The game started out with the Fire getting a lot of shots, including one that Parkhurst cleared off the line. Then New England started getting in to it, getting some of their own attacking players going. Right at that moment, the Fire's John Thorrington came in late and from behind on Jeff Larentowicz, who had been our best player, and broke his ankle. He walked off the field anyway because he's hardcore, but then went to the hospital. We then lost the midfield, gave up a goal just before halftime, and lost the game. In exchange for taking out Larentowicz, Thorrington got a yellow card and got the Fire into the next round of the playoffs. Larentowicz himself was ejected for a far less serious foul against the Fire in the second game of the season, (view the highlights here if you don't believe me).
Basically I felt good about the game until Larentowicz was hacked down by Thorrington. We were holding our own, and we went from competing in the midfield to relying on a gimp (Shalrie's knee) and a slow galumphing rookie (Pat Phelan). In the beginning of the season I thought that our combination of speedy youth and experience would be a good mix, but that doesn't work if all your experience is sent to the hospital (or in Shalrie's case, should have been sent to the hospital). I think if you take any team in the world and subtract their star forward (Twellman), their 2nd forward (Cristman), their star attacking midfielder (Ralston), their most dangerous winger (Khano Smith, deservedly suspended), and then injure both their central midfielders, that team will be in trouble. I'm not really disappointed in the players or the coaches at all for mistakes or lack of effort, I just feel cheated by Lady Luck.
On to next year.