Central Ohio traffic seem to foretell the future and desired to lengthen the Blue Footies season. For the first night this season a cold wind blew, rolling in dark misting clouds. Good for Halloween but bad for a comfortable soccer match. Gone were the 90 degree days replaced with tights and long sleeve jerseys. The Braves Championship season came to conclusion up on Hard Road.
Some absence gave others a starting chance. Thinking of switching up the formation to a 4-3-3 was considered. However, the best winning chance suggested sticking with a 4-4-2. Even staying with their 4-4-2 formation caused adjusting and filling vacant spots. This evening had Salma Kebe in the nets. Defenders Amelia Morris, Ella Norris, Ellis Scanlon-Kimura and Lily Hoyt adjusted and formed a new back line. The midfield found Summer Dush, Captain Lilly Mathys, Edee Malley and Nezzie O’Malley. Captain Olivia Mullins and Elise Peters would play a high low striker combination.
The first 40 minutes were as well played as any the Braves have achieved. One goal was conceded from a back post shot but surrounding that was a spectacular display of defense and goal keeping. One shot swapped away by Selma Kebe could only be believed if seen and you would only see that save once in a life time. The Braves attacks were vigorous but lacked consistency and did not generate the usual goal scoring result. The Braves were down one but planning on evening the score with second half play.
The toll taken by the effort expended the night before in Mapfre stadium was a bill the Braves could no longer cover. Legs were urged hard without the usual response. The energy used in the Championship game on the largest field for any high school game showed and in the second half that bill came due. The mind was willing but the energy tank was dry.
Stat lovers: 3 shots on goal, no corner kicks earned, 3 fouls given, 16 keeper saves with no goals scored and seven yielded. This seasons the team total 49 goals scored and earned 7 shutouts. The final record achieved was 9-5-3 plus the Columbus City Soccer Championship.
The players circled up and hugged each other in thanks for 5 months of work in support and effort. As always sadness left with smiles and gratitude.