Green Snakes had earlier defeated Firebolts F.C. in a play-in match to earn the right to face Torpedoes. Torpedoes, although seeded number 1, came into the tournament on something of an offensive slide and needing a rally to get to their former solid play. "We need a boost," admitted fullback Sarah "Go-San" Steadman. "But I like our chances here."
On a resplendent Chicago November day, with 65 degree sunshine and a dry pitch, the crowd was at fever pitch from the beginning. "Goooooooo Toooorrpeeeeedooooes" was the howling refrain just before kickoff. This was the first month in over six weeks for the Torpedoes not played in mud and cold, and the women looked ready to play their hearts out.
Over halftime, Coach David Nikolai emphasized the attack, urging his players to finish shots and get the ball behind the Snakes' defense.
During the third quarter break, Burress' mother lobbied for an alignment shakeup. "Did she say she didn't want to play offense? Because she should be playing some forward in this game." Coach Nikolai responded, moving Burress to forward. "Nooooooooo!" cried Burress in response. Meanwhile, center-forward Helen Laboe was tired, and lobbied to be put in the backfield. So Coach Nikolai switched goalie Emma Nikolai and Laboe, moving Nikolia to center and Laboe to goal.
The new alignment worked perfectly. Midway through the fourth period, forward Lauren Flowers hammered in a hard goal with strong kick in traffic off a beautiful passing assist from Emma Nikolai.
The Torpedoes won, 3-0, their goalies combining to stop only three shots from the Snakes all match.
Next up, a game under the lights at 7pm at Elmwood Park High School, against F.C. Flaming Tacos for the right to play in the Championship.