Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Cool Things in North Portland: Merlo Field

...the home of the Portland Pilots (ahem...you may know them as the 2005 NCAA Women's Soccer Champs).

It's both a good thing and a bad that the secret is out about the soccer being played up here on the Bluff. Good because finally the gals are getting the recognition they deserve. Bad because it's becoming difficult to get in to see a game; the North Carolina game was sold out weeks before kickoff. And traffic and parking are getting to be a pain on our little local streets.

But it's worth it to see the women in purple get their due.

Having said that...I went to watch the Pilots play Portland State University this Sunday. Not a particularly important game for UP, and PSU hasn't been within sniffing distance of any sort of championship - or even a winning season - well, ever, I think. I hope that it was the lack of a challenging opponent that produced the game I saw, but...ooogh, that was ugly.

I think the final was something like 4-0 but that, frankly, favored Portland. PSU saw a lot more of the ball in the first half than they should have, UP wasted several chances right in front of goal and had PSU had forwards who could run (sorry, #17 but you could have been timed with a sundial) or had a clue where the ball was (that was you, #16 - I'm sure you are a nice person but you sure were useless in the front that day) or a spark of aggression UP might have actually given up a goal!

I'm not sure why the Pilots were so flat - losing players of the quality of Chris Sinclair and Lindsey Huie can't help - but they need to tighten up in back and start converting their opportunities or it'll be an early winter around here. A national championship's a hard act to follow. But sweeeeeet when you earn it - like these young women did...

But don't take it from me - come on and get out to the game and help the fightin' gals in purple and white. They rawk.

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