On a scorching hot Sunday at Santa Monica college, it was a case of same old for the Doxa Italia team. After a convincing 5-2 win last weekend, confidence was high going into this weekends game, but for the second time in 3 weeks, the game was lost on Penalties. Three weeks ago, Doxa fell to the same team, LA Blues, on PK’s in the Iran cup final. On a positive note, Doxa were pretty dominant through the game, and should have been 2 or 3-0 up before the Blues got their penalty. Nate Reeves will atone to the fact that the challenge for the Blues PK happened outside the area, but the referee was stuck on the half way line trying to get rid of a cramp at the time! Doxa’s goal also came from a penalty. Anthony Hamilton picked up the ball outside the area, and after dribbling at the defender, drove in a cross only for the ball to ricochet off the defenders hand. The referee immediately pointed to the spot, and Raul Palomares stepped up to bury the PK to the keepers right. After 80 minutes were played, the game went straight to PK’s and the Blues sticking away 3 of their 4 penalties compared to Doxa’s 1 out of 4. Brandon Avery again came up big for Doxa with a save on the second PK. That makes it 3 penalty saves from 9 for Avery. So, the Santa Monica league finished in disappointment. Thanks to all those that showed up for the two playoff games. On a serious note, the biggest disappointing was the fact that we only had 13 players show up for a game against our arch rivals when we have a squad of 22! It played a big role in the games outcome, and those guys that did or did not have an excuses for showing up, should note that. It takes a team!
It was great to see Fernando Mastrocinque at the game, Fernando is the God Father of the Doxa Italia name. I spoke to Fernando after the game and he mentioned it would make sense for us to start practicing penalties after training!
In other news, it is reported the referee is going to be sponsored by Dole Bananas for the rest of the season, hopefully that will stop the cramping!! I have never seen a referee cramp in a game before!
Bryan Byrne is officially racist towards white people! (don’t ask!!)
Doxa before Penalties
Starting Line Up:
12. Craig Reynolds
FULL TIME: Doxa Italia 5 - 2 Other Team
Doxa marched on in the Santa Monica League playoffs, with a tough fought win at midday Sunday. With only 11 players at kick off, goalkeeper/makeshift striker Brian Burdue got the nod to start up top. Beside him Anthony Hamilton made his official debut, as did Bryan Byrne, Andrew Villalobos and Manny Guzman. Twice in the first half Doxa had to come from behind after two pretty bad give aways in midfield according to the defense. After last weekend in Vegas, centerback Nate Reeves was being reminded of the quality of strikers that exist in the Santa Monica League! Anthony Hamilton got the first goal for Doxa shortly after 20 minutes, before Kyle Holland brought the game to 2-2 minutes after coming off the bench. Holland replaced the very effective Brian Burdue, who nearly had an assist when he placed the ball on a plate for Manny Guzman, only for the later to drive the ball over the bar from 10 yards! On a positive note, Guzman managed to stay on the field longer than 3o minutes without getting sent off. Speaking of 30 minutes, that’s how long experienced veteran Craig Reynolds lasted before being subbed for Devin Toohey. In fact, the substitution seemed to benefit Reynolds, who looked a lot steadier on the sideline. Rumor has it that he got the assist for the other teams 2nd goal, after rattling a shot off Avery’s crossbar!
After half time, Doxa picked up the pace and started to dominate the game. In saying that, Averyhad to make two or three terrific saves, keeping Doxa in the lead. At half time, Sam Allen came in on the left and terrified the oposing defense with his speed. Kyle Holland was the one who put Doxa in the lead for the first time 10 minutes into the second half with a tidy finish past the onrushing keeper. Shortly after that Steve Chirgwin partially made amends for his Yellow Jersey performance last weekend. Chirgy played a give and go with Villalobos at the top of the box before drilling the ball into the far corner. Needless to say, Chirgy will still be wearing the yellow jersey this week at practice for kicking the ball into the Fullerton Stadium from the PK spot at the Iran Cup final last weekend (Whhoooaahh!!!). With 15 minutes to go, club captain Derk Droze showed up and was thrown a jersey…and greatfully took to the field. Holland wrapped up his hat-trick by lobbing the keeper five minutes before full time giving Doxa a well deserved victory and sending them through to next weeks quarter final.
- In other news, Omar Elminoufi made it to the game, although he is sporting a back injury after tripping over some young girls at an inter-mural game this past week. Rumor had it the injury happened while Omar was checking out the blond number 15 playing at left back!
- The Gaffer, John Gerrard, showed up just in time to yell some obscenities at the referee for not giving a PK late on, I think ‘Plonker’ was the term he used. So, nothing new there I guess!
Feel free to leave any comments below, I might have missed some incidents in the game! Also, match pictures to follow!
Starting Line Up: