Sharks earn first win in team history, defeat Cougars 16-13
Orlando, FL - January 18, 2008 - Bill Sedgewick and the Orlando Sharks earn a hard fought home win over the California Cougars, 16-13 at Amway Arena. The Sharks improve to 1-16 on the season after defeating the 7-7 Cougars for the first win in the organization's history.
The Sharks roster is built on the legs of 12 rookies, but it was the Orlando veterans that were the difference in the contest. Orlando didn't control the ball as well as the Cougars, but they did take advantage of every opportunity given to them.
Major Indoor Soccer League veteran Micki Djersillo scored the games first goal with 9:58 remaining in the first quarter. The assist was credited to Eric Vasquez, the first of two for him. Sedgewick extended the Sharks lead to 4-0 with 2:17 remaining in the quarter. Djersillo added the assist for his third point in the game.
Newly acquired midfielder, and former Shark, Marcelo Santos headed a ball through goalkeeper Paul Nagy to put the Cougars on the board for the first time in the match in the second. The Cougars trailed 4-2 with 11:08 left until rookie forward Mauricio Ruiz capitalized on a pass from Vasquez. The goal put Orlando up 6-2 in the second and was the second assist for Vasquez on the night.
Again, the Cougars would battle back in the second half and cut the lead to two with a Naldo score with 13:04 left in the third. But, the Sharks countered and went on a run adding five points in the same quarter. Sedgewick was the first to answer Scheer's goal, then it was Gaston Pernia. The sixth year defender launched a three point goal from midfield after watching Sanaldo fall while running with the ball. Sanaldo dribbled his way out of the goal and looked to be on his way toward the half way line until he tripped with no one near him. He then watched helplessly as Pernia charged the ball and launched to the other side of the field for the three point score.
The Cougars answered the five point run with three unanswered goals. The momentum swing started with an Enrique "Qeeks" Tovar goal with 5:00 remaining in the third quarter. The lead was cut to 11-6 and the Cougars continued to score. Marcos Chantel fired a three point goal off the cross bar that rattled in behind Nagy. Naldo was credited with the assist. Chantel's goal was the first of the fourth quarter and it cut the lead to 11-9. Almost a minute later with 5:18 left in the game, Tovar tied it with a two point chip shot assisted by Santana.
The Cougars defense held the Sharks at bay until Damien Pottinger teamed with Djerisillo to put Orlando up for the final time. The goal came during a restart from the right corner mark and was followed by the game winning three point score by rookie J.P. Rodrigues. Rodrigues iced the Sharks victory with a three pointer from his side of the halfway line, it came against the sixth attacker.
Scheer would add on a late score with 18 seconds left but it was too late. The Sharks held on for the victory and defeat the Cougars 16-13.
The Cougars defense had six blocks in the loss and lost the services of Antonio Sutton in the second half. Sutton went down with a dislocated left knee cap midway through the third and did not return to the game. Sanaldo matched Nagy with 11 saves in the game, but did tally a stop in the first quarter. Both teams used 24 shots in the game.
The Cougars now travel to New Jersey for their second match of the season against the Ironmen. The match marks the first time the Cougars will appear at the Prudential Center in Newark. The match is available on 1420AM KSTN in Stockton and online by visiting www.californiacougars.net. California returns home January 27 for a rematch against the Sharks at 6:15PM.
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