BRIGGS HAT-TRICK LEADS OUTRAGE TO VICTORY
The Kalamazoo Outrage PDL side celebrated July 4th in style with some fireworks of their own on the field defeating divisional and regional rivals the West Michigan Edge 5-2 on Friday night.
Former English premiership midfielder Mark Briggs stole the show scoring 3 times while Eric Alexander and Tyler Rosenhagen also added goals to bolster the scoreline. Briggs' hat-trick was the first of his career and the first time anyone has scored a hat-trick for the Outrage team in its inaugural season.
17 year old striker Shane Lyons also got himself in the record books as the youngest ever Outrage player making his 1st team debut with 4 minutes remaining on a glorious night in downtown Kalamazoo.
It took Briggs and the Outrage just 16 minutes to turn their dominance into a goal when Briggs' curling corner kick eluded everyone and found its way into the top corner of the Edge net much to the dismay of Edge custodian Jeremy Clark.
The killer blow for the Edge would come right on the stoke of half time when Outrage midfielder Tyler Rosenhagen rose above an out rushing Clark to head home a TJ Howard cross to give the Outrage a 2-0 lead.
The Edge would show some resilience however in the 60th minute when Louis Stephens outpaced a flat Outrage defense and crashed the ball past Mitch Hildebrandt to reduce the defecit to 1 goal.
Kalamazoo native and Indiana University star Eric Alexander helped the Outrage respond immediately, clinically finishing from 10 yards after excellent work from Irishman Alan McGreal.
Briggs took complete control of the game with 20 minutes remaining showing great composure to score from inside the box twice after great combination work from McGreal, Alexander and Marco Stencel.
Stephens would add his second goal of the night bundling in from close range in the 83rd minute but the Outrage held on and ran out clear winners. Former West Bromwich Albion player Briggs received a rapturous reception from the home faithful when he was replaced in the 86th minute by youngster Lyons.
Outrage Head Coach Stu Riddle was full of praise for Briggs and his team "To put a bit of pressure on Briggsy, thats the sort of performance I expect from him every game. We had some players step up and perform today and we will keep working hard on getting the right combinations out on the field".
The victory propels the Outrage to a 8-5-1 record in their inaugural season and moves them 3 points clear of the Chicago Fire Premier at the top of the Midwest Division of the Central Conference. While they are dependent on other results to guarantee a play off spot Riddle said he was proud of his side's accomplishments to date "It's tough to put a brand new team together and we have performed admirably to date. It would be great for the players and the club to achieve a play off spot but all we can focus on is winning our last 2 matches".
Outrage fans can see their team in action for the last time at home on Saturday July 12th when they take on the Ft Wayne Fever.
Saturday (7/12) evening's match with the Fever will kick off at 7pm and will be played at Mayor's Riverfront Stadium in downtown Kalamazoo.
Tickets can be purchased at the gate with children aged 6-13 being charged $2, adults 14 and up $3.
OUTRAGE: Mark Briggs (Unassisted) - 16th minute
OUTRAGE: Tyler Rosenhagen (TJ Howard) - 45th minute
EDGE: Louis Stephens (Unassisted) - 60th minute
OUTRAGE: Eric Alexander (Alan McGreal) - 63rd minute
OUTRAGE: Mark Briggs (Alan McGreal, Marco Stencel) - 70th minute
OUTRAGE: Mark Briggs (Eric Alexander) - 75th minute
EDGE: Louis Stephens (Unassisted) - 83rd minute
Outrage Line Up: Hildebrandt, Howard, Bulley, Reed, Musa, Watts (Stencel 62), Briggs (Lyons 86), Alexander, Rosenhagen (Muckey 69), McGreal (Mellanson 79), Warmer
Subs not used: Veldhuis, Corricelli, Shuttleworth