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Sports exploits of the amazing Steadman children.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Torpedoes sink Firebolts F.C. to improve record to 2-1; Hat tricks by Leboe and Failor cue scoring eruption as Torpedoes open up offense.

Dateline: September 26, 2009, Lindberg Park. Helen Leboe and the Torpedoes' offense proved unstoppable this morning, while the defense held the ball almost entirely in Firebolts' end, providing the blue-jersey fans with an exciting morning of scoring and the first shut-out of the season. Torpedoes beat Firebolts 10-0 in a wild match on a wet pitch to improve their record to 2-1. It was never close.

The outlook started cautious for the ladies, as overnight rain threatened a cancellation and notable absences left the squad a bit shorthanded. Lauren Flowers and Erin Sullivan were absent, so every lady was forced to play harder and coach Nikolai was left with fewer options for substitutions. "I need everyone's best effort, and I need our team first to the ball," he coached them before the match. He got both.

In the first quarter alone, Helen Leboe accounted for a 2-0 lead notching two goals. The first came on a brilliant pass from Jada Harris in the backfield, over the Firebolts, to Leboe at midfield. Leboe strutted down the pitch to score easily. The second goal was perhaps more impressive, coming on a long kick from the top of the goalie box through traffic and past the goalie. Emma Nikolai, playing goalie for the Torpedoes, saw little action as Brailey Failor and Kelsey Buress played stout defense backed up by Sarah Steadman and Harris midfield.

The second quarter was more of a scrum. Failor had several shots on goal, as did Taylor Leibig, but the Torpedoes could not quite find the net. Other players showed promise, however, including Maura Reilly who really clicked the aggressiveness up a few notches and managed some stout defense of her own from the midfielder position.

The Torpedoes erupted in the third quarter, collecting four goals. Leboe hammered the first into the net on a powerful play, perfecting her first hat trick. Then Failor got in on the action after picking up the rebound from an Emma Nikolai shot that was blocked by the red-side goalie. Now it was Harris' turn, dribbling in a first goal off the goalie's leg and shooting a second one past the goalie playing 20 yards out. Harris' father was ecstatic. "I told her, you are fast, you can kill them if you just take the ball and get aggressive," he said. "Looks like she was listening!"

Meanwhile, on defense, the ladies looked a little bored. Coach Nikolai had re-vamped the formation, putting defenders Failor, Buress, and Steadman on the pitch to help out rookie goalie Maura Reilly. But they barely saw the ball, lining up across the midfield and arching the ball back into the Firebolts' side any time it came close.

At that point, the Firebolts' defense collapsed. The fourth quarter featured four more goals for the blue-siders. With Nikolai, Harris and Failor playing offense, and Leboe moved to defense to hold the score, the ball stayed persistently in the Firebolts' end and generally in the back of the net. Failor scored the first goal of the fourth period, then Nikolai followed with a nice shot, rebound, and shot to score another. Failor scored again for her first hat trick. Finally, Katie Bodlak scored to bring the Torpedoes' total to 10. With 20 seconds left, the pesky Firebolts finally managed a shot on Reilly, but she blocked it and time expired with the ball in her hands.

"I told the girls to stop scoring and save some goals for the next match," said Coach Nikolai after the match, "but they just couldn't help themselves."

"That was easy," said Sarah Go-San Steadman. "Be careful," responded her father, Assistant Coach Paul Steadman. "Football is never easy. Don't get overconfident. We'll get all we want from the other side next week I'm sure. If we take them for granted, we'll be on the wrong side of the next lopsided score."

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