Take an in depth look at the 2008-2009 Demize’s first season in the PASL-Premier.
The Springfield Demize’s first venture into the PASL-Premier was met with success and community support as the first year program started out the season in mid-December in front of a packed house at the Lake Country Soccer Dome. The Saturday evening game was a back and forth match between the Demize who were playing host to Piasa FC out of Illinois. The visitors were able to keep up for long stretches of the game, but the Demize gave their home fans something to cheer about, edging the visitors 7-5 at the final whistle.
After a week of practice the Demize were right back in action, taking their first away trip on the 20th of December. Demize traveled to East Saint Louis to take on Fuerza, coming home with a convincing 10-5 win.
The Demize took a break for the Winter holiday and Fuerza came to Springfield nearly a month later. Each team seemed to learn from their last games with both defenses producing smaller deficits than the first game. At the final whistle, the Demize turned out to be the most knowledgeable, hitting their opponents for eight goals while only allowing in two goals. Piasa had over a month to mature as a team and proved their improvements when the Demize traveled back to Illinois by snapping their three game unbeaten streak. The Demize strike force was limited to only two goals, while Piasa hit for six in front of their home fans.
The Demize then traveled to the Game Arena in Saint Louis to take on the PASL PRO STL Illusions’s reserve team, Swanner United, in a non-conference game. The Demize battled strongly against the pro outfits reserves, losing out by one goal as Swanner United won 7-8 against their cross state rivals. Illinois was the site of what would shape up to be "The battle for second place" in Springfield, Illinois as the Springfield Spirits welcomed the Demize. In front of a full house, the back and forth game favored the visitors, the Demize, winning 5-4.
The Springfields were forced to do battle for second place because first place was securely taken by the Kansas City Kings. The Kings went undefeated for the season only tieing one game and finishing with a positive 68 goal difference. With the success of the King’s runner-up appearence in the PASL Premier’s 2008-2009 National Tournament held in Las Vegas, Nevada. The KC King’s will join the Springfield Demize in gaining a Provisional Pro status for the 2009-2010 season.
The Demize played a home and away series against the Kings with Springfield hosting the first match. The Kings, eventual winners of the Heartland Division, qualifyed to the National Championship with the best record in the PASL-Premier. They won both games in the series outscoring the Demize 25-5 on aggregate.
With the Kings running away with the Heartland Division title in preparation for their National Tournament, the final game was between the Springfields, with the Spirits coming to "The Dome". The final day on the books, the Demize only needed a draw against the visitors in order to qualify for the Play-Offs due to their advantage in goal scoring against the Spirits. In front of a packed house, the Demize provided free scoring soccer for Springfield, but the Spirits were able to match everything thrown at them. With seconds winding down, the Spirit’s hit their 10th goal in the match overshadowing the home team’s nine goals.
The Demize had a blend of Collegiate, local, and high school stars making up the roster. A large contingent of Drury players made up the roster including: Danny Collins, Dave Emnett, Alex Palmer, Adam Peterson, Taylor Stacy, Ben Taylor, and local favorite Kyler Temple. Making up the contingent of Missouri State local players were Michael Gow, Daniel Ortega, Eddie Conde and Andrew Vorce. Gow caught the attention of the Demize coaches at a practice session at Missouri State, later to captaining both the PASL and PDL and one of the leading goalscorers of the PASL. Also joining the roster were local mens league stars Jeremy Brown, Matus Silva and Brad Moser. Brown, former MO Southern collegiate athlete, would later become the leading goalscorer for the Demize PASL.
Making up the local high school players were Kaleb Romero, Bradley Stillwagon, Willis Zirschky. Nixa star Romero was fresh off of beating his schools goal record for one season in his Junior year, while Stillwagon and Zirschky captained Bolivar and Marshfield, respectively. Romero made the biggest impact, scoring a hat trick on his debut in the PASL. The young striker did enough to earn himself a senior spot over the summer for the Springfield Demize’s Premier Developement League (PDL) campaign.
The goalkeeping position was a well rounded trio of Adam Legg, Armen Tonianse, and Chris Hanlon. Hanlon, a former Major Indoor Soccer League keeper with the Saint Louis Steamers was the main goalkeeper in the beginning of the season going undefeated while in between the pipes in the first three games of the PASL season. Adam Legg of Hendrix College and Armen Tonianse of Western Illinois, took over the position while Hanlon’s Director of Coaching responsibilites with the Total Demize Soccer Club took him away from the remaining six Demize PASL games.
The 2008-2009 inaugural season got off to a flying start only to end one goal short of reaching the play-offs and the Heartland Divison Championship game. The Demize begins their second campaign in the PASL Premier on October 31st and November 6th with open tryouts at Lake Country Soccer Dome. If the inaugural campaign is anything to base off of, the upcoming PASL season is sure to be a firecracker.