ANNA MARIA – The anticipation of 50 minutes of indoor soccer action brought friends, family and league players to The Center of Anna Maria Island to watch the final game of the adult indoor soccer season. The championship game did not disappoint.
After years of no indoor action, Chris Klotz’s Ugly Grouper team came into the night as the underdog, but a contender nonetheless. Team Progressive Cabinetry, lead by captain Kevin Roman, started the game short one player but quickly dominated the game.
The first 13 minutes of play were virtually all going Progressive Cabinetry’s way with three goals scored by Roman along with a goal and assist by Palmetto Elementary School first grade teacher Jessica Williams.
Ugly Grouper’s Yuri Pereira assisted veterinarian Connor Bystrom with his first of five goals in the game, putting the score at 4-1.
At the 15th minute of play, the tides drastically turned Ugly Grouper’s way. In a matter of two minutes, Bystrom hit the net twice with assists by Pereira and Klotz. Olaf Krause found the goal after a strong attack.
The Ugly Grouper effort tied the game at 4-4 with less than eight minutes left in the first half of the final game of the season.
Bystrom made the go-ahead goal shot with Progressive Cabinetry goalkeeper Diego Felipe out of position.
Less than a minute later Klotz temporarily widened the scoring gap with another strike against Felipe who had 17 saves in the night.
With the score at 4-6, Felipe moved out of the keeper position to score his only goal in the game. Felipe attempted one last shot before the half that was stopped by Ugly Grouper goalie John Haggerty.
To start the second half of the game, Klotz made his next goal three minutes after the whistle, putting the score to 5-7.
Klotz made a follow-up run down the court only to be stopped by powerhouse Steve Oelfke for Progressive Cabinetry.
Williams and Roman tied the game back up with consecutive goals at the 30th and 37th minute of play.
Pereira made sure the tie did not last for long with his solo goal of the game.
After strong defensive play by both teams, including backfield attacks by Erin Felipe and James Roadman for Ugly Grouper, the scoring went back and forth until the end of regulation time play.
Goals by Roman and Bystrom ended the game with the score tied at 9-9.
The championship game couldn’t end in a tied score. A five-minute overtime was implemented.
After five solid minutes of defensive attacks by both sides, the 9-9 score remained on the scoreboard.
Ultimately the indoor soccer champion was named with a shootout. Each team picked their first four shooters to go against Klotz as the keeper for Ugly Grouper and Brayan Felipe for Progressive Cabinetry.
The shootout excitement filled the community center gym with players and spectators waiting with bated breath for each shot.
Williams was selected by her team to take the first shot of the event. Her successful strike against B. Felipe put the pressure on Krause, the first shooter for Ugly Grouper.
Krause’s solid shot tied up the game once more. Roman’s missed shot open the door for Ugly Grouper to once again take the lead.
Bystrom hit his shot and was followed by a goal by Progressive’s Murat Akay.
Felipe stopped the shot of Pereira, but he missed his own penalty kick against Klotz.
Going against Oelfke, Klotz missed his own shot, leading to Oelfke’s failed goal attempt.
With all the pressure on his back, Krause was the sixth shooter for Ugly Grouper looking to end the tie. Krause’s shot hit the net, making the next shot by Williams a life or death shot.
If Progressive’s Williams hit her goal shot, the game would’ve returned to a tie score, but a miss would give the win to Ugly Grouper.
Despite her best efforts, Williams’ shot was stopped by Klotz, ending the championship indoor soccer game with Ugly Grouper as the first titleholders in the sport for a number of years at The Center.