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Giebelhaus played one of his strongest defensive games of the season, but when he went down with a sprained ankle, so did the fortunes of his teammates.

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Week 30
Tumbling to defeat

Giebelhaus goes down, then his team

by Jay Suburb

On a day when roadsters were tumbling like dominoes, Giebelhaus' fall may have been the cruelest of them all.

When the veteran defender left the game after turning his ankle while chasing the Living Legend deep in his own end, his team was leading 14-11, and they seemed to have the game well in hand. Two shifts later, their advantage had evaporated. They never recovered, succumbing 20-17.

"It just seemed to throw us off," says Paul One, of his tumbling teammate. "It screwed up our lines, it screwed up our solid defense."

"When Giebelhaus went down, the lines got mixed up and we had to go into a rolling format," says Beetle Boy. "It just seemed to throw off our continuity."

"When they lost Giebelhaus, that's when we were really able to start our comeback," says Bird, who sparked his team's resurgence with two quick goals shortly after their defensive rival was disabled. "They looked like they had two lines that they really liked and they were really effective"

Before he went down, Giebelhaus had been his team's defensive leader, running interference and frustrating the playmaking opportunities of his speedier opponents. Playing on a line with Elvis and Nibsl, they constructed an effective counterattack to the rolling offensive combinations being thrown against them.

"He was our stalwart on defense today," says Paul One. "He was playing awesome, he was shutting down Lak Attack, he was shutting down Kid. And then he was often chipping the ball up to set up breaks."

"He play good defense, clear ball," says Pig Farming Goalie. "It was game of momentum, and we were able to take momentum early."

"I gotta hand it to Giebelhaus; I'm not always a big fan of his style, but he played a really good game defensively" says Beetle Boy. "When we lost him, it was almost a triple whammy."

That's because when Giebelhaus went down, Lak Attack and Kid suddenly had room on the court to maneuver. With the slowest guy out of the game, the game's fastest players found their legs.

"That's when Lak Attack started to step it up," says Beetle Boy. "When he pulled his game up, working with the Kid, their speed is incredible. They're the two fastest guys, and they took full advantage of it during the last half of the game."

 

Giebelhaus' tumble to the concrete was the most serious of numerous falls by roadsters during Sunday's game. The Living Legend went down heavily twice, and the Kid lashed out after being tripped up by the close checking of Billy Idol.
But whenever Giebelhaus hits the deck, the roadsters collectively hold their breath, as the veteran defender is already hobbled by a braced knee after surgery more than a year ago
. That's meant some gentle jokes from his fellow players about his bionic joint, and some allowances to his game to make up for his lack of mobility.
"I've just got to play real smart," said Giebelhaus, who tries to cut off players from reaching the ball instead of racing them to it.

With Lak Attack and the Kid on the same team, some roadsters complained the stick pull was unfair.
"I thought we were going to get blown out," said Beetle Boy.
"Whenever you have Lak Attack on other team, you think you have stacked team against you," said Pig Farming Goalie.
But after two quick goals by the Kid and the Living Legend gave their side the early advantage, the underdogs tightened up defensively, and exploited their scoring opportunities to storm ahead by as many as four goals.
"Our main focus was playing solid defense and scoring goals," said Paul One, who battled to check Lak Attack all morning. "I think we were just quicker, outrunning the other team."
"We had the benefit of momentum," said Beetle Boy. "We had it in control."
But, said Bird, a lot of his team's early problems were of their own making.
"I think for awhile we were just trying to hard to make the pretty pass, score the pretty goal," said the renowned rebounder with the knack for scoring goals off parts of his body rather than his stick. "It wasn't working for us, and they just buried all their chances."

For Pig Farming Goalie, Sunday's loss was another frustrating result after a promising start. Time and again he stacked the pads and reached out his big glove hand to frustrate his offensive opponents and give his team the confidence to forge to their lead.
"I bear down, I stop ball, I make sure we get good momentum going," said the agrarian goaltender, who returned to the courts after missing last week's game.
But his mates couldn't sustain that momentum, and when the defensive errors started to pile up, so did the goals.
"We made bad plays, we had bad breakout. Shoot right up middle and Kid just standing there waiting for ball. He know ball coming to him."
"We just slacked off in the middle frame," said Paul One, of his side's swoon.
"We got into some defensive breakdowns where we were leaving one guy open," said Beetle Boy. "We had some bad bounces. We all gave the ball away."

At the other end of the court, a goalie crisis was averted when New Goalie was called in from the afternoon game to replace Ottoman and Lobsterboy, who were both late scratches.
And while the rookie shotstopper isn't unfamiliar with the morning game, having made a couple of starts earlier in the season, he struggled early to adjust to the whirling offense wheeling in front of him.
But as his teammates picked up their game in the offensive zone, he found his groove, robbing his pesky opponents of a number of golden scoring chances.
"He closed the door on us," said Paul One of the newfound netminder. "The stuff that had been going in for us early just wasn't going in anymore."
"He made some big saves for us," said Bird. "He kept us in it."