The Springfield Demize PASL team started their group play against the undefeated Midwest Division Champs River City Saints with a bang taking the lead into halftime at 2-0. Unfortunately the Saints were able to strike back early in the second half off a direct free kick and a power play due to the Demize commiting its sixth foul. The game ending in 4-4 tie creating a must win situation for the Demize as the Colorado Blizzard won there first game against the Indiana Lions in their first round of group action.
The most critical game of the group play ended with the Demize falling to the Mountain Division Champions the Colorado Blizzard 3-2. The game was a highly contested match that saw it's fair share of controversy. " Caleb Romero scored a goal in the first half that would have tied the game off a bad pass back to the Blizzard's keeper that Caleb was able to pressure and forced the keeper into making a mistake, unfortunately the goal was called back and we then had to continue to chase the game knowing we needed a tie or a win to give us the best chance to make the final four on Sunday. " said coach Armen Tonianse. With time running out the Demize called a time out but the clock was not stopped and almost 25 seconds went by before the third official stopped the game clock. This would become critical as the Demize scored a goal to tie the game as the clock ran out and both center refs called the shot a goal but the third official called the goal back giving the victory to the Blizzard.
" When the goal was called back it was extremely frustrating because we should have won the game outright and by having two goals called back especially the way it all played out with the third official calling back the last second goal just goes to show you cant leave the game in the hands of the refs, " said Demize forward Caleb Romero.
The controversial loss saw the Demize needing to win there last game and also score eight goals in a victory against the Indiana Lions at the Sears Center. " We had to completely change our tactics in our last match against the Lions to have a chance to make the final four. Had we won or tied Colorado all we would have needed to do was win our last match to move on the the knockout round, " said coach Armen Tonianse.
The Demize ended up falling short against the Lions but during group play were a few close calls away from moving to the next round of the PASL National Championships. " With the short notice for us to put the team together because we did not win our division outright and missing some key players due to spring break starting the weekend of nationals. The team still was able to showcase that the Springfield Demize PASL team is one of the top indoor teams in the country and we will be back in the future with more experience knowing better what to expect at the national championships, " said Demize coach Chris Hanlon.