Central Florida Wins 2004 PDL Title|
Saturday, August 7, 2004
ORLANDO, FL -- The Central Florida Kraze captured the 2004 PDL Championship Saturday night in Orlando as they downed the Boulder Rapids Reserve 1-0 on a goal from Justin Cook in the 88th minute.
Central Florida star foward Orville 'Villa' Mullings tested the Boulder defense numerous times on the night, but it wasn't until two minutes from time that his efforts resulted in the game-winner.
Mullings got the ball from second half sub Xavier Delgado in the middle at the top of the box and as he cut to the right side, he let off a shot that deflected off the defender marking him. The floating ball glanced off the fingertips of the outstretched hands of diving Rapids Reserve goalkeeper Luis Robles and to the feet of Cook, who put the loose ball away for the game-winner.
Boulder controlled the possesion for much of the first 15 minutes, but the Kraze began to pressure and create chances of their own and the rest of the game was a wild back-and-forth affair that saw both teams with great opportunies.
In the 20th minute, Cook had a chance to put the Kraze on top. A free kick sent into the box from the flank was headed by a Boulder defender, but the ball only came halfway out and right to Cook, whose shot missed wide left of the goal.
In another excellent chance, Central Florida's All-League midfielder Eric Vasquez charged through the center of the midfield uncontested in the 38th minute and slipped the ball to Mullings about 15 yards from the box. Mullings, on the left side, nearly dribbled through two Boulder defenders before being fouled on the line at the top of the box. The call could have arguably been ruled inside the box for a penalty kick, but a free kick was given just outside the box that the Kraze were unable to take advantage of.
In stoppage time of the first half, Boulder's John Pulido took a shot from the top right corner of the box that deflected off a Kraze defender en route to the goal, forcing McIntosh to make a diving save to keep the game scoreless headed to the break.
Nearly 10 minutes into the second half Mullings got a breakaway after the ball slipped through defender Aaron Pitchkolan's legs, but his shot from 10 yards was stonewalled by Robles in the best save of the night in a one-on-one challenge.
Four minutes later in the 58th, Mullings again proved dangerous. He shouldered Miguel Guante off the ball in the left corner, allowing him to take the ball and drive into the box before another Boulder back was able to fly in and clear the ball away as Robles charged out to face Mullings.
A long ball in the 84th found Mullings racing shoulder-to-shoulder with a Boulder defender, but Robles came out to beat him to the ball just outside the box to squelch the last dangerous opportunity from the Kraze leading up to the winning strike.
Both goalkeepers had good nights with Robles showing great control his box, coming off his line numerous times throughout the game to prevent scoring opportunities for the Kraze until the second-chance ball found Cook in the 88th.
Central Florida goalkeeper Ryan McIntosh had to make a great diving save a minute after their winning score on a hard shot headed just inside the post to preserve the lead.
Justin Cook was named the PDL Championship Most Valuable Player.