Today we played one of the better teams in our league. We have never beaten them and usually they blow us out. Once again they are a travel team. We played 11 v. 11, instead of our usual spring league 8 v. 8. We haven’t practiced it since the fall.
Of course it was raining and we were missing 3 girls. First quartet we controlled the ball, methodically moving it up the field. One possession we had 5 one touch passes, I nearly fell over I was so impressed. Our defense was pretty stout and we forced everything towards the outside, our defensive positioning was incredible and we owned the middle of the field. Our execution wasn’t quite there, and we couldn’t put the ball in the goal. We had 3 shots on goal to their 1. Quarter ended 0-0, which we were pleased with.
Second quarter opened up and they drove right down the field. Our defense was pretty shoddy, our girls were backing off the ball instead of attacking it and they owned the ball. If not for some really solid goal play we would have given up 2 goals. Our defense was really weak, although they did start 2 really nice attacks. Our offense had a couple nice plays, but again we couldn’t exexcute. They had 6 shots on goal to our 2. 0-0 going into the half, we kept it close and were feeling good.
Third quarter started and we were looking really good. A lot of really nice passes, moving without the ball and the defense was moving as a unit. They had the ball on our side of the field for 3 and half minutes out of a possible 12 minutes. We got called for 2 offsides that killed 2 potential goals and 2 pushing calls. We had a beautiful cross that our forward one timed off the goalie, it bounced to our mid who kicked it in. GOAL! GOAL! Our girls were really excited first lead they ever had on this team. We had 5 shots on goal to their 3. We were up 1-0.
In the fourth quarter I pulled us back into a defensive shell. I was hoping to launch a couple of counter attacks. We did really well for a while, defenders were getting the ball out, stopping the build up, when the offense got the balk they made good decisions and we were playing possession soccer. The other team kicked the balk down the middle and it slithered by 3 defenders. One of our better girls took a swing, instead of getting possession and it was spun off her foot, right to the other team. She kicked the ball at the goalie she got in front if it, it bounced off of her to another girl and they kicked it in. They tied it up. The ref told us there was only 2 minutes left. We pushed it hard, got a couple shots on goal, but didn’t succeed. They had 6 shots on goal to our 3. 1-1, we walked away with a tie. The first and only time we didn’t lose to this team.
I am really proud of these kids. We are making progress each week. We have a win, a loss and a tie. Last spring we lost all but one game, which we tied. They are doing great and I am really happy to be a part of it. So we will push on and build on this, hoping to improve them even more. Very, very proud of my coaches and my girls.
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