The New York Magpies men’s team backed up their blistering start to the season with another big win on the road, this time against the North Carolina Tigers. It was a hot and dry day in Raleigh, North Carolina, where the Pies played with only 16 men on a converted soccer pitch. Water was an in-demand commodity, and a full effort was required by all.
Following on from last week, the starting lineup consisted of more fresh faces. Isaac Orr and Harry O’Sullivan began in the midfield, with the experienced Walt Lin directing traffic in the center. After winning plenty of the center clearances, delivery to the leading forwards continued to be outstanding throughout the game. Leading Full Forward, Matt Lovell, again had a field day, booting 8 majors, and providing 2 other assists. But the humble big man pointed attention elsewhere, praising the precision passing that he happened to be on the end of.
“It was magnificent. Silver-service all-day long. Perfectly out in front, where every forward wants it,” said Lovell, now in his second season with the club.
“It’s great to witness the skills on display from our midfield, and from the hard running players coming off the half back flank.”
One of those back flankers was another first game player, Conor Walsh, who’s sporting roots come from Rugby instead of Aussie Rules. While still learning the game, Walsh’s eagerness to get involved was on display from the very start. His inspirational dedication to winning the hard ball showed that he will be a valuable inclusion to the Magpies lineup in 2016.
Second game player, Judd Kozikowski was solid down back all game, and even managed to sneak forward to kick his first ever goal for the club. Players ran to him from all over the field to celebrate, as they also did for the first career goals of Isaac Orr and Harry O’Sullivan alike.
The excitement and encouragement was fantastic, with club veteran Ojas “Juice” Desai being impressed by the display.
“It was a wonderful effort. Hot day, with lots of hard running out of the midfield, we still managed some great delivery up to the forward line. It was an overall great effort.”
‘Juice’ himself managed to kick two goals…breaking his long-running drought, dating back to 2012. One of those goals was a skillful, opposite-footed snap, that he continued to remind his teammates about well after the game had finished.
With two solid wins on the board, the Magpies now travel to Philly in yet another local rivalry. A strong lineup will be ready again, prepared for another battle on Saturday. This weekend though, it was all about the magnificent efforts by the 16 who battled it out in the hot North Carolina sun. The Magpies proved their strength, even in trying conditions, and look to build even further on this fine form throughout the rest of the season.
North Carolina: 6.6.42
New York: 18.10.118
Goals: Lovell 8, Fraietta 2, Desai 2, I. Orr 2, O’Sullivan, Walker, Kozikowski, Carrington.
Best: Lovell, O’Sullivan, Kozikowski, Guarino, Carrington