MIT 1 First Wave 1 5/4/13

MIT 1 First Wave 1   5/4/13

Non League Crane
All the MIT hooligans were barricaded on the terraces behind a chainlink fence
Said hooligans climbed to the top of the fence to get a better view of the action
Men down!  No. 9 confused.
Home Run Derby Time!
Bro’s, don’t mind us, we’re just putting these goals in place for no reason.  Continue playing catch on our field please.
First Lady of First Wave.
Game 44 (Game 12 Season 2)
MIT                      1
First Wave            1
BSSL (1st Division) (5th Division)
5/4/13 12:00 PM
Jack Barry Field, Cambridge MA
Attendance:  25
One of my priorities heading into the 2013 season was to make sure that I got to see all the teams in the BSSL 1stDivision.  Last year I concentrated my efforts on the three highest profile clubs; Battery Park Gunners, MPS, and Kendall Wanderers, at the expense of getting to see some of the other high quality sides that round out the division.  Initially, it appeared that Blackbeard and First Wave were the leading candidates for multiple game coverage this year.  My early information suggested that Blackbeard played all their home games at ForeKicks in Marlboro, and First Wave played at the state soccer complex in Lancaster.  As with all things BSSL, it seems there is no definitive answer.  It’s so hard for these teams to lock in the necessary field space; they have to take the games wherever they can get them.  This makes it hard for a soccer watcher like me to know what games I want to see, especially when they are not even posted on the league website.  Now, I know that most of these games have almost no attendance, but there could be a bit of a chicken or egg conundrum here.  If no one knows where the game will be played, how can anyone go see it even if they are crazy enough to want to?  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the few teams that are able to lock in consistent facilities are the ones that get at least a few people out to watch them.  MIT is one of those teams that fall into the fortunate latter category.  As you would expect, the MIT team plays on the campus of MIT, on a nice turf field just behind the main football field / track stadium.
It is unclear exactly what the affiliation between the club and the school is.  I know for a fact that MIT does field a highly competitive NCAA Division III Men’s Varsity Soccer Team, so I have to assume that the BSSL club is most likely some kind of alumni association of the soccer team. Anyone with information let me know.  It was a nice sunny day on Saturday, but the wind was consistent, and a sweatshirt was required for comfortable spectating.  The field is right on the campus and there was a ton of things/people going on/walking around the game.  This made for a somewhat fluid attendance count.  Adhering to the traditional method, full game attendance is not required to be counted, but onlookers must be seated or standing in the direct vicinity of the field and at least part of their attention must be directed toward the game.  There was a good group of maybe 8-10 students who stayed for most of the first half who are primarily responsible for the inflated attendance numbers.  By contrast, I did not count the group of “Bro’s” who were playing Home Run Derby in the corner of the field during warm-ups.  I think this could be reasonably classified as a “uniquely American form of tinpottery.”  I wonder if those guys actually reserved the field for that timeslot?  They stood around and continued to hit balls well into the field as the teams went through their warm-ups dodging baseballs.  Bro’s, Seriously?  Persecuted soccer victim complex aside, if there was an organized baseball game going on, I would end my little kick-around early and get out of YOUR way.  Proper deference should be shown to the organized league affair.  Usually, the observation can be made that it may not have been apparent to the Bro’s that this was in fact league play, due to most BSSL teams inability to furnish fully matching uniforms to their players.  That argument would not hold up on this day, however, as both teams were perfectly matched color-wise, with First Wave players all wearing black shorts and black socks to go with their team issued blue jerseys.  MIT set the bar in the category of ensemble though, as they are the first BSSL team I have seen with a full matching kit, jerseys, shorts in both color and style, and socks, all the way to the striped trim, so you know they are official team issue.  Well done, MIT.  If you think about it, it wouldn’t say much for MIT as a world renowned institution of higher learning if their representative USASA side couldn’t at least dress professionally, given their indubitably important day jobs.
The game kicked off, and First Wave controlled most of the early run of play.  MIT appeared to have quality players, they just were not all on the same page, and many were slow in their decision-making.  One player particularly irked me, number 9.  This guy complained so much and appeared to be giving about a 75% effort at all times.  He was thinking way too much instead of just playing, and he just begged to be heckled.  I restrained from doing so, but apparently shouldn’t have, according to my fellow attendee, a First Wave mom of admirable passion, and her daughter in law, I’m going to assume until corrected.  The woman was a picture of soccer passion.  Sorry to use a cliché, but there is not other term that can effectively convey the emotion that this woman put into supporting her beloved First Wave.  She had an admirable depth of knowledge about the game, but the one comment that sealed her fate as a DITP legend was when she exclaimed with no provocation: “I don’t know how you can come to a soccer game and NOT yell.”  And the icing on the cake is all this was done in a beautiful patois.
First Wave had one player who I recognized as playing for Boston Olympiakos in the BCS XI preseason friendly, a fast ginger with a fade and white shoes, who made darting runs from the wing all game.  The game felt like First Wave were destined for an easy victory, and did indeed open the scoring in the second half, but MIT stayed in it thanks to some outstanding work form their monstrously tall keeper with a weak boot.  This guy was 6’5” if he was an inch, but he punted these lone drives to no one that went no farther than a good throw.  He also lost his patience as the game wore on and in a postgame smack talk session was really giving it to our white shoe’d ginger talking about “If you’re so good why didn’t you score on me?”  He was also taking an excruciatingly long time setting up these goal kicks to nowhere and was hearing it from his own teammates who wanted to go and win the game while psycho-keep was content in playing for the draw.  MIT ended up being awarded a HORRIFIC penalty call on a phantom dive in the box.  This was probably the worst call I have seen in 2 years and thankfully Mrs. First Wave was lwet the refs know that indeed a tree had not fallen in a forest and she was there to see this shoddy refereeing work.  As the game wound down a nonleague Husky showed up with a silver spandex clad girl to add to the atmosphere and I crawled up on top of a fence to get some artistic renditions of the field.  It was a solid morning out, and now MIT can be struck form the list of unseen BSSL giants.  Middlesex, Playwright, Eagles, and Groton House, be forewarned.  I’m comin’ for ya.

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