For the first time since the discovery of the ‘New World,’ the Pandas soccer team played at home, on what felt like a blazing mid-summer day. Though Hernan Cortes, Montezuma and Dona Marina weren’t in attendance, the turnout was pretty strong, and fans enjoyed the obvious one-sided affair. Going into the match, Mount Royal probably wasn’t expecting much, and that turned out to be the case, at least in terms of shots (the Pandas launched over THIRTY of them).
Throughout the entire game, there was one belligerent Mount Royal fan that just didn’t shut up. (And this was a whole new breed of belligerent. Edmonton has its fair share of in-your-face parents that argue with the ref – Italians from Inter, arrogant Southwest United parents from Riverbend and just about anyone from Sherwood Park or St. Albert – but none of them hold a candle to this guy.) From the first minute to the ninetieth, he wouldn’t stop with the “GOOO BLUEEE” or the “Let’s show them what we got BLUEEEEE” and in some cases, something completely undecipherable like “MUBARAHH GOALLRRRS.” This Mount Royal fan was really annoying.
But that’s OK, because something called KARMA exists.
So going into half, the game was tied 1-1. The Pandas out-shot their opponents 19-2, hit a few off the post and narrowly missed the net on many chances. Mount Royal was lucky to be in it, and they knew it. One of their strikers happened to be quite fast, and she got in alone on Kelti Biggs and put an impressive shot into the net. (That’s all that would make its way past Biggs, however.)
Move ahead to the second half. For the first few minutes, there isn’t too much happening, but then one of the Pandas defenders, Victoria Saccomani, makes a good run down the left field, earns a throw-in deep in Cougars territory, and then gets the ball to Shalla Kadima, who wires one past the Cougars keeper from way out. This was one of the game’s defining moments, but there’s one event that can’t go unnoticed.
With the score 2-1, one of the Pandas strikers gets tackled hard as she makes a strong run into the Cougars’ box. The collision is pretty tough to watch, because we all know how much a full speed knee-on-knee feels. Just a few seconds later, off a free kick, the ball comes back to the Pandas and a shot is volleyed powerfully – into a Mount Royal defender’s face. This was one of the biggest headshots of the year. Sort of like the first Meet the Parents movie, when the girl gets the volleyball spiked into her face by Ben Stiller.
In the last twenty minutes of the game, the Pandas added another, and Kelti Biggs made a big save on a dangerous shot, punching the bar over the net for a corner kick. Indeed, Biggs and the defensive pairing of Kadima and Saccomani had standout games: Biggs with the late-game save; Khadima with the winning goal and Saccomani with a barrage of attacking runs throughout the match.
Make sure to come back later in the day for a full description article on our weekly World’s Best Fan! In the meantime, take a look at our September 24 Pandas and Bears Top 10 Or So, inspired by Deadspin.com.