Bearfight FC of Wilmington started their 2014-15 season off today in Warminster against the Vereinegen Erzgebirge (V-E). V-E was relegated last season from the top division of the Inter-County Soccer League, and look to get back as soon as possible. Last week they dismantled Warrington Men's Senior 5-0, and looked to do the same to Bearfight FC, who had a bye week last week.
The match started off well, but thirteen minutes in, Marco Paparo put V-E up 1-0. One minute later, Kevin Hilton added another. Paparo completed his hat trick with goals at the eighteenth and twenty-sixth minutes. Joseph Galtman scored again for V-E in the thirty-second minute, and before you could say "Vereinegen Erzgebirge", V-E was up five goals. V-E was able to use their strength and height to their advantage, and the score line held until the half.
I'm not sure what player/manager Kieran Todd's speech was to the team during halftime, but the team came back to the field and looked sharper defensively. The match got chippy a few times, and a yellows were issued to V-E's Hilton as well as Bearfight players Alan Rivera, Alex Medina, and captain Wilson Grisales. Bearfight didn't lose their focus though, and were able to utilize their speed and Stephan Mgalabwe was able to score BFC's first goal of the season in the eighty-eighth minute. Pat Burns also was able to bang one home in the ninetieth minute, however it was just too little, too late at that point. The match ended 5-2, and while the result certainly wasn't what the club wanted there were several positives to take from it:
- While the team does have some players returning from last season, this is a vastly different Bearfight FC than last year. It will take some time for the players to gel - and even during this first match there were some good signs of that already happening.
- The team was without some key personnel - Jason Raguz missed the match due to getting married the day before (congratulations Jason!) and there were a couple of others who missed the match for various reasons. Remember, this is an amateur team, so real-life intervenes sometimes.
- The newer players didn't seem accustomed to the physicality of V-E. V-E are some big guys, and I don't know if the BFC guys were expecting that level of physical play. Rest assured, they will be prepared next time these clubs face off.
- The team didn't quit. It would have been easy to just run out the clock, but as evidenced by two goals in the final two minutes of play, the team kept fighting until the final whistle.
Bearfight FC's next game is this coming Sunday at 10 AM against Colonial Senior. Technically a home match, it will be played at Colonial Soccer - PW Campus Field 3 in Germantown, PA.