Success can be measured in many ways. Obviously in most sports events, the team with the winning score has the best direct indication of success. For the Friday Night Under the Lights contests, there were two teams who were able to use that standard to see how their evening went. For the other two teams, some other ways could be utilized to see their progress.
The evening started off under sunny skies and warm temperatures with the U-10 Girls game. Player introductions were made and programs were available as a keepsake for the players and family members. The teal colored Cyclones, coached by Ryan Morlan, struck first in the first quarter with two goals. In the second quarter, the purple clad Hurricanes coached by Allison Smith and Shelbi Reed stiffened their defense to hold the opposition scoreless while taking some shots on goal.
In the third quarter, the Cyclones found their scoring range again with two more goals.
The fourth quarter was another evenly matched segment of the game with the Hurricanes allowing only one more goal while making tremendous strides with their attacks on the net. The game was well played with very few fouls being called, and the fans were thoroughly entertained by the dramatic runs up and down the field.
Before and during the second game of the evening, planes and trains played a role in the night’s schedule of events. Lindy Award Winner, Tom Schoettmer, highlighted the night’s activities with a flyover of the old Shriver Field with his prize winning aircraft. He delighted the crowd with several passes around the playing field. His flight was preceded by a stirring rendition of the national anthem by a member of the U-14 girls team, Emily Lowe.
As with the U-10 game, each and every player was introduced before the game. The fireworks really began with the opening kickoff. As noted in the article before the game, the blue uniformed DC1 Rangers consisted of mostly U-12 boys with some U14 players to provide guidance and leadership. Expertly coached by Patty Hensley, the Rangers struggled fiercely and mightily against their older and more experienced foes, the navy hued Batesville B3 team well led by coaches Rob Wagner and Andy Schutte. For the longest time in the first of the two 30 minute halves, the light blue local team was able to hold off the onslaught, but the Batesville bunch found the net twice in the middle section of the half. One more goal was made late in the half as well to end the scoring at 3-0.
The second half was another story. Down 3-0, the host squad made several determined runs at the goal and thwarted every attempt by the visitors to add to their lead. Even fans of the visiting team were heard to make positive comments about the spirited play of the home team. At one point during the contest, the horn of the train could heard as it roared by the northern edge of the Ireland Street county complex, delivering empty auto carrier cars to the Honda plant. The sound of the engines added to the noise of the crowd as they cheered their favorites on. Both teams played hard for 60 minutes, and it was a very clean game with little fouling noted throughout the night.
For two of the teams, the evening ended in victory. For the other two teams, they could derive some degree of success in holding their opponents scoreless for a set period of time. All four teams provided a wonderful evening of soccer entertainment and skill. As fans, family, and players walked back to the automobiles or trucks that brought them to the fields of play for the trip home, all were anticipating what would occur for Friday Night Under the Lights V next year.