ORLANDO SURGES AFTER BREAK; KEEP KANGAS WINLESS
Racing out after the big break, Orlando AFC notched their first win of the Major League Footy Florida Winter League 2016-’17 season, running out 12.8.80 – 8.9.57 winners over Clearwater Saturday in St. Pete.
With the loss, pre-season favorites Clearwater fell to 0-3, now needing Pasco to lose by 70 points next week in order to avoid the winter Wooden Spoon.
In a razor-tight first quarter, the sides exchanged scores, all the while sizing each other up in a bit of early-match ballet.
That ballet turned into a bit of a wrestling match in the second stanza, as tough physical play in the middle from Orlando’s Amaran Subramanian and Joe Caravella began to open up spaces for CJ Morton and sharpshooter Jordan Calero.
Heading into intermission with Orlando up 4.5.29 – 2.5.17, there was no sign of the deluge about to come.
Roaring out to four quick-strike majors en route to opening up a 32-point lead at the end of the third quarter, Morton’s laser-beam passes to Calero and Byron Spradlin continued to keep all the pressure on the Kangas’ side of the ground, with Clearwater effectively shut down in the period, recording only one goal.
Even as Dustin Jones, Austen Kugler and Ken Scheidt settled things down in the fourth – distributing gainfully to Holly Wenrich, Kirin Karver and Annie Weaver to narrow the final margin, Calero still made Clearwater pay for defensive breakdowns.
Mark Earley substituted for an injured Matt Elliott knee), which also helped the Kangas regroup after losing Elliott. Wenrich also notched the contest’s only supergoal, that coming in in the final five minutes before Kugler’s curtain-closer.
Calero was named Best On Ground.
With the result, Orlando AFC balances their tally at 1-1-0, while Clearwater will finish the 2017-’17 winter season at 0-3.