It was not a good day for me. Halfway through the game I started vomiting. I really felt sick. That is why it took until today to write this. We went into the game with 3 practices and never having more than 8 of our 15 girls showing up for practice. We had 9 kids for this game and only 2 players were consistent offensive players. Everyone else were defenders moving around. We knew what we were in for.
Because of our offensive deficiency we started with a 3-1-2-1 formation. It is a stronger defensive formation and we thought it might help. It didn’t work out well. First we couldn’t create any offense and our defenders were playing very passively. They went up 3-0 within 6 minutes and it looked like it was going to get real bad. But the coalesced on defense and kept forcing the ball out. Defensively they were even moving with the ball. Offensively our weakness was apparent. Our 2 mids were very experienced, but didn’t have much to work with. Our forwards were newer and always in the wrong spot. They got 6 shots on goal to our 0.
Before the Second quarter I told the girls they were doing great. Just give it your all. To keep their heads up, under the circumstances they were doing great. The Second Quarter we moved to a 3-2-2, the effects were immediate. We started controlling the middle of the field and our defense played much better. They were slowing them down and letting everyone get in position. It was more back and forth, we pushed the ball deep, just couldn’t get a shot. Forwards were still new to it, showed some improvement, but couldn’t get the shots. Neither team got a shot on goal the whole quarter.
The Third quarter was more of the same. We kept our stronger offensive players at mid to get the ball up the field. They played great. All the kids gave it their all, they really did play great. We were behind the 8 ball and they did not quit. Defense got even better, making plays, moving the ball and getting it out when necessary. Offense started to improve as well, we were moving the ball further up the field, getting ever closer to that elusive goal. I was getting upset with some of the offensive play, but my assistant reminded me that they were new at it, he was right. They played really well and showed improvement. We gave up 2 shots on goal and again got 0 ourselves, but we were getting closer.
By the 4th quarter we were gassing. One mid didn’t make any practices and because of our lack of practice time I focused on trying to get the kids ready for the pressure they would face when playing offense. We had to move our experienced mids to defense to get them a break and in the process gave up another goal. Otherwise the defense was pretty tight and showed alot of improvement. Again our offense was putting pressure on their defense, we were real close, right in the box 3 times and couldn’t get the shot off. We showed a lot of improvement from the weaker part of our team. These kids brought it and left it on the field. They had 2 shots on goal to our 0.
All in all it was a very productive game. It let us see what we need to work on with these girls. We will have more of our experienced offensive players back this week, but will keep putting the newer girls up there to improve their skills, in fact all the kids are going to run the same exact drills for overall improvement. I am very proud of our girls, despite the situation they left it on the field, gave their all and there was no blaming one another. Despite a loss, it was really a win for team unity and building confidence that these kids can compete without any heavy hitters. I am a very proud coach.