Revolution Rally from Halftime Deficit to Defeat Northwind

Humber College’s Lakeshore Campus, situated right on the banks of Lake Ontario near Toronto, provided the picturesque setting for the 2010 49th Parallel Cup between the American Revolution and the Canadian Northwind. A Canadian victory in Vancouver in 2007 and with both teams preparing for the International Cup, in Australia in August of 2011, this promised to be a great game of Australian Football.

1st Quarter

After the national anthems and the coin toss, the teams were ready to go. The first tap was won and cleared by the Canadians, in what would be a sign of things to come in the first quarter. Canada began with a defensive game plan similar to that employed against the Americans in the 2007 defeat of the Revolution in Vancouver. Early on it seemed the plan would be effective again.

Most of the first quarter looked like a volleyball match with both teams wasting disposals. The teams traded kicks between the 50-meter arcs with no real scoring chances being produced for either team. The Canadians would break through first with a goal 4 minutes into the quarter.

The Revolution would answer with their first goal coming from a long range shot from Half-Forward Ryan Kastl that rolled through an unprotected goal. The second Canadian goal would come from a turnover by the Revolution in the midfield. The Revos did not transition quickly enough to defense and the Canadians took advantage with their second major.

The remainder of the 1st quarter continued to be a war of wasted disposals by both teams. High points for the Revolution included stalwart Luke Nemeth getting lots of the ball playing in the center position, with solid support from defensemen Paul Duncan and Half-Back Flanker Andrew Werner. The US would pick up the pressure late in the first, but were only able to put through a handful of behinds.

USA: 1.4.10 to Canada: 2.1.13

2nd Quarter

The second quarter would start much like the 1st quarter with the clearances going to the Canadians. Donnie Lucero and Brandon Bludau rejected several attacks, but the Revolution were unable to turn their scoring chances into goals.

Jeff Purcell was finding a lot of the ball, and pushing the ball forward with booming kicks. However, it was the Canadians who would rebound a US attack and make the most of the chance with Northwind star Falconi adding his second goal of the quarter off a strong lead and mark.

The US would stay within striking distance as Dustin Jones added a goal from 10 meters out after a mark and 50 meter penalty given away by the Northwind. The teams would continue to trade possessions between the 50's, with the US getting more and more chances at goal, but cashing too many of the chances in for minor scores.

However, you could feel the momentum begin to change. The boys from Boston who had played earlier in the day provided great support from the sideline, even providing the buzz of the vuvuzeuelas made famous at the world cup. However, even with the help from the Demons, the Revos could not capitalize on their opportunities, and went in to the major break, down 8 points.

Half-Time: USA: 2.5.17 Canada 4.1.25

3rd Quarter

The third quarter would show what this US team was made of. Down 8 points at the main break, and having failed to find its rhythm and run as it had a year earlier in their thumping win at the 2009 49th Parallel Cup in Mason, Ohio, the outcome was very much in doubt.

After the Northwind won the opening tap of the 3rd term, the defense held and moved the ball back towards the US scoring end. Ruckman Jason Newquist was having early success around the ground and the US was able to capitalize with an early third term goal by vice-captain Andrew Werner. Werner had been deployed by the coaching staff in a different role to counter-act the Canadian defensive scheme and it paid early dividends for the States.

Fans could see the smarter more effective use of the ball by the American squad as the 3rd quarter wound on. Another ruck win by Newquist would lead to a Noor Jehangir goal from the right forward pocket on a tight angle. Noor, like many of the Americans, seemed to get better as the game went on.

The defense led by Lucero and Duncan repelled all Canadian attacks, while concurrently starting the US attack, which was finding its rhythm. A beautiful 45 meter kick from Jay Levesque hit a running Andy Vanica in stride and Vanica finished off the play with an easy goal.

Meanwhile the defense continued its fine form with Brandon Bludau and Wes Edwin spoiling any Canadian chances and sparking the Revo attack. The Revo continued to fire away at the Northwind goals throughout the period, at one point putting through 4 minor scores in a period of about 3 minutes. Finally, supported by a clever kick from RJ Wheelock, Revo veteran Dustin Jones goaled again from 30 meters. With a little more accuracy the lead may have been even greater. When the 3rd quarter siren sounded, the Revo's had put up a quarter of 4.5 to the Canadians 0.1.

USA: 6.10.46 Canada: 4.2.26.

Final Quarter

Heading into the final break, the Revos held a tenuous 3 goal lead. Would the Canadians make a furious comeback, or would the Revolution keep their foot on the gas, and run away with it?

The Northwind would made the first foray into scoring territory in the final term, but Bludau, Tyebjee and captain Patty Miller would make sure no points would come of it. The Revo's looked to be the better conditioned team of the day and the immediate rebound from the defense would result in a goal from Danny Hansen, who beat his man and had a bounce on the way to a goal. The first goal was as big for the Revo spirits as it was deflating for the Northwind. However, to their credit, the Northwind kept battling, but couldn't crack the stout Revolution defense.

The Revos too would keep the pressure on with scoring chance after scoring chance. Finally, forward pocket Stephen Moore crumbed a smother by the Canadians and snapped it through from 30 meters out. This may have been the proverbial "nail in the coffin".

U23 Best on Ground Saleh Tyebjee made his presence felt in the senior side as well with several strong marks and spoils in the final term out of the backline to compliment the work of Bludau and Lucero nicely. The sides would trade possessions and behinds for the next 5 minutes or so until the Canadians finally broke through with a major with 4 minutes to go. Just minutes later Dustin Jones would add a third goal to extend the lead again and round out the scoring. The siren would sound just 30 seconds later. The final margin for the Revolution was 34 points.

Final: USA: 9.12.66 Canada: 5.2.32

USA Goals:
Dustin Jones (3), Danny Hansen, Ryan Kastl, Stephen Moore, Andy Vanica, Andrew Werner, Noor Jehangir.
Canada Goals:
Aaron Falcioni (3), Ash Steir, Oliver Hayward.

USA Best:
Donnie Lucero, Brandon Bludau, Chris Candelaria, Andrew Werner, Jason Newquist, Luke Nemeth
Canada Best:
George Dimacakos, Jimmy Oertel, Kevin Minaker, Tasos Dimacakos, Frank Luisser, Manny Matata

Umpires MVP:Dustin Jones

Special thanks to the Freedom, the U23's and the Boston Demons for their support on the day. It was a great day of footy for the US with both men's teams securing big wins, and the coaching staff were especially pleased with the next generation of talent that served notice with their performance in the Under-23 Game. A write-up on the U23 game will be coming shortly.

Thanks to AFL Canada for a tremendous event. They have truly set the bar for what a 49th Parallel Cup weekend should be about.

Other Results for the day

Under 23’s Match

USA def. Canada
4.3.27 - 0.0.0
5.5.35 - 2.2.14
9.8.62 - 3.3.21
13.11.89 - 3.4.22

Umpires MVP: Saleh Tyebjee (USA)

USA Goals: Chip Price (3), Kyle Johnson (3), Brent Mergen (2), Saleh Tyebjee (2), Adam Jones, Ryan Sutherland, Rob Ward.
USA Best: Saleh Tyebjee, Jake Moyer, Tyler Mounce, Chip Price, Caleb Dougherty, Kyle Johnson

Canada Goals: Mark Cianfagna, Riyad Karacic, Victor Cinco.
Canada Best: Riley Armstrong, Kevin Callender, Victor Cinco, Dan Isberg, Nathan Miner, Aiden McQuoid.

Womens Game

Canada Def. USA
2.0.12 - 0.0.0
3.5.23 - 1.1.7
4.8.32 - 2.4.16
4.12.36 - 2.4.16

Umpires MVP: Lesley Zmurchuk (Canada)

Canada Goals: Beck Jones, Lesky Zmurchuk, Katelyn Nanka, Lori Bossert.
Canada Best: Lesley Zmurchuk, Aimeee Legnault, Hillary Perry, Erin LeBlaanc, Marlena Ginocchio, Margo Legault.

USA Goals: Emily Riehl, Kathryn Hogg.
USA Best: Eileen Geoghegan, Monica Robbins, Emily Riehl, Erin Yiakos, Hallie Lee, Judith Stein.

Boston Demons 6.8.48 def. OAFL Awfuls 2.15.27

Story by: Matt Bishop, Revolution Coach & Matt Jagger, Revolution Team Manager
Photos by: Rob Colburn

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