the 12th minute, Cara Compton cast a sheepish look at the crowd after clearing a corner kick just over the Fury goal.
From that point forward, the action was intense. The head referee would brook no challenge to his authority, issuing warnings to Coach Abel and the Fury fans for the latter's vociferous laments about the poor officiating. It was only in the 23rd minute when Juliette Davis drew a hard foul on the far sideline that a mock cheer went up for the officiating crew, which had finally found in favor of the Fury on something.
Disaster struck in the 25th minute. An East Texas United player settled a pass that jumped up and struck her hand. Unbelievably, no penalty was called. Instead, the United winger swung a pass across the mouth of the Fury defense. The pass was received by a United striker, who sent a one-timer past a sprawling Allison Austin. The combeback was complete, and the score was evened at 2.
The Fury scrambled for the final five minutes, trying to find one last goal. It was not to be. Anger at the situation boiled over, and Jenna Miller received a yellow card for dissent with a minute left on the clock. The draw sent the United on to the quarterfinals, and left the Fury in third place in their bracket, just 2 measly points from advancing to the knock-out rounds.
Despite a draw that felt more like a loss, the Fury put in a great morning of work. Allison Austin turned away 11 shots. Maddy Childers had a team high 9 clearances, followed closely by Kelsi with 8. Megan Jones was a dynamo, leading the team in passes (13), tackles (8) and headers (3), the latter of which she shared with Maddy and Elle Abbey who had 3 headers per player as well. Rylee Langerman put a United player on her duff to earn a pancake, and also piled up 3 clearances, 4 tackles and 4 passes.
Katie Fowler was excellent rotating between central back and winger, pushing her recently healed broken leg to the limit while dishing out a team-high 3 pancakes, and posting 6 clearances, a tackle and 7 passes. Eden Holetzky paired well with Katie in the back line, amassing 4 clearances and 2 defensive tackles. Ally Mayberry was very active in the middle of the pitch, drawing a penalty, connecting 5 passes, and collecting a tackle and a clearance.
Juliette Davis had her best game of the tournament, chalking up two defensive tackles, drawing a penalty and making strong runs on the wing. Ashlee Cabbiness contributed a clearing header and a defensive tackle. GOM Cara Compton and Keely Chapman led all Fury players with 3 shotsw on goal, followed by Jenna Miller with 2 and Cassidy Potter one.
In the final analysis, the weekend was full of highs and lows. The new look Fury have demonstrated a capacity for scoring, and a grit and determination that was lacking at the end of last season. Good things appear to be on the horizon for this collection of good kids. The OPL season kicks off next Sunday, so stay tuned for the continuing evolution of the 01 Fury (Abel).
August 31, 2013, Plano Labor Day Invitational, Game 2 - "Fury Falter in Extreme Heat"
107 degrees. That is not a misprint. Rather, it was the blistering temperature during the 01 Fury's 3:30 afternoon tilt with the 02 Lonestar (Red) in Game 2 of the tourney. The Fury put on a spirited display, but fell 2-1 to the Lonestar team from Boerne, Texas.
The first seven minutes of the game were disastrous for the Fury. In just the second minute, the Lonestar girls used a pinpoint cross for a one goal lead. The Fury came close to answering in the 3rd minute when Cara Compton drew a foul on the edge of the 18 yard box and Girl of the Match Jenna Miller blazed a free kick just over the crossbar.
Things got worse in the 7th minute. A series of poor clearances led to one opening that the Lonestar FC seized upon, whipping a shot past Allison Austin to double the advantage.
The Fury could have simply wilted at this point, succumbing to the heat and the situation. They did not. In the 12th minute, Jenna Miller drove a corner kick into the arms of the Lonestar net-minder who bobbled and her spill nearly led to a goal. In the 19th minute, the Fury made a breakthrough. Rylee Langerman and Jenna Miller played a neat game of give and take, passing the ball between each other 4 different times on the right flank until Jenna was positioned to send a floating strike over the keeper's head to split the advantage to 2-1. It was Jenna's second goal of the tournament, and Rylee's second assist.
After halftime, the Fury kept up the fight. Cassidy Potter fired a bouncing free kick into the Lonestar box that was spilled, and the Fury were unlucky not to capitalize on the bobble. A minute later Allison Austin made a strong save, turning a shot around the post. In the 15th minute, Elle Abbey and Katie Fowler executed a nifty give and go, and the flowing play resulted in a shot on goal by Katie.
In the 23rd minute, Elle Abbey made a wonderful goal line clearance to keep the Fury's hopes alive. In the 27th minute, Jenna Miller's long free kick sprung Keely Chapman open. Keely galloped into the Lonestar box and unleashed a shot that seemed destined to tie things up. With just a touch of the fingertip, the Lonestar keeper pushed the shot off the crossbar, dashing the Fury hopes. With 30 ticks left on the clock, Cara Compton took the final Fury shot, sending it wide.
Despite the loss, and putting aside the first 7 minutes, the Fury had a very nice all-around game. Allison Austin collected 5 saves. Katie Fowler led the team with 6 defensive clearances. Maddy Childers led the team with 5 tackles. Ally Mayberry, Jenna Miller and Maddy tied for top honors with 8 connecting passes.
Elle Abbey has 2 pancakes, 4 clearances, 4 tackles and 3 passes. Katie Fowler was a stat-stuffer with a team-high 4 pancakes, 6 clearances, 2 tackles and 5 connecting passes. Jenna Miller led all players with 3 shots on goal, with Cara and Keely contributing 2 shots a piece, and Katie, Juliette and Cassidy pitching in with a shot a piece (the latter two posting their first shots on goal as new members of the Fury).
Rylee Langerman was second in clearances with 5 to go with her assist on the Fury's goal. Eden Holetzky piled up 2 tackles, 2 passes and a defensive clearance. Megan Jones had 4 passes, 2 tackles and a header. Kelsi Fitzgerald helped anchor the back line with 3 clearances. Ashlee Cabbiness had a strong tackle to deny a Lonestar attack.
The loss left the Fury in a must-win situation facing Game 3 on Sunday
August 31, 2013 -- Plano Labor Day Invitational, Game 1 - "Fury Outlast Infinity, Win First Game of Tourney"
The 01 Fury (Abel) opened the 33rd edition of the Plano Labor Day Invitational in style, vanquishing the 01 Infinity by a score of 1-0. The North Texas squad was undone by the strong leg of Jenna Miller and the Fury's unwavering defense.
In the fifth minute, it was winger Cara Compton that engineered the first Fury foray on goal. Cara streaked down the far sideline, gliding past Infinity defenders and curled a perfect cross into the box. It was the first of several wonderful crosses by Cara durig this game, and this delivery just skipped past an oncoming Fury forward.
In the 10th minute, the focus shifted to Girl of the Match ("GOM" - new this year!) goalkeeper, Allison Austin. Allison made one of her 7 saves on the day, corralling a high arching shot with her fingertips. Fury fans gasped, but Allison had the situation under control as part of her shutout morning.
The deadlock was broken by the Fury in the 12th minute. Rylee Langerman got things started, moving the ball up the near sideline from her left back position. Rylee fed forward Jenna Miller with a pass. Jenna spun on the spot and launched an audacious effort from about 30 yards from goal. The shot spun through the air, over the Infinity goalkeeper's head and struck the far post. The ball then skidded off the post, crossing the line on its way to striking the opposite post and then jetting into the back of the net. It was a wonder goal for Jenna, and a 1-0 lead for the Fury.
In the 21st minute, the Fury came ever so close to losing their slim lead. The Infinity mounted a challenge in the Fury's six yard box, and it took a sliding foot save from Allison Austin to deny a scoring attempt. Unfortunately, the save fell at the feet of an Infinity attacker, who stung a shot in the corner. Rylee Langerman was right on the spot, though, and she provided a crucial goal line clearance that preserved the status quo.
After halftime, the action continued to be hot. In the 4th minute, Cara Compton was denied on a shot from a tight angle. Then in the 7th minute, things got hairy for the Fury. Left back Maddy Childers was whistled for a dubious hand ball in the box. The Infinity were awarded a penalty kick.
The game hung in the balance as Allison toed the line awaiting the spot kick. Allison guessed right and lunged to her left, parrying the strong shot away from goal, keeping the Fury on top and cementing her status as the GOM.
The balance of the game was spent in a flurry of attacks and counter-attacks. In the 18th minute the Infinity came whisper close on a cross that was steered wide by an Infinity forward. In the 25th minute, center back Eden Holetzky made a crucial clearance to avoid a dangerous advance. One minute later, Allison Austin made a leaping save to do the same.
In the final few minutes, the Fury applied the pressure. In the 27th minute, birthday girl Keely Chapman (celebrating in a cast for a second straight year) broke free and came close with a fierce effort. A minute later Jenna Miller sent a free kick spiraling over the cross bar, just a few feet from finding the back of the net instead of the concession stand.
The whistle sounded, and the victory became official. It was a complete team effort. The stalwart defensive back line deserved much of the credit. In addition to Allison Austin's GOM-worthy efforts, Kelsi Fitzgerald and Rylee Langerman led the team with 9 defensive clearances a piece. Katie Fowler followed with 6 clearances and Eden Holetzky chipped in with 4 of her own. Left back Maddy Childers led the team with 8 tackles and she also topped the team chart with 16 connecting passes,
Jenna Miller led the team with 4 shots on goal. Keely and Cara had the Fury's other shots on goal. Elle Abbey and Jenna led the team in penalties drawn on the opposition. Ally Mayberry took her customary spot at the top of the stat sheet for headers, this time sharing the honor with Maddy with 3 headers a piece. Ally also posted 7 connecting passes.
Cassidy Potter had a strong all-around game, contributing defensive clearances and connecting passes from her midfield position. Megan Jones likewise put in strong shifts, with 2 headers, a clearance, 3 tackles and 12 connecting passes. New girls Juliette Davis and Ashlee Cabbiness took their bows with the Fury, and contributed with strong runs and great effort under the cruel Texas sun.
Speaking of the sun, this was a morning game and the temperature soared to over 90 degrees. Game two was scheduled for an afternoon kick, which meant that the real heat was yet to come.
September 30, 2012 - Capital City Cup (Game 3) (QuarterFinals) - "Fury Advance in Gangam Style!"
In the best game of the year for the 01 Fury (Schoene), the Fury pasted the 00 Arkansas Comets by a score of 3-0 to advance to the semi-finals of the Capital City Cup.
The game kicked off at 8:00 a.m. in a slight drizzle, and the field was already soaked by overnight rains. Megan Jones and Keely Chapman served early notice of the Fury's intentions. Megan had the first two shots on goal, including the second which Keely followed up on only to see her own shot narrowly saved.
The Comets applied pressure of their own, including a free kick that bounced into the box and seemed destined for the back of the net until keeper Allison Austin snatched it from danger.
The Fury fans were "furyous" when after a Jaycie Thomas corner kick a penalty kick was not awarded to Keely Chapman who was mauled in the box. The grief caused by that non-call went away, though, in the 33rd minute of the half.
Jaycie sent a sublime pass to Keely, freeing her for a one-on-one duel with a Comet defender. Keely burst forward and the Comet defender slipped. Keely galloped into the box and waited until the Comet keeper committed herself, and then cooly slotted the ball into the right hand corner. The score was 1-0, and the Fury fans were delighted. So delighed in fact, that many of them broke out an impromptu side-line version of the dance inspired by the pop hit, "Gangam Sytle." Fury players looked on in a mixture of horror and humor as Fury parents shook off the side-effects of a late night of "socializing," and did their level best to imitate the frenetic dance style of Korean star Psy and his "Gangam Style" dance moves.
The Fury did not waste much time in the second half before increating their lead. In the second minute of the second half, midfielder Maddy Childers dribbled past two defenders and then picked out Turner Mattingly-Harnden with a perfect pass, leaving the ball at Turner's feet and the goal at her mercy. Turner did not waste the chance. Turner advanced a few steps and then unleashed a low screamer that stung the cords in the back of the net, and sparked a whole new round of "Gangam" dancing.
Maddy and Turner nearly combined for another goal moments later when Maddy used some nifty foot-work to break free in the corner and send a cross to Turner whose shot was only barely saved.
On the other end, the Fury defense continued to hold true. Defender Kelsi Fitzgerald cleared a dangerous ball before a shot could be taken. Katie Fowler likewise ended a scoring threat when she pancaked not one, but two Comet players, resulting in a rare "flapjack."
Allison Austin had 6 saves on the morning, including a fine reaction save on a rebound shot. Rylee Langerman also had a crucial tackle and clearance in a one-on-one situation inside of 6 yards from goal.
It was Jaycie Thomas who put the final nail in the Comet coffin. Katie Fowler sent a beautiful corner kick to Jaycie in the 28th minute. Jaycie boomed a shot that richocheted off a helpless Comet defender and nestled in the back of the net. "Gangam Style" celbrations ensued, and the Fury had put the finishing touches on a comprehensive 3-0 victory.
Kelsi led the team with 7 defensive clearances. Rylee Langerman had the team lead with 5 tackles. Maddy Childers was a stat-stuffer with 3 tackles, 5 clearances, 3 headers and 3 pancakes to accompany her assist on the goal scored by Turner.
Bri Gray had a well-rounded game with a pancake, a clearance and a tackle. Ally Mayberry helped the Fury control the mid-feild with 3 tackles. Jenna Miller had 2 shots on goal, and contributed a strong corner kick that nearly resulted in a Fury goal. Emma Base had 3 clearances and Elle Abbey was all over the field, with 3 tackles, 5 clearances, 3 headers and 2 pancakes. Megan Jones and Keely Chapman led the team with 3 shots on goal per player.
The Fury had little time to celebrate. The victory over the Comets put the Fury on a collission course with the 01 South Lakes Cosmos in the semi-finals.
September 29, 2012 - Capital City Cup (Game 2) - "Fury Right the Ship, Sweep Away the Surge"
With their backs to the wall, and needing a victory to have any chance of earning a berth in quarterfinals, the Fury responded in fine fashion, beating the 00 Shreveport Surge United by a score of 3-0.
The game was equal parts entertaining and frustrating. The frustration came from the decision by the Surge to "park the bus," putting all of their players on the defensive end, sacrficing offense in an effort to avoid giving up goals.
For much of the first half, that tactic worked. The Fury had 17 shots on goals, including close efforts from Keely Chapman, Megan Jones and Bri Gray. But, it was not until late in the half that the Fury finally found a way past the defensive wall in front of them.
The goal started with Maddy Childers. Maddy won a tackle just inside Surge territory. Maddy dribbled forward and then picked out Katie Fowler with a pass. Katie collected the assist and uncorked a rainbow volley that floated over the Surge goalkeeper, just sneaking in under the crossbar. The goal was Katie's second of the tournament, and gave the Fury a 1-0 lead at halftime.
The Fury continued to dominate all phases of the game in the second half. More importantly, though, the Fury also found more goals. First, Ally Mayberry directed a header in traffic to Megan Jones. Megan turned that header into an assist when she tatooed a shot into the upper corner of the Surge goal.
The Fury tripled their advantage when Megan scored her second goal. Megan took a feed from Keely and used a clinical finish to score the goal that made it mathematically possible for the Fury to advance in the tournament on a tie-breaker.
When the game ended, the Fury had 34 shots on goal, and the Surge did not have even one. Megan, Katie and Keely each had 6 shots a piece. Jenna Miller, Turner Mattingly-Harnden and Ally Mayberry had 3 shots a piece. Bri had 2 shots on goal, and Rylee Langerman, Maddy Childers, Elle Abbey, Jaycie Thomas and Kelsi Fitzgerald all had one shot on goal per player. In fact, the only players who did not have shots on goal were defender Emma Base, who led the team with 5 clearances, and goalkeeper Allison Austin, who recorded the easiest clean sheet of her career, in a game in which she was largely relegated to being a spectator.
Other stats worthy of mention include Rylee leading the team with 7 tackles, Maddy and Megan sharing the team lead with 4 headers and Jaycie Thomas dishing out a team-leading 4 pancakes.
Later that night, during a team coaching session with Coach Schoene, the Fury learned that they had advanced to the quarterfinals with a game bright and early the next day with the Arkansas Comets.
September 29, 2012 - Capital City Cup (Game 1) - "Fury Can't Quite Swat the Dragonflies"
The 01 Fury (Schoene) and their faithful family and friends descended upon Little Rock, Arkansas for the weekend to participate in the Capital City Cup. It was a welcome respite from the rigors of OPL play, but this challenge was made tougher by the fact that the Fury were playing up by a year, contesting teams U13 teams who were not only older and biger, but also more accustomed to the size 5 ball used at this level. Nonetheless, the Fury were up to the challenge.
The Fury's first opponent was the Dragonflies, who hail from Little Rock and who practice at Burns Park, the beautiful tree-lined park that served as the site of the Capital City Cup. It was a see-saw affair which saw the Fury hold the lead late in the second half, only to see the Dragonflies escape with a narrow 3-2 victory.
The game kicked off at noon under an overcast sky that lowered game-time temperature to 71 degrees. The Dragonflies towered over the Fury, but it was the Fury who applied the first pressure of the match. Turner Mattingly-Harnden sent a wonderful -through ball to Keely Chapman in the final third that resulted in a fine run by Keely which was only stymied by the Dragonflies' keeper at the final moment.
Meanwhile, defender Elle Abbey celebrated the removal of her cast with a return to her usual aggressive style of play. Elle twice drew fouls on Dragonfly players who resorted to fouling when they could not find a way past Elle's staunch defense.
The Fury offense continued to build towards a goal with multiple chances. Megan Jones freed Keely for a shot that resulted in a corner. Moments later Katie Fowler did the same, and only a fingertip save kept Keely off the score sheet. Turner likewise came close on a shot in the box, but a sliding tackle by a defender took just enough steam off the shot to preserve the tie.
Emma Base was to thank for keeping the score knotted at zero when she bravely challenged a Dragonfly player in a dramatic aerial clash. Emma not only won the 50/50 clash, but she also managed to get up in time to clear the ball from danger.
Jaycie Thomas planted a beautiful corner kick in the path of Keely who blasted just wide. The pressure really intensified when Turner lofted an absolutely brilliant cross into the box which Megan seemed destined to head into goal. However, the ball only grazed Megan's noggin, and despite follow-up shots in the ensuing scrum from Megan and Jaycie, the Fury came away empty-handed.
The intensity of the game apparently raised the collective temperatures of Dragonfly fans, who were warned by the referee to silence their withering (and unwarranted) criticism of his officiating. Not long after that same referee had to make another pivotal decision.
Katie made a fantastic run into the heart of the Dragonfly box. She was pulled down from behind by a desperate defender. A penalty kick was signalled, and Katie was selected to take the spot kick. Katie cooly dispatched her shot into the right hand corner, and in the 28th minute of the first half, the Fury had a 1-0 lead.
Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived. In the 32nd minute, the Fury defense cleared a ball from danger, but it landed at the feet of a Dragonfly mid-fielder about 35 yards from goal. It only took a moment, but she unloaded a long distance laser that left Allison Austin with no chance. The score was now tied 1-1, and remained so through the halftme whistle.
In the second half it was the Dragonflies who came out firing. Twice the D-Flies pushed shots just wide of the Fury goal. The Fury also came close when Turner struck the crossbar and Bri Gray's follow shot was saved at the near post.
The Dragonflies had one player (No. 14) who was a speed merchant, and a constant threat to the Fury defense. Allison made a sparkling run-out save to keep No. 14 out of the net.
Shortly thereafter Jaycie skied a shot over the Dragonfly goal, and Keely had a shot that curled just wide. But, in the 18th minute Jaycie and Keely combined for the second Fury goal. Jaycie fired a firm pass into the box that was smartly gathered by Keely who fired in a one-tmer in the 18th minute. The Fury had a 2-1 lead and 16 minutes to go.
Those final 16 minutes were not kind. The Dragonflies managed two break-away goals, including the game-winner with just 3 minutes left to play. The Fury scrambled to find the equalizer, but the game ended with the Fury on the wrong end of the 3-2 tally.
Despite the loss, the Fury had a nice all-around team effort. The back-line was stout. Kelsi Fitzgerald led the team with 8 clearances, followed closely by Elle with 7, Rylee with 5 and Emma with 3. Maddy Childers contributed a team-high 5 headers and tied for the team lead with 3 tackles. Ally Mayberry had 4 headers of her own to go with a clearance and a tackle. Jenna Miller led the team in pancakes.
The loss left the Fury in a must-win situation heading into the afternoon session, with a game looming in mere hours with the Shreveport United Surge.
September 22, 2012 - OPL Game 5 - "Fury Dominate, but Don't Finish, Settle for Draw"
Perhaps as an omen of things to come in the OU-Kanas State football game later that night, much like the Sooners the 01 Fury (Schoene) dominated the game, but could not finish their opponent. At least the Fury salvaged a draw, though, splitting the spoils in a 2-2 tie with the 01 Tulsa Blitz-Thunder (Black) at NYSA"s Gillis-Rother Complex.
The most telling statistic from this game (compiled by the always awesome Brenda Chapman in the absence of the author, and by extension Maddy Childers, who was on a family trip) is that the Fury had 25 shots on goal to a mere 5 by the Blitz. In fact, the Blitz did not have a single shot on goal in the first half.
It was Keely Chapman and Bri Gray who netted the two goals for the Fury. Katie Fowler pitched in with an assist on one of the goals. Turner Mattingly-Harnden was unlucky not to score, peppering the Blitz goal with a team-high 8 shots, to complement her team-high 3 headers.
Other contributors in the assault on goal included Keely Chapman (4 shots on goal), Megan Jones (3 shots on goal), Ally Mayberry (3 shots on goal), Katie Fowler, Bri Gray and Jenna Miller with 2 shots on goal per player and Jaycie Thomas (one shot on goal).
Rylee Langerman was stout in defense leading the team with 3 pancakes and 3 tackles. Rylee also had one of two differernt shoe "blow-outs," with Kelsi Fitzgerald collecting the other one of this new (and slightly dubious) statistical category.
Emma Base and Kelsi Fitzgerald teamed up with the newly returned from injury Elle Abbey for a combined 4 clearances, 2 tackles and a pancake. Allison Austin was strong in goal with 3 saves.
The draw leaves the Fury in the middle of the OPL table. However, the Fury's attention now toruns to the Capital City Cup in Little Rock, Arkansas this coming weekend. The Fury will take a break from OPL play and spend the weekend taking their best shot at teams from around the region. Stay tuned for updates.
September 16, 2012 - OPL Game 4 - "Fury Blitzed by the Blitz"
The 01 Fury (Schoene) were outclassed by the 01 Tulsa Blitz-United (Navy) by the score of 3-0 on the soggy fields at the Edmond Soccer Complex. The Blitz are the reigning state champions so the Fury knew they had their work cut out for themselves. But, the Fury have held their own with the Blitz in the past, including a victory over the Blitz in OPL play in the Spring season.
Today, though, it was no contest, as the Blitz were never in any real danger, seizing a one goal lead at halftime, before padding the score with two more goals in the second half. Perhaps the most telling statistic was the disparity in shots on goal, with the Blitz firing away with 20 shots to a solitary shot on goal by the Fury.
The tireless Katie Fowler and goalkeeper Allison Austin were the standouts for the Fury in this losing effort. Allison racked up 11 saves, and without her efforts the scoreline would have been much more lop-sided. Katie was her usual self, which is to say a dynamo of infectious energy, leading the team in defensive clearances and pancakes.
Early in the game, Ally Mayberry had a nice header to clear a ball from danger. Not long after, Turner Mattingly-Harnden got the Fury's only shot on goal, which was gathered by the goliath Blitz keeper.
Bri Gray exacted some measure of revenge on the Blitz, literally decleating an opposing player with a legal pancake. The Blitz player writhed in pain on the ground and had to leave the game not long after.
Megan Jones showed the Blitz how to play through pain. Megan went down temporarily with a head injury, but after taking time to compose herself, she stayed in the game.
The first half was dominated by the Blitz, but it was not until a couple of minutes before the half ended that the first goal was netted. The Blitz reversed field with a strong pass and chipped over Allison's head.
The Fury came out in the second half and played with more determination. Turner and Bri combined on a through ball followed by a cross that was within yards of striker Keely Chapman, when the Blitz goalkeeper came off her line and dribbled the ball away from danger.
At the other end, Allison was under a relentless assault. She made a couple of back to back fine saves, the first on a high ball that she had to leap to stab, and the second a reaction point-blank save after charging a Blitz player who had penetrated the back line.
The barrage of shots continued, and finally the Blitz connected on a long distance effort that curled into the upper reaches of the net, doubling the Blitz advantage. The lead would have been tripled minutes later, but Katie Fowler made a goal line clearance.
The final Blitz goal came on a free kick after a penalty was called on the Fury about 25 yards out. The subsequent free kick cleared the Fury wall and slipped by Allison, closing the books on the Blitz scoring.
Jaycie Thomas and Keely Chapman took turns setting each other up for scoring opportunities. Keely's strong diagonal pass to Jaycie freed Jaycie in space, but she was stymied by the last defender in her path. Jaycie returned the favor with a strong cross that Keely controlled in the Blitz box, but she too was swarmed by defenders and foiled before a shot could be made.
Rylee Langerman, Maddy Childers and Katie Fowler shared top honors with 5 defensive clearancers each, and Rylee and Maddy also shared the team lead in tackles at 4 each. Emma Base and Kelsi Fitzgerald both compiled 4 clearaqnces per player. Turner and Megan topped the charts with 2 hearders a piece. Jenna Miller had a busy day with 2 tackles, one clearance and a header. Ally had 2 clearances and a tackle. Elle Abby missed her third straight game due to her injured wrist and thumb.
The Fury will look to regroup next weekend when the busy start to their OPL season continues with a tilt against the Blitz United, this time the Black squad.
September 15, 2012 - OPL Game 3 - "Grudge Match Ends in Draw"
Batman had the Joker. Rocky had Ivan Drago. Seinfeld had Newman. You get the point, everyone has an arch-nemesis sooner or later.
In a light mist at the Edmond Soccer Complex, the 01 Fury (Schoene) faced off against their arch-nemesis, the 01 Tulsa Nationals. The result was a hard-fought 0-0 draw against the team that bounced the Fury out of the State Cup semi-finals the last time these combatants met. A history of bad blood and cheap shots is part of the legacy that exists between these two evenly matched teams. Today's match was well officiated, but hotly contested, and even though no victor was crowned, this game will mark another chapter in this tale of soccer's equivalent of the Hatfields and McCoys.
The ball was heavy, soaked with rain water from the steady mist and the downpour from the past couple of days, which made it difficult for both teams to connect passes or get much steam on any shots on goal. Nonethless, midfielder Turner Mattingly-Harnden applied the first pressure of the contest when she turned a cross into the box that was blocked past the end-line, resulting in a Fury corner kick. Not long after, Katie Fowler, playing on the back line in place of injured Elle Abby (who added a broken thumb to a broken wrist in a freak school yard accident earlier this week) took a strong long distance free kick that was on frame, but gathered by the Natonals' goalkeeper.
On the other end of the pitch, Allison Austin was put to the test. A National player lofted a high shot that at the near post. Allison played the shot perfectly, tipping it to herself and strongly securing the slippery ball and tucking it away before trouble could occur.
The Fury suffered a blow when forward Keely Chapman was hooked by an opposing player, in turn over-extending the upper part of her fragile arm, only recently removed from the cast put in place to heal her broken arm. The unwhistled foul left Keely in great pain, putting her on the bench for extended periods, leaving the Fury without one of its top scoring threats.
The Fury did not let this set-back deter them in their assault on goal. In fact, Jenna Miller came the closest of any player on the field to unknotting the score. Jenna turned and fired from the left channel, just outside the box. Her soaring shot thumped the top of the cross-bar and tumbled into the grass behind goal. So close, and yet so far.
Meanwhile, the Natoinals were exerting pressure of their own. But, the Fury were up to the challenge. Megan Jones recorded the Fury's second "trifecta" of the year. She executed a perfect tackle, dispossessing a National player of the ball and clearing it from danger while pancaking the unsuspecting Tulsan and leaving her on her posterior as Megan sprang forward with the Fury attackers.
Not to be outdone, midfielder Maddy Childers recorded a trifecta of her own minutes later. Maddy tracked back over half of the field, running down a National player who was marauding down the right sideline. The larger National player used her hand to fend off Maddy, pushing her face and shouldering her in a vain effort to stop the speeding bullet headed her way. It was no use, though, as Maddy made the tackle, stole the ball, cleared from danger, all while leaving the National player in a heap on the soaked ground.
Before the half ended, the Fury again came close to breaking the deadlock. Jaycie Thomas sent a free kick at goal that was spilled by the keeper. In the ensuing scrum, the ball squirted free and the National goalkeeper was out of position. Maddy and Jenna converged on the ball, but a defender intervened before Jenna could squeeze off a shot.
Halftime brought a new issue for the Fury to overcome. Turner tweaked her hamstring in the first half, and was unable to return. With Turner out, and Keely on the pitch less than usual due to her arm strain, the Fury oftentimes were left without either of their top scorers on the field.
This latest set-back only strengthened the Fury's resolve. Megan Jones stepped up her efforts in attack, testing the National keeper with an early shot on goal, finding space to take the shot in a congested National box, clogged with defenders.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Fury were just as committed to excellence. The closest the Nationals came to scoring was on a play about half-way through the second half. Allison Austin made a save, defleccting it back into traffic. A subsequent pass freed a Natoinal forward who streaked towards goal with nothing in her path, since Allison was off her line from the previous shot. Out of nowhere, super defender Rylee Langerman came to the rescue. With one of her team (and season single game) high 8 tackles, Rylee took the ball away and cleared it to a waiting midfielder, as Fury faithful breathed a collective sigh of relief.
Things later turned chippy at the end of a strong run by Jaycie Thomas. Jaycie juked and jived her way past two Natoinal defenders and sprinted her way into enemy territory. With acres of space in front of her and a National defender in her wake, Jaycie seemed poised to attack goal. Unfortunately, the National player slid tackled her from behind in cynical fashion. Jaycie was furious, pouncing to her feet, fists curled, standing over the National player. The referee smartly interceded, brandishing a yellow card for the foul committed by the National player.
Despite the pain of her fall, Jaycie took the ensuiing free kick. Megan collected the rebound of the clearance of he free kick, and took a crack at goal, but was deneid by the Natoinal keeper.
The Fury had found their stride, and were clearly the likelier of the two squads to break the draw. Keely Chapman put the pain behind her, and fired at goal, only to see her effort speared by the National keeper. In the dying moments of the game, defender Kelsi Fitzgerald whipped a superb cross into the box. The National net-minder deperately tried to smother the cross before it could be met by an oncoming Keely. The ball momentarily rolled free, and Keely was agonizingly close to poking it home. However, the ball was wrapped up just in the nick of time, and about a minute later the whistle sounded to end things.
No clean sheet can be achieved without sterling defense. Allison Austin had five saves. Emma Base added to her team lead with 8 clearances. Katie Fowler toppeed Emma by one, with 9 clearances, and added two shots on goal. Rylee had an astonishing 8 tackles and 8 clearances. Kelsi put in her normal strong shift, with 5 defensive clearances.
Ally Mayberry was instrumental in a strong mdifield effort commended by Coach Schoene after the game. Ally tallied two headers, a tackle and she had a shot on goal. Maddy had 5 tackles, 4 clearances and 3 pancakes, teaming up with Jacyie Thomas (4) to put on a pancake breakfast in the middle of the afternoon.
Bri Gray had her version of a double-double, with 2 tackles and 2 defensive clearances. Bri also amped up her agression, fighting hard for every ball, inspiring her teammates to do the same. Megan led the team with 3 shots on goal, and filled up the stat sheet with 3 tackles, 3 clearances, 2 headers and 2 pancakes.
At the end of the day, a victory would have been sweeter. But, considering the circumstances, and the opponent, the Fury can be nothing but proud of the all-around team effort that resulted in a split of the spoils for these old foes.
September 9, 2012 - OPL Game 2 - "Fury Blow Out the Hurricane"
Allison Austin made a spectacular save from the penalty spot, and Jenna Miller and Keely Chapman got the 01 Fury (Schoene) off the schneid, as the Fury shrugged off their struggles from the day before and ended the weekend on a high note, dispatching the 01 TSC Hurricane (Blackwell) by the score of 2-0. The win levels the Fury's OPL record at one victory and one loss, and reminds the Fury faithful just down dynamic this team can be when it hits on all cylinders.
Playing without defender Elle Abby (out with a broken wrist from yesterday's game), and with a bad taste in their mouths from yesterday's poor effort against the Cosmos, the Fury came out with a fire in their bellies. Turner Mattingly-Harnden served notice of the Fury's intent, taking two of her team high 5 shots on goal in the first few minutes, the initial effort parried by the Hurricane keeper at the near post, and the second shot corralled in the center of goal.
Forward Keely Champan was the next player to open her account, receiving a pass from a sliding Turner and testing the Hurricane keeper with a low burner. Midfielder Maddy Childers continued the assault on goal, side-stepping a defender in the box and unspooling a shot that smacked a defender who was well placed for the block between Maddy and the goal.
In a rare moment of possession for the Hurricane in Fury territory, Jaycie Thomas went to work. Jaycie pulled a soccer trifecta, winning a tackle on a 50/50 ball, clearing the ball from danger and leaving the opposing player on the ground, the recipient of a crowd-pleasing pancake.
Meanwhile, the Fury kept firing at goal, part of a first half in which the Fury outshot the Hurricane by a count of six to two. Turner skied a shot over the cross-bar. Not long after, Maddy freed Jaycie with a through ball, and Jaycie crossed to Keely who was only narrowly denied by the charging Hurricane keeper.
Late in the half a Hurricane forward made a penetrating run into Fury turf. But, just as it appeared she would get an open shot at goal, defender Kelsi Fitzgerald closed the angle and made a picture perfect clearance to preserve the tie game. The half ended with the teams knotted up at zero.
The Fury listened to directions from Coach Schoene at half and then took the field, secure in the knowledge that they had played the stronger first half, but still eager to find the goal that would solidify the advantage. It was the combination of Rylee Langerman and Jenna Miller who did the deed.
Rylee was patrolling mid-field from her spot on the back line, when the ball was cleared by a Hurricane defender. The clearance landed approximately half-way between Rylee and the nearest Hurricane player. Rylee arrived at the ball at the same time, but won the ball with a strong tackle. Rylee then sped down the right channel and picked out Jenna with a timely pass. Jenna had a couple of defenders closing on her, and a difficult angle to work with. However, Jenna turned and floated a ball over the back line. The ball caught the Hurricane keeper in an awkward spot, and managed to squeeze between the net-minder's legs. Just like that, Jenna had scored on Rylee's assist, and the Fury had their first goal in two and a half games, stretching back to Labor Day.
The jubilation caused by the Fury goal, was suddenly muted a few plays later. A Fury defender was whistled for a foul in the box. A Hurricane player stepped to the spot to take the penalty kick. Saving a PK is tough business, and certainly not something you can ever count on happening. However, Allison Austin was up to the challenge.
Allison guessed correctly and dove to her right. The penalty shot was torpedoed in that direction and Allison stabbed at it just in time, deflecting the shot and turning it around the post. The crowd erupted with Fury cheers in recognition of Allison's heroics.
The action took on a frenetic pace. Keely forced a corner, and had a shot on goal. Emma Base used her strong leg and physical presence to clear out a scoring opportunity for the Hurricane. Allison Austin speared a corner kick in the middle of a congested penalty box.
Then, just when it appeared that the Fury had another breakthrough, the referee robbed them of a chance at goal. The sequence of events began with Jenna Miller crossing to Keely Chapman. Keely, the ball and the Hurricane keeper arrived at precisely the same time, and the ball squirted free in the fray. A scuffed attempt at a clearance left the ball at the feet of Ally Mayberry with the goal at her mercy, as the goalkeeper was scrambling to get back in position. Ally drilled a shot that was denied by a blatant hand ball by the only defender left between Ally and the back of the net. Unfortunately, the referree ignored the increasingly agitated pleas of the Fury faithful, and waived on play, robbing Ally and the Fury of a goal-scoring opportunity.
Minutes later the refereee managed to grant a free kick to the Fury. Jaycie Thomas unleashed a strong effort, but it pushed wide. Soon, though, the Fury's patience and hard work finally paid off.
Turner Mattingly-Harnden dropped a perfectly weighted through-ball into the path of Keely Chapman. Keely took the assist and found herself one on one with the keeper. Keely slowed and studied her victim like a shark with its prey. A second later, it was done. Keely boomed a shot that blew by the defenseless goalkeeper, and the Fury were the proud holders of a seemingly insurmountable two goal lead.
The second half came to a close after a barrage of corner kicks from the Hurricane. Each corner kick was denied by the Fury defense, and in the dying moments, Kelsi Fitzgerald turned away the final Hurricane foray into Fujry territory.
The Fury looked good across the board. Katie Fowler had (team-high) double digits (10) in defensive clearances in relief of Elle Abby. Emma Base did yeoman's work with 7 clearances and two tackles. Rylee Langerman had 5 clearances, 3 tackles and the aforementioned assist on the Fury's first goal. Kelsi Fitzgerald matched Rylee with 5 clearances and also dished out a pancake.
Ally Mayberry was a force in the middle. Ally had a personal season high 5 clearances, and 4 tackles. Maddy Childers led all players with 6 tackles, making a living in the middle of the field separating opposing players from the ball.
Megan Jones added to her team lead in headers, putting her noggin to good use two more times. Bri Gray had a scorching run down the left sideline that secured a corner kick for the Green Machine. Turner was a stat-stuffer with an assist, 6 shots on goal, 2 pancakes, 3 headers, 2 clearances and 3 tackles.
Numbers are only part of the story, though. Those numbers don't add up, unless there is a "W" at the end of the equation. Today there was a win to celebrate, and the Fury are back on track, and playing like a team with its collective sights set on piling up even more "W's" in the months to come.
September 8, 2012 - OPL Game 1 - "Cosmos Leave Fury Feeling Blue"
The 01 Fury (Schoene) got off to a disappointing start to their Oklahoma Premioer League campaign with a 2-0 loss to the 01 South Lakes Cosmos. The Fury's lackluster performance was in stark contrast to their run to the semi-finals of last weekend's Plano Labor Day Invitational. Today, though, the Fury seemed to always be a step slow to the ball.
The game kicked off at 11:00 a.m. on a beaucolic morning, with a strong breeze but a perfect temperature. Early on in the contest the Fury had nearly equal possession, and Megan Jones was the first to take a crack at goal, sending her shot wide of the mark.
The Cosmos likewise began to test the Fury's defense, and it took a strong clearance from Ally Mayberry to fend off an early Cosmos challenge in the Fury box. Minutes later, Fury keeper Allison Austin had to make back to back saves, spilling the second but gathering it before a gaggle of Cosmos descended upon the loose ball.
The pressure continued to moiunt for the Fury. The Cosmos secured a corner kick, and the resulting kick soared to within 8 yards of goal. Fortunately, Maddy Childers had her player marked, and used a booming header to clear the ball out of the scrum.
There was only so much pressure that the Fury defense could take. Eventually, a Cosmos player wove her way through traffic and lofted a shot into the prevailing tail-wind. The shot arced its ways over Allison's head and into the back of the net, making the score 1-0.
The sudden defecit seemed to put a jolt in the sleep-walking Fury. Winger Jacyie Thomas fired a cross to Keely Chapman that was gobbled up by the Cosmos goalkeeper just nanoseconds before Keely's trusty foot could slot it home.
Just as the Fury seemed to be regaining momentum, things took a turn for the worse. A Fury defender was whistled at the edge of the box for a push in the back. The ensuing penalty kick was measured up by a non-roster Cosmos player called into action for today's game. The Cosmos player cleared the Fury wall with her free kick, which then struck the cross-bar and took a fortuitous (for the Cosmos) bounce to just clear the goal-line.
With the score 2-0, the Fury pressed for a goal. With just seconds left in the half, the Fury had their best chance of the day. Turner Mattingly-Harnden jigged her way past defenders and squared to take a shot. Soccer can be a game of inches. On this shot, the inches were not in the Fury's favor. The ball clanged off the post and rolled to a stop past the end-line. Moments later the whistle sounded to end the half.
In the second half the Fury had to change up the line-up. Defender Elle Abby suffered what is believed to be a broken wrist in the first half. So, Jenna Miller took Katie Fowler's winger spot, and Katie showcased her versatility by moving back to defender. The balance of the half played out without any further scoring. While the Fury generally played better in the second stanza, the forwards were still starved for good service, and the Fury's shots on goal were few and far between. The closest the Fury came to a break-through was a long distance effort by Turner, and an excellent through-ball played by Katie Fowler to Keely Chapman that freed Keely for a shot on goal that had promise, but ultimately went wide. Time eventually ran out, and the 2-0 loss was in the books.
Allison Austin did her job in goal with 5 saves, and she had no chance on either of the goals that were conceded by the Fury. Rylee Langerman, Emma Base and Katie Folwer shared top honros for defensive clearances with 5 per player. Jenna Miller lead the team with 4 tackles, followed closely by Bri Gray with 3 of her own. Allby Mayberry contributed 3 clearances and 2 tackles, while Maddy Childers dished out 3 pancakes to accompany her 2 clearances and 3 tackles. Megan Jones once again led the team with 3 headers. Kelsi Fitzgerald and Elle Abby teamed up for 4 clearances and 2 pancakes. Jaycie, Turner and Keely each had 2 shots on goal.
The bad news is that the Fury lost in a game that even the most ardent Fury fan has to admit we deserved to lose. The good news is that the Fury have about 24 hours to get the game out of their system, before returning home to the Gillis-Rother complex for a tilt with the 01 TSC Hurricane (Blackwell). The smart money says the Fury come out tomorrow and play like the team we know they are capable of being.
September 1 - 3, 2012 - Plano Labor Day Invitational XXXII
GAME 1 (Saturday) - "Fury Roll to Big Victory in Game 1"
The 01 Fury (Schoene) kicked off their Labor Day Weekend in style, vanquishing the 01 Midessa International FC Fusion 5-0. It was Coach Schoene's first game at the helm, and it took place at Russell Park, the site where the Fury won the championship in the 31st edition of the Invitational. Based on the results of this game, it appears the Fury have returned with the intent of defending their crown.
The match kicked off a few minutes after 10:30 in the morning. Despite the morning start, the Texas sun was blazing and players and fans alike were awash in sweat. The Fury stepped on the gas as soon as the whistle sounded. Forward Keely Chapman, whose cast and bubble wrap contraption cleared pre-game inspection, was the first to test the Fusion keeper with a sharp shot on goal. Bri Gray played a through ball into Turner Mattingly-Harnden who rifled a shot at the net which was turned away, resulting in a Fury corner.
The pressure applied by the Fury continued to mount. Katie Fowler rattled the post with a stinger from the wing. Then Turner uncorked one of her team high 8 shots on goal, and was narrowly denied. The seal on the goal was broken by the combo of Keely and Bri. Keely made a strong run down the right channel. Keely sped her way past the final defender and then slid a pass across the goal's mouth. Bri was in perfect position to fire Keely's pass into the roof of the goal, giving the Fury a 1-0 lead.
The goal by Bri only whetted the collective appetite of the Fury for more goals. Turner engineered a break-away, and was just narrowly denied a goal. Minutes later, though, Keely doubled the Fury's advantage. Katie Fowler sent a cross into the box that bounced off a Fusion defender and dropped invitingly at the feet of Keely who blasted home a shot from the center of the box, giving Katie the assist. Keely nearly scored again moments later when Maddy Childers dispossessed a Fusion player deep in enemy territory, and laid off a pass to Avery Holland. In turn, Avery had a toe-poke shot that was blocked by the keeper, but Keely was there for the rebound, and her volley was whisker close to finding paydirt.
The third goal of the match showcased the Fury's teamwork. Jenna Miller used her physical presence to win a drop ball at the edge of the Fusion box. Keely won the drop ball, then snaked her way across the field. Keely picked out Maddy in space, and Maddy made good use of the assist. Maddy wound up and uncorked a scorcher from 10 yards out. The keeper managed to get her fingertips to the ball, but it was not enough, as Maddy's shot rolled into the back of the net, tripling the Fury's unblemished scoreline.
The Fury threatened a couple more times before halftime. Jaycie Thomas saw a long distance free kick smothered by the Fusion goalkeeper. And, Jenna whipped a wonderful cross to Avery that nearly resulted in a goal. But, the score remained 3-0 as the whistle sounded to end the first stanza.
The Fury did not lose their mojo in the second period. Keely cracked a shot off the post. Rylee Langerman made a strong run from the back line and nearly forced an own goal in the confusion that followed a well placed flick on goal. Katie and Keely both came close after a pair of fine passes from Turner.
Katie Fowler took matters into her own hands (or feet!) to put the 4th goal on the board. Katie charged into the corner, but was trapped by a defender. Displaying her dogged determination, Katie juked her way out of trouble and sent a wonderful cross into the box. Keely knew what to do with the assist, and she fired a one-timer into the net. Turner closed out the scoring with a thunderbolt from distance. The goal was well deserved as Turner had been influential in almost every aspect of the Fury's play.
The Fury came close to scoring again. Megan Jones fired a bullet at goal, but was denied. Cara Compton galloped past Fusion defenders only to be narrowly denied in a one on one challenge with the Fusion net-minded. And, Jaycie Thomas had the final shot on goal, capping a game in which the Fury outshot the Fusion 26 to 6. The clean sheet was preserved by Allison Austin, who twice used perfect timing and aggressive play to put an end to late Fusion breakaways on goal.
In addition to Allison's 6 total saves, the Fury's defenders and defensive mid-fielders were spectacular. Kelsie Fitzgerald led all players with 7 defensive clearances, and was a constant menace for Fusion forwards. Emma Base collected 5 clearance of her own, and won some cheers when she tatooed a ball off the head of the author of this column. Rylee Langerman pitched in with 6 clearances, and feisty Eden Holetzky cleared the ball from danger 5 times. Elle Abby led the team in "pancakes" and tackles. Ally Mayberry shared the lead in tackles with Elle, and Ally was strong and consistent in her passes which often set into motion plays that ended in goals.
The Fury tee it up again at 7:30 p.m. in game two. For now, though, the Fury are off to a flying start.
GAME 2 (Saturday) - "Fury Strike Twice Late to Salvage Draw"
On literally the final play of the match, the 01 Fury (Schoene) scored the equalizer to salvage a 2-2 draw in a pulsating affair with the 01 North Texas Strikers. The contest was held under the lights at Carpenter Park, and the 7:30 kick-off and slight breeze helped to cool down the players at the end of another blazing late summer day.
The Fury pressed the advantage early, with Keely Chapman going close, but denied due to a tight shooting angle. Turner Mattingly-Harnden likewise tested the waters with a long distance effort that was cradled by the Striker keeper.
On the other half of the field, the Fury defense had it's first real test, but withstood the challenge when defender Elle Abby executed a superb tackle and clearance (one of her team high five clearances) to nullify the Striker chance. A mandatory water break at the 15 minute mark was held, and the combatants rehydrated while discussing the stalemate with their coaches.
Not long after resumption of play, Megan Jones unleashed a shot that resulted in a Fury corner. The resulting set piece did not yield a goal, but shortly thereafter the Fury came agonizingly close when Keely intercepted a goal kick, but drug her shot just wide.
The Fury came even closer, though, when Jaycie Thomas finished a fine run with a perfect cross to the feet of Ally Mayberry. Ally crushed the shot, but it cleared the crossbar by less than a foot. The Fury outshot the Strikers 8-2 in the first half, and had the lion's share of possession. Soccer can be cruel, though, which the Fury learned all too well in the dying moments of the first half. A Striker midfielder lofted a long pass downfield which took a giant hop and bounded over the Fury defense. The pass was latched onto by a speedy forward who blurred her way into the Fury box and rounded on Allison Austin and deposited the game's first goal.
Halftime came and went and the Fury scrambled to find purchase in Striker territory. Meanwhile, it was Elle Abby and Rylee Langerman who saved the Fury's bacon in a flurry of action at the goal-line. First, Rylee cleared a shot off the line. Then, Elle leapt high into the air and used her chest to block a long distance effort from nestlings in the back of the net.
The reprieve was short-lived, though. The Strikers doubled their advantage with a perfectly placed long ball. Desperation was beginning to set in as the clock became the Fury's mortal enemy. Fortunately, Cara Compton and Turner were ready to take center stage.
In the span of roughly 3 minutes, this duo would turn the game on it's head. First, Turner weaved through defenders on the right side and fed Cara a pass in space. Cara sent a rope into the left hand corner, and the deficit was suddenly only one. But, the real magic too place moments later.
Turner once again laid off an assist to Cara and Cara did the rest. She fired a shot into the right hand corner past a flailing goalkeeper, and Fury fans erupted with cheers. The referee signal led the end of the game before a kick-off could take place, meaning that Cara's goal was the last action of the night, and oh boy was it a doozy. A loss was averted and the Fury's chance of a top seed was preserved.
The struggle to snare a draw from the clutches of defeat was a total team effort. Allison Austin made an absolutely crucial save on a breakaway with minutes left, without which Cara's heroics would have been for naught. The defensive back line was stout. Emma Base contributed three defensive clearances and Kelsi Fitzgerald added four of her own. Maddy Childers held strong at the holding midfielder spot, and fended off an offensive player on a critical corner kick late in the game.
Bri Gray cracked a shot at goal, and Katie Fowler wreaked havoc on the wing. Jenna Miller patrolled the park, dispensing punishment to those who invaded Fury space. Eden Holetzky and Avery Holland made strong connecting passes and helped anchor the Fury's control of mid-field.
As the Fury marched back to the official team limo, no doubt they still longed for outright victory. But, this kind of fight can certainly be savored too.
GAME 3 (Sunday) - "Birthday Victory for Turner and the Fury"
It was the ultimate birthday party for Turner Mattingly-Harnden, as she celebrated in style with a brace of goals in the 01 Fury's 2-0 victory over 01 SC Dallas Kicks (Blue) on a wind-swept field at the University of Texas at Dallas. The win catapulted the Fury to the top of Bracket B of the Silver B Division, making the Fury the top seed going into this afternoon's quarterfinals.
The game was a see-saw affair with neither team establishing early dominance. It was nearly deja-vu all over again in the opening moments as the wind played tricks and allowed a punt to sneak past the back line. Allison Austin was there to save the day (and the shot).
Ally Mayberry took a long crack at goal but was frustrated by the strong head-wind. Turner also took aim at goal, but her shot was scuffed when she was spilled by a defender in the box, while the referee swallowed his whistle.
Allison kept up her hard work, turning away shots at both sides of her posts. The Fury continued to press for shots, with Keely Chapman taking a cross from Jenna Miller only to have her shot blocked.
The game took a brief hiatus when a Kicks' player suffered breathing problems on the field. She was attended to by her coach, tournament officials and uber-Fury fans (and medical pros) RJ Langerman and Bryan Jones. There was no word at press time whether RJ and Bryan did it just so the could ride in the cool golf cart.
After the game resumed, Jenna Miller introduced a Kicks' player to the turf with a teeth-rattling pancake. But it was the Kicks who closed out the half with more shots on goal, all comftorably saved by Allison as part of her 10 save clean sheet.
The second half kicked off and the Fury immediately looked more dangerous. Keely hooked a shot over the cross-bar. Turner had a strong shot palmed away by the keeper. The breakthrough was imminent.
Elle Abby was the catalyst. After a throw-in by Elle, she won back possession and poked it to the birthday girl. Turner did the rest, using her trademark cannon of a leg to laser a shot into goal.
The Kicks would not give up and Rylee Langerman made a strong clearance to fend off a threat. The Fury needed a level of comfort. Cue the birthday girl.
Katie Fowler teed up a corner kick and sent it skidding into the box. Turner gathered the ball from a scrum of players and turned on a dime and fired in her second goal.
There was a growing sense that Turner's second goal would be enough, but a few nervous minutes remained. Megan Jones and Elle Abby went out of the game briefly due to injuries. And, Allison made back to back brilliant saves, the second on a slide, to deny the Kicks. Jaycie Thomas had a final go at the goal with a strong free kick, but the wind pushed her effort. The whistle sounded and another victory was in the books.
Per the usual, the list of contributing forces for the Fury is lengthy. Maddy Childers led the team in tackles with 5. Emma Base led a bruising Fury defense with 7 clearances. Megan Jones made good use of her blonde noggin, topping the charts with three headers. Kelsie Fitzgerald, Eden Holetzky and Avery Holland combined for 5 clearances and 3 tackles. Cara Compton and Bri Gray burned up the field with strong runs from the forward position.
Next up for the Fury is a quarterfinal tilt with the 01 East Texas United. A spot in tomorrow's semi-finals hangs in the balance.
GAME 4 (Quarterfinals) (Sunday) - "Fury Vanquish United, on to the Semis"
The 01 Fury (Schoene) punched their ticket into the semi-finals of the Plano Labor Day Invitational Silver A Division with a comprehensive 1-0 victory over the 01 East Texas United.
With the temperature soaring to over 100 degrees at the University of Texas at Dallas fields, the heat was on for both teams. But, it was the Fury who created the most opportunities, and they were well deserving of the victory, secured by a composed strike from Megan Jones.
Early on the Fury declared their intent, peppering the United goal with multiple shots from Keely Chapman. The United keeper was up to the challenge, though, and the early action soon cooled off, and the teams traded possession, but not shots.
It was not until after the water break that the Fury again found their stride. It was Elle Abby who jump-started the offense. The Fury's resident spark-plug stole the ball from a United player and then ripped off an astonishing run down the left sideline boundary. Elle found Keely open in space and Keely broke free and zipped into the box. In the face of an advancing goalkeeper, Keely arrowed a shot at the far corner. The keeper barely managed to place her fingertips to the shot, but it was enough to swing the shot around the post.
The disappointment of that near miss became even more acute minutes later when Elle once again worked wonders, but the Fury came away empty-handed. Elle once again pushed up from the defensive back-line and traversed the length of the field. As Elle charged towards the goal, she had Jenna Miller and Cara Compton galloping along-side. Both Jenna and Cara held true to their lanes, forcing the United defenders to give room to the rampaging Elle who took advantage of the wiggle room by uncorking a soaring shot on goal. The shot was saved, but spilled by the keeper. The ball rolled to a stop inches from the goal line, and for an agonizing second it lay there waiting to either be scooped up or blasted home. Cara made a valiant effort to do the latter, but was denied by a late arriving defender.
Soon thereafter, halftime arrived. The Fury did not surrender a single shot on goal in the first 30 minutes of play, so confidence was high amongst the troops. Still, concern began to grow as the United defense continued to bend but not break. It was a series of set pieces that unlocked the mystery to the back of the United net.
The Fury won a corner kick. Then, not once, not twice, but an astounding three consecutive times the Fury battled and won additional corner kicks. It was the last one that did the trick. Katie Fowler measured up her fourth consecutive corner kick. This time she fired a low line drive into the box that swung from player to player like a frenetic pin-ball machine. When the ball finally settled, it was in the path of Megan Jones.
Megan wasted no time, driving her shot through the traffic and over the keeper's head. As the cords of the net rippled from the impact of the shot, the Fury finally had the necessary goal to accompany its stalwart defensive effort.
The Fury made Megan's effort stand up, silencing the United offense for the balance of the game. Such was the strength of the Fury defense, that Allison Austin enjoyed a relatively care-free afternoon, and was not forced to make even a single save. Rylee Langerman led the defensive charge with a team-high 7 clearances. Elle and Emma Base continued their strong partnership in the back, claiming 5 clearances a piece. Kelsi Fitzgerald pitched in with 3 more clearances, and frustrated the United with the manner in which she cooly dribbled out of trouble areas and invariably found the right passes.
Midfielder Maddy Childers helped to lead an aerial assault. The Fury had 12 headers in the game, the most so far in a tournament game. Maddy had two of these headers including an important clearance with a thunderous header by the diminutive force of nature. Jaycie Thomas had some fancy moves, including a pirouette on the sideline that left a United player kicking at air as Jaycie raced by her, springing another play into action.
Ally Mayberry was a maestro in the middle of the park. Ally repeatedly used precision passing to hold possession and set up plays for the Fury front line. While Turner Mattingly-Harnden did not repeat her two goal performance from the morning session, she did twice have shots on goal that forced smart saves from the beleaguered United keeper. Bri Gray used her speed and deft touch to terrorize the wing and put the United defenders on the back foot. Finally, Eden Holetzky and Avery Holland put in fine shifts in the midfield. Eden had blood trickling from her arm after a choice encounter with a United player on the final play of the game. Eden wore it like a badge of honor as it symbolized the unbowed spirit of this fiery team.
The final day of the tournament awaits. At 10 a.m. the Fury match up with the 01 Dallas Texans. The Texans are all that stand in the way of the Fury's return visit to the championship game and a chance to defend last year's crown, this time in a higher bracket. The anticipation is high, but the Fury's resolve to win is unquestioned.
GAME 5 (Monday) (Semi-Finals) - "Fury's Dream of Repeat Championship Comes to an End"
The 01 Fury's (Schoene) dream of back to back championships in Plano ended Labor Day morning on the sun-baked fields at the University of Texas at Dallas Soccer Complex. The 01 Dallas Texans became the first team in the tourney to hold the Fury scoreless, pinning a 2-0 loss on the good guys.
Early in the contest it was clear that the Fury had met an opponent that was strong and determined. Yet, it was the Fury who created more early opportunities.
Forward Keely Chapman yanked a cross into the Texans' box, and only a well-timed dive by the keeper allowed her to smother it before the ball could squirt into the path of an oncoming Fury player.
On the other side of the field, defender Kelsi Fitzgerald was called into action. Kelsi calmly stepped in and broke up a give and go that threatened to breach the Fury defense. WIth the danger averted, Kelsi picked out a midfielder and sent the ball out of harm's way.
Goalkeeper Allison Austin would have a much busier day than in the quarterfinals. Her first save was comforably gathering a Texan free kick that fluttered in the morning breeze, losing momentum in the process. Allison faced a much stiffer challenge minutes later when a foul was called on a Fury defender at the edge of the box. The resulting free kick was on a bee-line for the back of the net. But, Allison got a mitt to the shot, and it deflected wide.
The Fury needed to apply pressure of their own, and Keely obliged by setting off on a long mazy run. The run was just barely stopped by the Texan keeper who bravely advanced and closed Keely's angle of penetration. Bri Gray kept up the pressure with a long run on the boundary nearest the Fury fans. Although Bri's progress was finally slowed by a Texan defender, she smartly used her body to win the challenge and create a throw-in deep in Texan territory.
Shortly after the 15 minute mark, Turner had the best chance so far. From a tight angle, Turner smacked a shot at the near post. The shot had far too much steam for the keeper to catch, so she settled on palming the shot back into the box. The Fury were unlucky to not have anyone near the bouncing ball before it was cleared by a Texan defender.
Turner's shot seemed to awaken the Fury offense. Maddy Childers dribbled in the Texan box and skipped a pass to Jenna Miller. Jenna had a small amount of room to operate, so she lofted a shot, intended to fall between the advancing keeper and the top of the crossbar. This cheeky effort very nearly worked, but the shot just curled over the bar. Turner likewise cleared the bar a few minutes later as the Fury's offense really began to come together, despite the lack of goals.
Then, disaster struck. With only a minute left before halftime in a scoreless game, a Texan player sent a semmingly harmless bouncer into the Fury box. Allison Auston came out to control, but found herself in a cluster of players. In the confusion, a Texan player managed to execute what can only be described as a karate kick, poking the ball over Allison's head, and into the back of the net. So, when the whistle sounded for halftime, the Fury knew they were down a goal and would be playing into the wind in the second half.
The second half had more action than the first. The Texans came close to scoring on a free kick that nearly kissed the crossbar on its way over. Meanwhile, defender Elle Abby made a strong charge into enemy territory and uncoiled a long distance shot that was headed out of the box.
The closest the Fury came to paydirt was courtesy of the foot of Katie Fowler. Katie navigated the far sideline and managed to shake free of her defender. Katie then angled towards goal and unleashed a beautiful shot. The shot's trajectory seemed destined to find the net, but the Texan keeper made the play of the game, leaping high into the air and securing the ball with her fingertips before it could become the equalizer so desperately sought by the Fury and their faithful fans.
Jaycie Thomas used her strong leg to place three separate free kicks on frame, but each wa corralled by the Texan net-minder. The Fury's job became even tougher when a Texan player burst into the box, slipped her defenders and found a corner of the net where Allison had no chance. The score was 2-0, and time was running out.
In the final few minutes, the Fury kept pushing for goal. Maddy Childers had a shot on goal saved at the near post. Cara Compton sent an inviting cross that was stymied before it could be latched onto by a Fury player. Megan Jones and Maddy drew 4 fouls on the Texans in the last two minutes opening up free kick opportunities. Unfortunatley, it was not meant to be. The whistle sounded, and the Texans' celebration began.
Despite the loss, the Fury still had superlative play that is worthy of notice. Emma Base put an exclamation point on a fine tournament with a team high 5 defensive clearances. Kelsi Fitzgerald added 4 clearances, and Rylee Langerman added 2 clearances and numerous invasions from the back linto Texan turf, utilizing her speed, agility and keen sense of field position.
Megan Jones continues to prove that big things come in small packages. Megan led the team with 5 headers, including a number of nifty diredional headers. Ally Mayberry and Maddy Childers nearly kept pace with four more headers a piece, and Ally was strong through the middle of the field, dictating the pace of play. Finally, Eden Holetzky had several fine tackles to win possession for the Fury, and Avery Holland showcased her speed and precise passing, particulary under pressure.
To a girl, the Fury did not want this weekend to end without a medal around their necks. But, even in the anguish of defeat, lessons are there to be learned. The Fury now prepare to begin the regular season in OPL play, and they are buyoed by the confidence that comes with a tournament in which they registered a 3-1-1 record (and a spot in the semi-finals), 10 goals, 7 assists, 65 shots on goal, 24 saves, 36 pancakes, 51 headers, 111 defensive clearances, 75 defensive tackles and 17 corner kicks.
In other words, it was a great weekend, filled with great soccer, great parents and most importantly of all, great kids.
2013 NYSA Classic Cup, U13 Gold Division, Semi-Finalists
2013 South Lakes Cosmos Cup, U13 Gold Division - Second Place
2012 NYSA Classic Cup U13 Gold Division Semi-Finalists
2012 Capital City Cup (Little Rock, Ark) U13 Second Division Semi-Finalists
2012 Plano Labor Day Invitational XXXII U12 Silver A Division Semi-Finalists
2012 U11 State Cup Semi-Finalists
2011 Plano Labor Day Invitational XXXO U11 Silver B Division Champions
2011 Orange Leaf Academy Invitational U10 Gold Division Champions
2010 NYSA Classic Cup U10 Gold Division Champions
2010 Red Earth Invitational U9 Silver Division Champions
2009 NYSA Classic Cup U10 Silver Division Champions
2009 South Lakes Cosmos Cup U9 Gold Division Champions
Coach Katie Abel
Manager: Adam Childers