Winter Springs, Fl (Saturday, May 6th)-The Pumas started the 2006 season by defeating the 2004 PDL National Champions, Central Florida Kraze 1-0. In the first half the Pumas had a 20 minute period of high level soccer that was extremely entertaining to watch. In the 18th minute Milos Bajic caught the Kraze defense ball watching due to the Pumas skillful passing attack, scoring on the far post with a low shot inside the six yard box. Bajic expressed afterwards, “Scoring a goal in the first game builds my confidence and only makes me thirsty for more.”
Following the goal, the veteran Kraze Team, led by sweeper Robert Gibson, physically took the rest of the first half away from the Pumas attack but could not do enough to level the score.
In the second half the Pumas matched the Krazes’ physical play. Pumas forward, Mike Mattson played an important role shutting down sweeper, Robert Gibson. The final 25 minutes of the match saw the Pumas hold their lead as the Kraze increased their numbers going forward looking for an equalizer. Pumas coach Bobby Lennon explained, “I am happy with the result and impressed with our player’s determination. However, I think we all are concerned with the number of injuries we have so early in the season.” Despite the important victory, the game resulted in 5 additional Pumas injuries totaling 11 players that could not dress for the Cocoa Match in the 2nd week.
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The Pumas captain, Adam Parker, helped lead the team to victory with positive leadership and mature play from the back. For his efforts, Adam was named to the National PDL Team of the Week.
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Pumas Mistakes Cost 4 goals against the Veteran Expos
Cocoa Beach, Fl (Saturday, May 13)- The injured riddled Palm Beach Pumas got shutout by the Cocoa Expos on Saturday evening at the Cocoa Expo Sports Center. With 11 injuries and several key players still finishing up their college exams, the Pumas had just 16 fit players in uniform.
The Pumas started the game well and were in control for the first 25 minutes of the match. However in the 35th minute, Cocoa forward Mason Hupp took advantage of a defensive breakdown and calmly slotted home the ball for a 1-0 lead. Following Hupp’s goal, the Pumas increased their level and had two good chances to equalize, but the half ended at 1-0.
In the second half, the veteran Expo team took advantage of several Puma miscues. In the 49th minute, a poorly played square pass was intercepted by the Expos and was quickly finished by Nelson Pizzaro. Shortly after in the 55th minute another defensive breakdown occurred and Jordan Kelly made it 3-0. In the 65th minute Robert Holstein closed out the scoring, making it 4-0.
Pumas Coach Bobby Lennon said, “You cannot make any silly mistakes against a Gerry Queen coached team. I do not think there is any reason to press the panic button. I have full confidence in our players to come back from this experience with the attitude to compete for a division title.”
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The Pumas are now 1-1 in the Southeast division of the Southern Conference. The Pumas next match will be played on May 20th at 5 p.m. in their new home, the International Polo Club of Palm Beach.
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