Saturday, October 6, 2007

Columbus, Ohio. Crew Stadium. Bexley girls soccer team wins over Bishop Hartley.

A hot early autumn Saturday afternoon. Wishing that the Bexley girls soccer game was in a small field with open bleacher seats that give full advantage to a breeze.

But the game is at the Crew Stadium. A metal oven. A solar metal oven.

This is one of the big games for the Bexley girls. Probably a rivalry because many of the girls on both teams have played with and against each other since their CESA club beginnings.

The entrance to the Crew Stadium is a bit confusing.

Too many activities in a large field going on at once. A young man who appears to be a parking lot gatekeeper is counting a large roll of currency. We stop to ask the charge for parking and he motions us into the parking lot.

The first building is the Ohio Historical Society. There are cars parked in front of the large floating block building but no sign that the building is open. What appears to be the frame for an Indian dwelling is built in a shady area on the west side of the Historical Society building.

Then the Highway Patrol Training Academy. Two student officers direct traffic through a stop sign to parking areas. Their directions are inconclusive. Much to learn for these student. The Ohio Quarter Horse Congress is in the fair grounds below 17th Street but the horse trailers are parked in the field near the Crew Stadium entrance. There are hundreds of the oversized trailers in the field.

My wife notes that “for sale” signs are on most of the horse trailers in the row that we pass on the way to the stadium.

We pass some parking spaces that are demarcated with Bexley banners. Later we figure out that the location is set aside for a Bexley tail gate party after the girls and boys games are over and before the Crew match begins in the evening.

We easily find a parking space in the third row from the entrance to the stadium. Row X, two cars west of a large oak tree. The only tree in that part of the field. Since we will leave the car keys with our daughter, Row X and the oak tree will serve as easy landmarks for her to recognize.

Parked in the third row are the Bexley Blue Boys, greasing up with their Bexley Blue grease paints.

As we walk to the entrance, we notice there are even empty parking spaces in the first row. That is an indication of the crowd size. As the sun moves to the western horizon, the shade from the tree is already disappearing where we are parked.

We are a little bit late, The loudspeaker is calling out the names of the Bexley team starting line-up.

When we step into the stadium, the Bishop Hartley team is being introduced.

The crowd, Bishop Hartley and Bexley fans, are sitting generally together. It is a large crowd for high school girls soccer. The rivalry might explain some of the crowd size. Also the ticket “sales” that financed the use of the Crew Stadium. The tickets weren’t sales really. A lot of friends and neighbors received comps I’m sure. Comps helped to build the audience.

Still, for the larger than usual crowd size, the Crew Stadium is eighty times too large for this crowd. Most Bexley backyards would have been suitable for the game field and crowd.

The Bishop Hartley coach has a reputation for being boisterous. Ten minutes into the game he is angry and his loud voice fills the stadium.

Twenty seven minutes into the game, Bexley player Brynn Kolada is down. Too long for her fans’ comfort. Finally, she gets up and walks to the sideline. Her mother walks back from the side line and offers neighbors the hopeful insight that Brynn doesn’t want Advil so it isn’t too bad.

This contest is very physical. The Hartley girls are larger and more muscular than the Bexley girls. When there are collisions and bumps, the Bexley girls go down on the field. But the Bexley girls spring back up and, frequently, have control of the ball. Two Hartley girls are down for extended periods of time. In the second half one Hartley player is carried off the field on a stretcher. A neighbor notices that a trainer is holding the player’s ankle so it won’t move. At another moment, Rachel Crane is hit by a larger Hartley player and she is spun 360 degrees around on a horizontal plane. I catch just the last moment of Bea Weiland in what was probably a full flip. Rachael Crane was back up immediately. So was Bea Weiland.

This is a physical game.

At the half, the score is zero to zero. Bexley dominated the first half and kept the ball on their offensive. But no goal. The same in the second half: Bexley dominates the field and keeps the ball on the offensive. At one point the Hartley fans were noticeably excited merely because the Hartley girls had the ball on offensive. To no avail.

Twenty minutes into the second half Jessie Linger scores Bexley’s first goal.

With only nine minutes and thirty seconds left in the game someone in the Hartley area screams. The scream ends quickly. No reason for the scream is apparent. A mystery scream at a soccer game.

Other than the single incident in the first half, the Hartley coach has been quiet in this game. Was the Hartley screamer the coach’s wife perhaps?

With thirty seconds to go in the game Jessie Linger scores the second goal for Bexley.

Final score: Bexley 2. Bishop Hartley 0.

Contact us.
WCRX-LP Editorial Collective
Bexley Public Radio Foundation operating as
WCRX-LP, 102.1 FM, Local Power Radio
2700 E. Main St., Suite 208
Columbus, OH 43209
Voice (614) 235 2929
Fax (614) 235 3008

No comments: