November 7, 2011 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - Louisville Lightning
The rivalry between the Louisville Lightning and Detroit Waza is alive and well. The two teams met Sunday in the 2011-2012 PASL season opener, where the Waza used a dominant second quarter to build a commanding lead and hang on for a 9-3 win. The two teams picked up right where they left off last season with several skirmishes in the Sunday matinee.
The Lightning and Waza met Sunday afternoon at Taylor Sportsplex in Detroit to kick off the 2011-2012 PASL campaign. Both teams battled early on, with Detroit sporting a veteran lineup bolstered by Dominic Scicluna. Each team fought to find opportunities in the first quarter of play, and several shots by both the Waza and Lightning just missed the target. Neither team was able to control possession early on, and the two teams finished the first quarter scoreless in Detroit.
The second quarter was a much different story. The Waza used their possessions wisely and created a number of opportunities, resulting in three goals early in the second quarter. Louisville got on the board with a goal from Corey Maret, but Detroit used a six-minute span in the second quarter to take control, scoring two more goals to make it 5-1 and put pressure on the visiting Lightning.
The two sides went into the break with Detroit leading 5-1, but Lightning coach Scott Budnick made crucial adjustments at the half. As a result, the Lightning were more aggressive early on in the third quarter, pressuring the Waza in an attempt to climb back into the match. Detroit would strike first on a goal from Aaron Byrd, but then Louisville's Scott Stockum would make it a 6-2 game off the assist from Charlie Campbell. The Waza led 6-2 at the end of the third period, but Louisville looked to regroup and come out firing in the fourth quarter.
Unfortunately, a 6-2 lead would get out of hand in the final period. Miki Djerisilo and Decu Costea would make it 8-2, then Aaron Byrd would add another to make it 9-2 with just minutes remaining. The Lightning continued to fight, however, looking for scoring opportunities and creating chances. It paid off when Ross Hopkins found the back of the net to make it 9-3 late in the fourth period.
The loss would be compounded in the final moments by a brutal injury to Lightning goalkeeper Frank Peabody. Peabody took a close-range shot to the forearm, falling to the turf and holding his left arm. Peabody was taken to a nearby Detroit hospital after the game, where it was determined the Louisville native dislocated his left elbow. The goalkeeper was released from the hospital late Sunday evening.
The Detroit Waza hung on for 9-3 victory in the season opener over the Louisville Lightning. The Waza outshot the Lightning 30-26 on the night, while Louisville earned three power plays to just two for Detroit. Corey Maret, Scott Stockum, and Ross Hopkins each led the Lightning with two points on the night. Charlie Campbell also had a point for Louisville. Miki Djerisilo led all players with five points for the Waza.
Louisville travels to Cincinnati next for yet another rivalry game. The Kings play host to the Lightning on Saturday, November 12th. The match will be played at the historic Cincinnati Gardens.
After the game, Lightning coach Scott Budnick spoke about the disappointing loss. "Today's match was another intense physical battle between two teams that hate to lose. I think we had a couple of chances in the second quarter and we didn't capitalize on them," he said.
"Unfortunately, we made some costly errors in the back. On the road in a hostile environment, it's hard to come back from that type of thing. I credit our players with fighting for sixty minutes and not giving up. We had some chances, but we just didn't capitalize on them," the coach said.
Budnick praised the performance of two former University of Louisville stars. "Charlie Campbell had a strong match, and Ryan McDonald was our player of the game," Budnick said. "Ryan was really strong for us tonight."
The coach also spoke about the injury to veteran goalkeeper Frank Peabody. "We don't know how long Frank will be out, but we have a lot of talent in our pool of players, and injuries are part of the game. It's unfortunate about Frank, because he has meant a lot to the organization, but we don't know where he's at right now in terms of the injury. We have to wait and see how extensive it is, and we'll make our plans accordingly," Budnick said.