And the Chargers, undoubtedly, used it to their advantage in a 1-1 draw Wednesday night against Cherry Hill West.
"We were able to take all of that emotion and passion and make something good out of it," said Alex Kourahanis, who, with his team shorthanded, netted the equalizer with 51 seconds left in regulation.
Even playing with a man down for the final 10 minutes of regulation and two overtimes, Timber Creek (14-3-1) was clearly the aggressor, playing extremely physical soccer and with an obvious chip on its shoulders.
The Chargers pummeled West (10-4-2) with quality chances throughout the second half as the game became increasingly chippy, eventually leading to multiple yellow cards for both teams, and the ejections of Ortzman and Morgan.
"When adversity struck, we came back really strong," said Ortzman, who declined comment on the officiating.
Cherry Hill West coach Dan Butler also had a gripe with the referees. For almost three minutes after Morgan's second yellow card, the Chargers played, unnoticed, with 11 men on the field. The violation ordinarily leads to a penalty kick for the opposing team.
The officials, though, appeared to take the blame for the violation and did not award a PK. Butler, too, did not want to comment on the officiating.
West took a lead on James Meadows' goal in the 20th minute. From there, most of the offensive chances came from Timber Creek.
The West defense looked strong in withstanding constant pressure for almost 60 straight minutes. Goalie Sean Mullarkey especially stood out for West, which is 5-0-1 over its last six games.
"We just have to keep our focus and our vision going in a positive direction," Butler said. "We've been doing that for several weeks, playing great quality soccer and defending extremely well."
Cherry Hill West 1 0 0 0 – 1
Timber Creek 0 1 0 0 – 1
Goals: CHW-James Meadows; TC-Alex Kourahanis.
Saves: CHW-Sean Mullarkey 11; TC-Zach Tierno 5.
Contact Chris Melchiorre at firstname.lastname@example.org.