Sunday, May 23, 2010

Flames Win Bronze, Remain Undefeated, End Season with the Heat Turned All the Way to 11

"Confront them with annihilation, and they will then survive; plunge them into a deadly situation, and they will then live. When people fall into danger, they are then able to strive for victory." ~ Sun Tzu

The Grandview Flames entered Darree Fields with high hopes Saturday riding a two-season unbeaten streak into the Ohio Champions League U10 Boys Spring 2010 Tournament.

They left Darree Fields Saturday evening still undefeated but nearly depleted, and with their tournament hopes hanging by a thread. 

But, the next morning, on a wet and scorching hot Darree Fields, the unstoppable Flames turned up the gas and burned through both their opponents to come from behind and secure the Bronze Third Place Finish in the 12-team field, remain undefeated in 2010 and keep their club-record 22-game undefeated streak alive.

Highlights of the four-game stand include: A beautiful header goal by Wes to win Game 3 on the corner kick from Manny. A hat trick by Ben K in game 4. The Flames first clean sheet of the season by Jake and Wes in Game 4. Jake played in goal for all but part of one half when Wes came in to close Game 4 and kept the clean sheet. Coach Gerdes was doused in the ceremonial cooler dump. Ben D. turned 10 to singing and cupcakes. Ben K. walked away with the Golden boot with a total of 13 goals on the season with Wes not far behind with 10.   

When all was said and done, the Flames did Grandview proud. "Flame On!"

Day One, Saturday, May 22
Game One: 12:55 p.m. Versus Dublin United Schalke FC. Tie 2-2.
68 degrees with steady light breeze from the west, slightly damp field with medium high grass for a slightly slow pitch. Flames Formation: 1-1-3. Schalke Formation: 2-3. Manny scores in minute 7 and minute 16. Schalke score in minute 17 to make it 2-1 to close the half. Schalke open Second Half with goal in minute 7 (tied 2-2). With 15 minutes remaining, Manny drills free kick in from 20-yards, but goal called back because it was an indirect kick. The referee later explained that the call was dangerous play. Ben D was kicked in face on a high kick in the Flames' box. Schalke tie it 2-2 with 5 minutes remaining. Shots on Goal: Schalke 7, Flames 10. Saves: Schalke 6, Flames 5 (Jake). Overall the Flames looked tentative and often indecisive, particularly on defense. 50-50 balls too often went to Schalke.   

Game Two: 3:20 p.m. Versus Dublin Shamrock Rovers. Tie 4-4. 70 degrees and cloudy with spots of rain and slight west breeze. Field was a little drier and quicker. Flames took the 3-0 lead into halftime but then crumbled defensively against a Shamrocks team that just plain wanted it more and came locked and loaded. It would have been a loss were it not for Jake's outstanding performance in goal with 10 saves, including several spectacular game-savers near the buzzer. Wes scored first in minute 10 followed by Dylan in Minute 15 on a deflected shot by Manny. Near the close of the First Half, Sam scored on a shot off one that Derek sent off the post to make it 3-0 at halftime. Immediately to open the second half, the Shamrocks passed it right through the Flames to score and make it 3-1. Two minutes later, they did it again to make it 3-2, and you could see the Flames dim a bit. The Shamrocks assaulted the Flames' goal with several shots and three corner kicks. But the Flames did not give up, and Wes scored to make it 4-2 Flames with about 8 minutes remaining. In hindsight, perhaps a more defensive formation at this point might have made sense. The Shamrocks had five consecutive unanswered shots on goal before finally netting one with 6 minutes left followed by the heartbreaking tying goal with two minutes left. Shots on Goal: Shamrocks 14, Flames 10. Saves: Shamrocks 4, Flames 6.

Day 2, Sunday, May 23
Game 3: 8:30 a.m. Versus Bexley Premier. Win 4-3. Sunny and humid 70 degrees for dawn kickoff on a very wet, dew-soaked slow pitch.This ended up being an instant classic. The Flames looked sharp but struggled with the extremely slow pitch. Bexley scored first about 5 minutes in on a cross that was initially saved but not secured, and Bexley punched it in on the deflection. But one minute later the Flames came back with a goal by Ben K, 1-1 tie. Bexley broke away a couple minutes later to answer with another goal and retake the lead, 2-1. The Flames did well controlling play the remainder of the first half and fought back with several good chances, but they did not convert, and it ended up 2-1 at half. Two minutes into the second half, Ben D. tied it up with a clinical finish that breathed new life into the Flames. But one minute later, Bexley went ahead 3-2. This is where the Flames showed their character. Manny dribbled all the way and planted it into the net with 19  minutes remaining, 3-3. Several harrowing minutes went by with quality chances and clutch defense on both sides before what was one of the most remarkable plays of the season and perhaps Flames history. Many took a corner from the right side that he gave good air and placed right in the goal mouth. Wes ran right into it and headed it home the game winner. Quality defense and clock management protected the lead. Overall this was a much better game from the Flames who showed spirit and intelligence. Shots on Goal: Bexley 13, Flames 18. Saves: Bexley 9, Flames 6.

Game 4: 10:15 a.m. versus Dublin United Schalke FC. Win 4-0. Hot and humid, sunny and 82 degrees at kickoff on a drier and faster pitch. The Flames essentially put on a clinic here in this rematch, demonstrating that Saturday's tie with Schalke was not a true indicator of the relative quality of these respective teams. The Flames showed who they really are and demonstrated why they had the best record in the league in regular season play. It was their first shutout of the campaign and concluded the season on a beautiful note with the Little Red Men playing some of their best soccer in their signature, passing-style, and keeping their 22-game unbeaten streak alive heading into the summer break. Ben K scored on a break away in minute 10, which proved the only goal of the first half despite quality chances on both sides. The Flames dominated possession and made smart choices especially on the defensive end. Five minutes into the second half, Ben K. scored again on a scrappy toe lunge that just trickled in on the cross from Derek, 0-2 Flames. With 16 minutes remaining, Ben D. made it 3-0 with a well placed shot near the far post off his left foot. And Ben K. drove in the hat trick with about 9 minutes left, 4-0 Flames. Wes was subbed in at goal with about 10 minutes remaining. Dylan showed courage by attempting to play through his neck injury at about minute 10 of half one, but it didn't work out for him, unfortunately. Shots on Goal: Schalke 5, Flames 18. Saves: Schalke 11, Flames 5.          

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Flames Plow Over Opponents Like the Maginot Line

On the same weekend that saw Inter Milan win the Italian title and Argentinos Jrs. secure the Argentine Primera Division championship, the Grandview Flames rolled through two opponents like a Panzer division to finish the season unbeaten and win the best record in the Ohio Champions League U11 boys.

The Flames scored 17 goals in 100 minutes of soccer at Anderson Field, giving up just 2 goals and putting on a clinical exhibition of crisp, stylish soccer the likes of which is not seen often among 10-year-old boys in the United States.

The Blitzkrieg started Saturday at 3 p.m. with the Little Red Men taking on the larger but slower U11 Classics FC Lightning of Lewis Center. It was a beautiful day for soccer, 76 degrees and sunny with a slight breeze out of the north coming across the sidelines.
The Flames lined up in their attack-oriented 1-1-3 with Jake in Goal, Manny starting at back, Ben D at center midfield, Ben K. at left wing, Sam at right and Wes forward at striker. Three quick goals came in succession: Ben K, Wes, Ben K to make it 3-0 after 7 minutes. Indigo got a little too fancy trying to dribble the ball out instead of clearing, which gave the Classics their only goal of the game at minute 9.

But then the Flames turned up the gas and burned down the house.

Dylan scored  in minute 12. Ben K. made it a hat trick with another goal in minute 13. Derek scored in minute 15. Ben D. scored right after that. Manny scored in minute 18 from the top of the key. Dylan scored again in minute 19. It was 9-1 at the half.

Wes started at goal in the second half, but he didn't see much action. Ben D. scored 7 minutes into the half. Ben K. was subbed in at goal in minute 13. Sam had a beautiful goal on a half volley that came in over his head, and Derek powered one in with about 5 minutes remaining.

Final score: Flames 12-1 Classics.

Sunday's match versus Bexley Premier proved  more interesting, at least in the first half. Cooler and windier for the 5 p.m. kick-off at Anderson Field, it was about 70 degrees and mostly cloudy with east winds at 5-8 mph.

Jake started in goal with Manny at back, Ben D at center mid, Derek on left wing, Dylan at right and Indigo up top.

Bexley threatened early with pair of very fast and skilled little players and a disciplined approach on the ball. A through ball slotted left to number 3 got behind the Flames' line, and he drilled it in to make it 1-0 Bexley at  minute 6.

But two minutes later, the two Bens combined on a beautiful double give and go that developed down the left side and ended with Ben D. scoring his 6th of the season and the Flames' first of the day to tie it at minute 8.

In Minute 12, Manny drilled a nice shot from distance that caught the Bexley keeper off guard and gave the Flames the 2-1 lead, which they never relinquished.

Jake made two key saves to preserve the lead going into the half. With the game still appearing tight and the unbeaten season on the line, Jake was kept in goal for the second half.

Bexley moved into a tighter defensive formation for the second half where they looked to rely on the skill and speed of their No. 22 as a lone striker up high and shore up against the Flames' relentless attack. The plan probably looked good on paper, and nearly worked in the early minutes of the second half, as Jake had to make a key save on the breakaway from the fleet-footed No. 22.

But then Wes scored on a beautiful chip over the Bexley keeper, and the 3-1 lead for the Flames appeared to  take all the spirit out of Bexley.

No. 22 got frustrated and made a few jersey tugs and aggressive challenges. He got a couple more decent shots off that Jake saved without too much difficulty, and then he and the rest of the Bexley squad appeared to fall into silent resignation to the inevitable. Like a French infantry unit, Bexley appeared to surrender.

The Flames spent the next few minutes in a shock and awe campaign that brought goals from Wes and finally Derek who barreled into the box like a running back and stuck it into the back of the net in the final minute to make the final score 5-1.

Now attention turns to the OCL tournament, which begins next Saturday. For all their success, the Flames have yet to win a cup.

"If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn't thinking." George S. Patton

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tats, Flowers and a Beautifully Played Draw Honor the Moms of Grandview SC

Whoever said that a tie is like kissing your sister never witnessed a beautiful tie like the one the Grandview Flames played on Sunday.

The well-played 2-2 draw versus Dublin United AC Milan warmed the hearts of all the mothers who came out on a Sunny but blustery Mother's Day at Darree Fields in Dublin. In tribute to the Flames' moms, the Little Red Men presented flowers (thanks Kim) to the ladies who bore them into this world and who have supported their aspiring soccer careers through wind, rain and cold. To really drive the point home, the Flames employed the time-honored method of maternal tribute: Tattoos (thanks Coach Gerdes).

There are rumors that if the Flames win the tournament a pact has been made to get permanent tats, which would feature the Human Torch, each respective member's nick name and the trademark phrase: "Flame On!"

It was sunny and about 58 degrees with a stiff wind out of the northwest at game time, creating a crosswind from the corner.

Indigo made the start in goal and had his work cut out for him, as Milan's passing game brought several early chances for the Dubliners, who scored first by following through on a deflection in the box to make it 1-0 Milan at minute 5.

The Flames came right back with several good chances of their own, including a nice through pass from Sam to Ben K who drilled a beautiful shot to the upper right corner that would have gone in if not for a clinical save by Milan's starting keeper, a talented boy also named Ben.

At the half, Jake went in at goal for the Flames, and Milan made a substitution of their own at keeper, a decision that arguably cost Milan the win.

Manny made his presence known with several dangerous carries into Milan territory that resulted in chances, including a nice cross to Wes who just missed on the header.

Wes finally put the Flames on the board with a curious over the back quasi-bicycle kick from within the box that was misjudged by the Milan keeper and helped by the wind. Tied 1-1 in minute 6 of the second half.

One  minute later, Wes followed that up to net the brace with a shot that was deflected off the loose-handed second string keeper for Milan to make it 2-1 Flames in minute 7 of the second half.

After Ben D threatened with several more quality shots on goal in creative combination with Sam (who was on fire this day), Milan's manager had seen enough and made yet another keeper substitution at about minute 14 in the half.

While the Grandview mom's smiled on their boys' magnificent display, lady luck turned a blind eye, and quality chances went unfulfilled for a long stretch.

Finally, a defensive miscue by the Flames gave Milan the break they had been patiently waiting for, and they capitalized with the decisive tying goal with about 6 minutes left to play.

The Flames now return home for two final matches in the regular season as thoughts begin to turn to the tournament.

Flame On!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Trip to Westerville Yields 4-1 Result for Flames Vs. WASA Eagles White

Mapquest and Google Maps called it 20 miles and change. If you went I-71 North to Polaris, it took nearly 45 minutes in the congested traffic of North Columbus Suburbia. It was well worth the journey.

The Grandview Flames' extended 5-game road show hit game four on Monday with a visit to the Northside Fellowship Church of Westerville and a 6 p.m. showdown with the WASA Eagles White on the pristine grounds of the WASA Eagles Football Club of Westerville.

It was 77 degrees at kickoff with a slight breeze out of the southwest.

Two well-coached teams with English managers faced off with two very different styles of soccer. The Flames displayed the attacking, pass-oriented Latin style that has served them so well and strikes fear in the heart of opponents across the Ohio Champions League. The Eagles played a defensive, physical English game that is honorable and can be effective but is not especially easy on the eyes.

Jake started in goal with the others in the signature 1-1-2-1 formation: Wes at back, Ben D in the hole, Indigo (left) and Derek (right) on the wings and current Golden Boot holder Ben K at the tip of the spear.

In the early going it looked as though the contest might be tight to the wire. There were early chances on both sides before the Flames struck first. A late-arriving Manny was subbed in with impeccable timing just before a free kick in minute 8 after Sam was fouled outside the corner of the box. Manny drilled the kick high and in for the 1-0 lead.

The Eagles struck back with two quick shots on goal, the first of which was saved by Jake the Ace and the second of which went off the crossbar. The next few minutes were a defensive clinic by the Flames as they bent but did not break. Jake made several key saves including a decisive and unusual slide tackle outside the box in minute 14.

The Eagles started checking hard, and elbows weren't always kept down, but there was nothing malicious and the ref did a decent job considering he had no linesmen.

Things started to turn the Flames' way as they had several good chances, some stopped by very close offsides calls. The Eagles played a disciplined, high back line that succeeded several times in trapping Flames offsides.

Finally, the incessant Flames attack got through with Sam scoring on a scrappy dribble in deep at about minute 19. (2-0)

In minute 25 the Eagles sneaked by on a through ball and scored their first and only goal of the match. But the Flames struck right back. A determined Ben D. carried it into the box, shot it into the keeper, gathered the rebound and left-footed it in to make it 3-1 at the half.

Wes started the second half in goal and kept a clean sheet, making several good saves. Ben K. made it comfortable for the Flames with a goal in the 4th minute of the second half to make it 4-1.  From there the Flames did not look back, conceding a few opportunities for the Eagles that fizzled at times because of solid goal keeping and at times for lack of luck.

Indigio was subbed in at keeper for the Flames with about 10 minutes remaining, and he too pitched the shutout.

All told it was solid outing for the Grandview Reds, on a beautiful evening, on a flawless ground, against a worthy squad.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Flames Keep Unbeaten Streak Alive on the Road with 1-1 Tie Versus Dublin United Force

The Flames on Sunday improved their performance against an old foe and remained unbeaten in the 2010 spring season with a 1-1 tie at Darree Fields versus Dublin United Force.

Every sentient being in the Flames universe entered the match fully aware that it was this same talented Dublin squad who drove a dagger in the hearts of the Flame Faithful last fall knocking the Red Men of Grandview out of the fall tourney.

This match started much better for the Flames as they dominated the early going, holding the ball well and keeping the Dubliners on their heels.

Ben K.  scored in minute 2 on an awkward combination with Dylan in the box. The early goal was his team-leading 5th of the season.* But after that the United tightened up, and while Flames created a half dozen more quality chances in the half, nothing came of them.

With less than a minute left in the first half, Dylan was fouled hard, and the referee ruled it just outside the box. There were murmurs from visiting fans for a PK. Wes took a brilliant free kick that nearly went in but went high.

The second half was a completely different story, as the Flames now headed up a slight grade and into a wind that appeared to pick up slightly.

High balls played out by the keeper Jake or the back defenders would bend back toward the Flames' side. Balls in from the United keeper would carry deep into Flames' territory.

Almost immediately the chances started coming for United, and the Flames dimmed.

In a strategic move, Manager Gerdes sent Ben D. down the right flank with orders to cross from the corner, and no less than four chances resulted, but all were without result.

Finally, Dublin United scored in the 33rd minute on a ball slotted through on the breakaway and a fine finish.

The 1-1 score would hold, as the Flames managed to stop several more quality chances and walk away with the draw.

Keeper Jake K's 1-goal allowed took him to a 1.88 goals against per game average on the season, as he has become a solid presence on the back line. In the last 3 games, he has allowed just 4 goals.
While it was the first game of spring 2010 that the Flames did not win, by preserving the tie, the Flames kept alive a combined indoor-outdoor unbeaten streak that, fittingly, began after the Flames' last loss, the fall outdoor tournament final versus Dublin United Force at Darree Fields.

There will be no rest as the Flames travel to Northside Church Field 1 Monday at 6 p.m. to face the WASA Eagles White.

*The 2010 goal scoring stats omit the results of one match, which was not recorded.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Flames Burn Hole in the Heart of Worthington Crew Jr. Gladiators

There are teams with simple, solid names like the "Grandview Flames."

And then  there are teams with more complex, elaborate names like, for example the "Ladies Auxiliary of Weston Road Tea Party Barristers" or the "Worthington Crew Jr. Chiefs" or, to cite yet another example, the "Worthington Crew Jr. Gladiators."

While there is no demonstrated empirical correlation between the unnecessary flourishes of a club's name and its success on the field, the simple grandeur of the Grandview Flames on Saturday once again demolished yet another North Columbus Club with an unfathomable name, as the Flames burned a hole in the heart of Worthington with a 7-1 away win over the Worthington Crew Jr. Gladiators.

Now, truth be told this correspondent was not physically present for said shellacking. But, based on numerous sources within the GF Fan Club, here is what transpired:

A perhaps over-confident Flames squad sashayed onto the wet home turf of the Worthington Crew Jr. Gladiators and gave up the early lead 1-0.

Another 15 minutes went by with chances on both sides before the Flames finally locked and loaded, with a left-footed goal from Ben K on the assist from Manny the Magician.

After that it was all Flames, as the Worthington Crew Jr.Gladiators collapsed like an elaborately constructed parlor trick.

First came the own goal on the cross from Derek. Then Derek scored on his own with no assist from the Gladiators. This was followed by a goal from the wily Iron Curtain, Ben D to close the half.

In the fourth minute of the second half, Manny stepped up for the PK, and a brilliant save by the Worthington Crew Jr. Gladiators keeper went for naught as Derek drilled the rebound to make it 5-1.

Ben D then netted his second, followed by the finale, a nice finish on the corner by Jake (his first of the year) with Indigo on the assist to end it at 7-1.

Manager James Gerdes summed up the performance this way: "I think it was the best they have played all season, especially in the difficult, wet conditions."

The Flames will look to continue their unbeaten streak and their extended road stand with a Sunday contest versus the Dublin United Force at Darree Field No. 16 at 1:50 p.m.

"Flame on," brothers and sisters. Flame on.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bruising Victory Over Shamrock Rovers Puts Flames at 4-0

On the wind-swept Darree Fields in Dublin, the Grandview Flames SC on Sunday afternoon began their extended away stand with a fourth consecutive victory to begin the 2010 campaign. The win did not come without its casualties, as there were several hard challenges from the physical Rovers that sent Flames flying, and one member of the Flames Fan Club was sent off by the referee near the start of the second half in a controversial decision.

The Rovers beat the Flames in their last meeting, but the Grandview Juggernaut dominated this stand-off for most of the 50 minutes, and the they won it 4-2 to go top of the Ohio Champions League U10 Boys.

The Flames struck early with a goal by Ben K. in the second minute, which resulted from good short passing that allowed the fleet-footed forward to penetrate close. The long-haired El Mellizo followed that up with a second enterprising goal to make it 2-0 in minute 5. But one minute later, the Shamrock Rovers' American-style physical game finally produced results with a goal in minute 6 that resulted in part from a defensive break-down from the Flames.

The Flames then settled in nicely and began dominating possession. They went 3-1 to close the half when Ben K. laid a clinical right cross to the foot of Wes who finished brilliantly in minute 12.

Early on in the second half is when things got interesting. Faced with a 3-1 score with only 25 minutes to play, the Rovers made a calculated decision to play an even more physical, state of nature form of soccer. What resulted was a spectacle akin to watching the beautiful passing football of Arsenal come up against the likes of San Jose Earthquakes with their "soccer is a contact sport" approach to the game.

As is so often is the case in these situations, the Force was with the team who played the game in the way it was intended: deftly, thoughtfully and precisely.

After one particularly reckless challenge that left Wes with a head wound, a credentialed media representative and member of the Grandview Flames SC Fan Club objectively and calmly expressed his opinion that the contact was so reckless as to warrant a foul.

The referee stopped play and berated the Grandview supporter, who in turn responded with words that in most neighborhoods would be considered tame, given the tone and posture that had been adopted.

Not happy with the words he heard, the referee exercised his prerogative to eject the fan.

"You have 60 seconds to leave the field, or your team will forfeit," he said.

Several thoughts went through the fan's head at this point, most of them not printable in this family-friendly forum. Said fan exited silently stage left.

Not deterred by the street theater, the Flames flamed on, dominating possession with a disciplined and effective passing game the remainder of the match and pummeling the opposing goal with a half dozen shots.

One of these finally paid off, a well-deserved scorcher from Manny near the close to make it 4-2, which proved to be the final.

Sunday's win came on the heels of Saturday's 5-1 victory over the Worthington Crew Juniors Chiefs (Details and stats to follow).

The Flames now have four more consecutive away trips before returning home for the final two regular-season matches May 15 and 16.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Flames Go 2-0 With Victory Over Dublin United Schalke

The Flames picked up a second consecutive win with a decisive 5-3 victory over Dublin United Schalke on Sunday at Anderson Field.

Schalke scored first in the 3rd minute with a hard strike that caught the Flames' defense by surprise. But Johnny Volker made his presence known immediately thereafter by stealing the ball at the top of the key, dribbling a few paces and drilling the shot past the diving keeper for the equalizer.

What followed was an onslaught by the Flames, as they pushed hard and had several chances including two corners before Ben K scored on a sliding touch just past the opposing keeper with about 5 minutes left in the half.

The Flames had several more shots on goal to start the second half and finally converted in the 5th minute in with a fine finish by Wes on a left cross from Johnny to make it 3-1.

Schalke tried to make a match of it, scoring a nifty goal off the right post in the 9th minute of the half to make it 3-2, but the Grandview home side came storming right back with a nice finish from Dylan on the right cross by Sam. This was followed by a hammer strike from Indigo at the top of the key at '21 to put the Flames seemingly out of reach at 5-2.

The talented little Osh for Schalke tried to bring his side back with an answer one minute later, but it was not to be for the Dubliners, as time ran out, and the Flames recorded 6 points in 2 games to start the 2010 campaign.

Goal Keeper: Jake
Central Defense: Manny
Center Midfield: Ben D
Striker: Wes
Right Wing: Derek
Left Wing Indigo

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Old Nemesis Vanquished: Flames Win Season Opener 4-3

The Grandview Flames SC opened their 2010 campaign at home at Anderson Field on Saturday with a hard-fought win versus the Classics of Louis Center.

It was the Flames' first ever victory against the select club from up north who have figured prominently in all Ohio Champions League U10 competitions.

The teams were fairly evenly matched for the 2 p.m. showdown, but the Classics had more men to sub in and out, and the Flames began to dim near the end of the second half. But they held on for the 4-3 win. Jake made several key saves to keep them in it, and a little luck came in it too as the Classics blew several good chances and had several more go just wide or high.

The first goal of the match and the season for the Flames came on an odd high bouncer sent in by Manny from nearly mid field. The opposing goalie misjudged it, and it sailed over his head and in.

The Classics answered a minute later with a left-footed rocket from their talented forward, No. 21.

At about 15 minutes, Ben D. dumped a nice pass out right to Dylan at the top of the box who didn't hesitate and drove it near post and past the surprised keeper to make it 2-1 Flames.

Again the Classics countered, and again it was their left-footed attacker No. 21, who finished a beautiful corner from the right side that skimmed the cross bar and down at his feet.

The Classics then put the Flames on the ropes, taking the 3-2 lead with a goal by winger No. 20.

But a buzzer-beater at the end of the first half by Wes tied it 3-3.

The only goal of the second half proved the winner. About 10 minutes in, Dylan placed a nice right cross at the foot of Indigo who powered it in decisively.

The disappointment among the Classics fans was palpable, and some words were spoken in their duress.

The Flames management issued the following statement: "We finally beat them."

The team photo was taken immediately following, amid celebratory cookie bars from Becky. Included in this season's photo were the teams official and unofficial mascots.