by Russell Cooks
Wednesday night marked the home opener for the new Peachtree City MOBA soccer team. Starr’s Mill High School’s was the setting, hosting a festive atmosphere with face painting, jump roping, art lessons, and great food.
MOBA dropped the game to Carolina Dynamo 2-0. The win moves the second place Dynamo to 5-1, while MOBA drops to 2-5.
The crowd was not shortchanged, as MOBA started the game in attack mode and continued to play in a high gear throughout the evening. MOBA penetrated deep into Carolina’s goal area at the 9:36 mark, but the shot on goal was wide. Casey Shultis kicked a laser shot that just went wide of the goal at the 12:18 mark.
The rhythm of the game continued at fast pace throughout the first half, then at the 15:50 mark Mamadee Nyepon of Dynamo opened the scoring with a scissor kick that went high into the air over goalkeeper Luke Oesterle’s head and bounced into the net.
MOBA owner and coach Volker Harms said, “We were a little unlucky tonight. The first goal was an absolute fluke.”
The second half started off at the same pace where the first half ended. Shutlis took a tough hit from one of Dynamo’s player and MOBA took exception to hit. Shutlis ended up receiving medical attention and leaving the game, but his teammates stood strong in his stead.
At the 65:14 mark, it was Nyepon scoring his second goal and giving the Dynamo a 2-0 lead.
Omar Juran took an awesome shot on goal at the 79:10 mark, but it was wide right. MOBA took a corner shot a few seconds later, but this time it was just above the goal. That was the story of the night, just a little wide or just a little high.
Harms went on to say, “We played a very aggressive game, but our shots were a little wide and a little high tonight. The biggest problem is that we could not get a grip on (Mamadee Nyepon). We definitely showed that we have the capability to play high level soccer. We just need to get more experience. We had several uncalled fouls, but that comes with experience. We need to learn to ask for the foul.”
The fans were enthusiastic all night in support of their new team.
“I enjoyed everything about the night. The face painting was great. I liked jumping rope. I really enjoyed it all,” said one young fan, Jenni.
The guests of honor for the home opener were the Peachtree City Lazers recreation team.
Lazer player Georgia Krause said, “It is loud. It is very special and very nice. I am glad they invited us, and it was so special to walk on the field with players from both teams. They really made us feel special.”
Lazer coach George Krause added, “It is a wonderful relationship. We have always had a longstanding program with the Lazer organization. Now, we are excited about the progression where the kids can go from recreation league to high soccer, to college soccer, back here to the Premiere Development League (PDL) and ultimately on to the Pros (Major League Soccer).”
U14 Coach Jurgen Hornemann said, “ It feels wonderful. I played for a long time, and I have been coaching for while now, and this is an awesome time for the soccer world. I guess I was little ahead of my time. It is great to expose our players to such a high level of soccer. I believe in bonding between the team members and this is a great way to bond and learn more about the game at the same time. What an awesome atmosphere.”
U6 and U7 Coach Ryan Knippel replied, “I think that it is outstanding. When you are able to watch the game with your teammates and expand your knowledge at the same time, who could ask for more? Walking on the field with players of this high caliber created an unforgettable experience.”
Gerald Joseph, owner of #1 Smoking Guy Concessions and BBQ who supplied the delicious food for the game will the rest of the season, said, “MOBA Soccer is great for Fayette and Coweta County. We had a good crowd for the first night. It will definitely get better when the word gets out. It is definitely going to be a great season.”
Jutta Harms, MOBA Soccer Director of Public Relations, said, “We had a good crowd. People seem to be having a good time. It was Lazer Night, and we are happy that everyone came out to support our home opener.”
Team MOBA’s next home game will be on June 22 at Starr’s Mill High School against the Tri-Cities Otters.
Staff Photos by Christopher Dunn