December 16, 2011 - Professional Arena Soccer League (PASL) - Louisville Lightning
LOUISVILLE, KY (December 16th, 2011) -- The Louisville Lightning hosted the Cincinnati Kings tonight in a match deemed the, "I-71 Derby." As usual, the fans were not let down as the game was very well fought on both sides of the turf. The Lightning ended up on top by a score of 8-7, but it didn't come with ease, as the Kings were fierce and hesitant in letting up throughout the match.
The first half was very intense as the Lightning went into the locker room with a 3-1 lead. There were a number of blue cards, including one hockey-style body check by Ireland national, Ross Hopkins. There was another big physical presence from Lightning player, Simon Bird. In an attempt to get into the goalie's head, Bird followed through on his drives to the net, just to let Craig Salvati know he was there. It seemed to work because in the fourth quarter, Salvati was pulled for the back-up keeper.
Starting goalkeeper, Frank Peabody, made his first start in four games, and he did not upset the hometown crowd. He made a number of saves to help the Lightning keep the lead in a very close game. It seemed as if Peabody picked up where he left off, after taking an injury to his elbow only a few weeks prior. When asked how he felt after the game, Frank said, "Pretty tired, the first game back is always a hard one. It's hard to keep your fitness level up after being injured, but all I had to do was play a simple game. And, sometimes you get lucky and the ball just bounces away."
Nick Judah, another veteran of the Louisville Lightning, made his first start in a number of games as well. It didn't come with any hesitation or jitters either. Judah managed to net four goals on the night in a match that is historically known to be very rough and dominated by the rival, Cincinnati Kings. "Cincinnati had our number in the past," Judah said in the post-game press conference. "This is my third season with the club, so even though I haven't played in a few games lately, I'm used to the game. It would have been much harder to come back if I wasn't," Judah added.
Until the fourth quarter, it seemed to be a Lightning-controlled game, but the Kings definitely did not want to let the chance of a win slip through their fingers. The Kings were down 5-2, going into the fourth, but managed to bridge the gap and add five goals and pull close to the Lightning at 8-7. Even though the Kings never held the lead in the game, they made it quite a challenge for the Lightning to pull out their third victory against the club this season.
The Louisville Lightning play the Cincinnati Kings one more time this season in only a couple weeks. The Lightning will travel up to Cincinnati Gardens on the 30th of December to attempt a season sweep of a club that has been nothing but trouble to them in the past. The coaches and players of the Lightning look forward to it, as they are still in a battle with the Kings over the third and fourth spot in the Eastern Division of the PASL. The Kings will be sure to give them run for their money.
For any more information, Louisville Lightning fans can log on to the official Louisville Lightning website (louisvillelightning.com) or visit the new blog at louisvillelightning.wordpress.com. Great game tonight, and good luck to the Lightning in the Dec. 30th bout against the Cincinnati Kings.