Kangaroos Close Out Regular Season With First Ever Win Against Milwaukee
submitted by: Evan Ling (Nashville)
The 8th of September 2007 was an historic day for the Nashville Kangaroos with the extraordinary Dee "Weeman" Vsetecka playing in his 100th match. The Milwaukee Bombers arrived at Elmington Park to participate in the festivities and were greeted by Wisconsin-style weather as clouds swept away the last of Tennessee's summer heat.
The Giant Computer Hardware Company forward line looked like they would have a busy day from the first bounce, but the Bombers defensive flooding tactics allowed little productivity aside an early goal by half-forward Dave Walker. Walker played strongly throughout the quarter, providing several spectacular marks and an inspirational tackle. Captain Luke Nemeth also played in his usual dominating style, including a courageous smother at a critical moment. However, Bomber Sam Bell would not be denied, slotting through an equalizer. Walker had several other opportunities but was uncharacteristically inaccurate, ending the first quarter as the only scorer for Nashville with 1.3 to Milwaukee with 1.1. The Kangaroos had little to show from dominating the initial 20 minutes.
The second quarter continued with similar tactics from both sides. Milwaukee often had ten of their fourteen players within 50 yards of goal. This hindered Nashville scoring opportunities, but the Bombers were rarely able to clear the ball as the Roo centers and half backs rebounded the ball back into the Roo scoring zone. Gilberto Ortiz showed how he thrives in such scrambling, competitive situations when the Milwaukee full back could not find a target in a kickout, allowing Ortiz to trap the ball and expertly snap a second goal for Nashville.
"Taz" Laning almost seemed to be on both ends of the field at once. One minute he was earning a free kick to score the third goal for the Roos; minutes later he was leaping to touch the ball as the last line of defense, thus reducing Milwaukee's second quarter score from six points to one point.
Nemeth incredibly evaded two tackles to produce another goal, but even this did not match the flair of Ortiz whose second goal was worthy of World Cup Soccer, an instinctive kick off the ground from the most extreme angle. The Roos had scored 4.3 to 0.1 in the second quarter, dismantling the Bombers defensive strategy.
Milwaukee came out in the third quarter with a new strategy, less of a grinding, ball-oriented approach and more of a hard-hitting, physically-focused strategy. Nonetheless, the result was the same: their single scoring success was engineered by Ross Siegel, classy as ever. Taz and Walker combined to produce a second goal for Walker. Weeman scored a great goal on the run, making his 100th game even more memorable. A third goal from Walker was a huge kick that had Nashville fans roaring and left Milwaukee with a six goal deficit. The Nashville Kangaroos had decisively won the premiership quarter.
With a commanding lead, the Roos relaxed in the final quarter. Rookie full forward Jason "Burger" King found the opportunity to at last add one more goal to his tally for 2007, but otherwise it was a somewhat scrappy effort as the Roos went through the motions and allowed Milwaukee to score a couple of conciliatory goals.
It was not only a five goal win and their first victory over Milwaukee, but Nashville was also able to give several more recruits a taste of MAAFL competition. Weeman celebrated his 100th game not only looking back at a cherished history, but also looking forward to an exciting future for Aussie rules in Music City.
The win gives Nashville a regular season mark of 7-2 with a MAAFL Championship Division record of 2-2. They should finish third on the MAAFL ladder behind Chicago and Milwaukee. Interestingly and appropriately, those two clubs square off next weekend in the MAAFL finale.
No matter what happens, this has turned into a great season for the Rooboys, who now set their sights on more glory as they head to Louisville, Kentucky on October 13-14 for the USFooty National Championships. When the details of the seedings are available, we will let you know. Until then, CONGRATULATIONS ROOBOYS!
Quarter-by-quarter:Nashville 1.3.9; Milwaukee 1.1.7Nashville 5.6.36; Milwaukee 1.2.8Nashville 8.8.56; Milwaukee 2.5.17Nashville 9.8.62; Milwaukee 4.8.32
Goal kickers:Nashville: Walker 3, Ortiz 2, Laning, Nemeth, Vsetecka, KingMilwaukee: Seuling 2, Bell, Ciganek
Best on Ground:Nashville: Quigley, Laning, Walker, Davis, L Nemeth, Vsetecka Milwaukee: Seuling, Defors
Umpires: Warner, White
CONGRATULATIONS LITTLE BROTHER!!!!!!!!