Wildfire Drops Season Opener to Pittsburgh Thunderbirds

-Pittsburgh, PA-

On a night that seemed too perfect for ultimate, the Chicago Wildfire’s hopes of starting the season with a win were just out of reach this time.

Saturday night’s game had dream-like conditions. The flag standing tall at the southeast corner of George K. Cupples Stadium lied motionless through all four quarters of the game between the Chicago Wildfire and the Pittsburgh Thunderbirds. Nestled on the side of one of Pittsburgh’s iconic rolling hills, the moment felt ideal for the beginning of a new chapter. The Wildfire’s performance in the first quarter seemed to compliment both the setting, and the ideology.

With the flip going to the Wildfire, the offense began quickly and efficiently. Swings from Max Trotter to Pawel Janas, as well as CJ O’Brien allowed for openings to be created downfield. Cutters Danny Miller, Eric Johnson, Jack Shey, and Michael Pardo were effective as scores were shared between the four of them. Some quick breaks surged the Wildfire to take the first quarter 7-6. It wasn’t until the second quarter that you could see cracks in the Wildfire’s armor.

Like basketball, ultimate is a game of runs. One team hits their stride, while the other finds ways to counteract. With multiple breaks in the second quarter, Pittsburgh found a way to take the lead. A few miscues on offense provided just what the talented Thunderbirds needed to boost their lead to 11-13 going into half. Pittsburgh’s Pat Earles and Tyler Degirolamo’s wide array of hammers helped expose the Wildfire’s defense.

“Pittsburgh is a strong team. They have talent all throughout their roster and it showed.” Head Coach Adrian King said after the game. “That first quarter for us is promising. It shows that we also have talent. Maybe we haven’t played together as long, but he have the pieces to be successful. I have a feeling our guys will find a way.”

While the final score flashed a 22-30 win for the Thunderbirds, the players themselves hinted at something more. Something resilient. While the Wildfire obviously weren’t happy about the loss, they didn’t appear mad, frustrated, or upset. Players left Cupples Stadium with a sense of reflection.  Conversations about the game could be heard amongst players all the way back to the team bus. The Chicago Wildfire didn’t seem ambivalent; this young team appears determined more than ever to find a way to win.

The Chicago Wildfire head to Michigan this Saturday to face the Detroit Mechanix. First pull is set to be played at 3pm CDT. Stay tuned to Wildfire social media for more updates!

 

 

-T.K.

April 24, 2017 | Uncategorized | 0

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