WIN PROPELS OUTRAGE TO CONFERENCE FINAL
In the last 4 days the Kalamazoo Outrage PDL side has claimed 2 of the biggest scalps in the whole of the United Soccer Leagues Premier League. Tuesday's stunning victory over the Chicago Fire Premier was followed up on Saturday night with an astonishing 3-1 road win over perennial PDL powerhouse the Michigan Bucks. Making the wins even more impressive was the fact that both matches were played on the road for an Outrage franchise competing in its inaugural season.
Outrage head coach Stu Riddle was full of praise for his players "There isn't a person in this country outside of our organization who believed that we could win these two consecutive matches and the resilience and character my side has shown has been incredible".
Playing in front of a large and boisterous crowd the Bucks took a 31st minute lead when Doug DeMartin smashed home from the edge of the Outrage area after some excellent work from Billy Weaver down the right wing presented him with the opportunity.
A rallying cry at half time from the Outrage coaching staff paid dividends and for the majority of the second half the Bucks found themselves on the backfoot defending wave after wave of Outrage attacks. With just 4 minutes remaining the Outrage were awarded a free kick wide on the left hand sid of the field. Kalamazoo native Eric Alexander crossed the ball into the danger area and Tom Oatley rose highest to powerfully head past stranded Bucks keeper Steve Clark to level the score at 1-1.
Extra time would ensue and shortly after Outrage substitute Chase Corricelli missed a good chance to give the visitors a lead Lance Muckey latched on to Corricelli's cut back in the 98th minute to rifle the ball into the roof of the net past all conference selection Clark to silence the home support and send the visiting fans into a state of delirium.
With so much at stake the Bucks now upped the tempo and made a final push to find an equalizer. Excellent defending and some brilliant goalkeeping from Bobby Shuttleworth would keep them at bay and Oatley would finish the Bucks off for good in the 120th minute latching on to Alexander's through ball to slot home from a narrow angle after breezing by an out of position Clark.
The final whistle would sound moments later and the Outrage would defy all odds to move into the Central Conference final in their debut season. "We started the year as just 1 of 67 teams in this competition and now we are down to the final 8. To be a part of this is amazing for this club and these players and we will keep plugging away and trying to keep progressing" said Riddle.
The Outrage now turn their attention to the Thunder Bay Chill who they will meet Sunday night with a place in the PDL final four at stake. The game will be played at 7pm at the Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac, MI and can be followed live on USL's matchtracker.
CENTRAL CONFERENCE SEMIFINAL
BUCKS: Doug DeMartin (Billy Weaver) 31
OUTRAGE: Tom Oatley (Eric Alexander) 86
OUTRAGE: Lance Muckey (Chase Corricelli) 98
OUTRAGE: Tom Oatley (Eric Alexander) 120
Outrage Line Up: Shuttleworth, Musa, Alvino, Reed, Loyd, Howard (Simpara 56), Briggs, Alexander, McGreal (Corricelli 83), Warmer (Muckey 67, Fylonenko 117), Stencel (Oatley 56)