Colaizzi Chases PDL Championship With Thunder Bay Chill
July 29, 2010
Blog Update (7/31/10): Chill Advance to Central Conference Finals
Blog Update (8/2/10): Thunder Bay Advances to PDL Final Four
Blog Update (8/6/10): Colaizzi, Chill in PDL Championship on Fox Soccer Channel
Update (8/7/10): Portland Defeats Thunder Bay in PDL Championship (usloccer.com)
"The guys on Thunder Bay were very welcoming, and I fit right in with everyone," said Colaizzi, who'll be entering his senior season at Marquette University this fall. "The only thing I've struggled with since being in Canada is knowing how fast I'm going in the car and knowing what the temperature is outside."
But converting miles to kilometers and Fahrenheit to Celsius is farthest from the left winger's mind this week as Colaizzi and his new teammates with the Chill prepare to face Forest City London in the first round of the PDL playoffs, which begins this Friday, July 30, in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Friday's winner advances to the Central Conference Championship game Saturday for the right to advance to the PDL Championship, Aug. 6-7, at a site to be determined.
An appearance in the postseason was not likely for Colaizzi merely a month ago. He began the 2010 season with the Kalamazoo Outrage where he tallied three goals and an assist in nine games. But since the Outrage had won just one game through June, Colaizzi opted to transfer to Thunder Bay where he'd have a shot of helping the Chill win their second PDL title in three years.
"I joined the Chill in Des Moines, Iowa on July 3, the night we played the Menace," said Colaizzi, who has averaged nearly 80 minutes in four games with his new squad. "Making the playoffs and playing for arguably one of the best teams in the PDL provides me with good exposure and an opportunity to win a PDL Championship."
Thunder Bay clinched its third Heartland Division title this past Saturday with a 2-1 decision over the Rochester Thunder and finished the 2010 regular season with a 12-2-2 overall record.
Colaizzi believes the Chill has what it takes to have continued success going into this postseason.
"Losing is not an option for us," he said. "Tony Colistro, our head coach, will not be happy with us unless we win the PDL Championship. The talent and results that Thunder Bay has produced in the last few years has made him into a perfectionist. He hates losing more than anything, so as a team we are very confident."
Regardless of wins and losses, Colaizzi's experience with the Chill has helped him grow as a player. He's hoping that his development not just helps him on the pitch this upcoming season with the Golden Eagles, but beyond. The PDL is commonly known to be a grooming ground for many future professional players.
"Playing with a PDL team, especially one that is full of talent and experience such as Thunder Bay, allows you maintain your soccer form over the summer as the Marquette coaches want you to do, and also helps you better your game mentally.
"Being 21 years old, I am actually one of the youngest players on the team," added Colaizzi. "Many of the players I am playing alongside have more experience and knowledge of the game than I have right now and have shared their soccer intelligence with me every day on the field."
If your passport has expired and you are unable get to Ontario to watch Colaizzi and the Chill, there still may be a chance for you to see Thunder Bay chase a PDL title. On Aug. 7, the PDL Championship game will be broadcast live (6 p.m. CT) on Fox Soccer Channel.