Despite last weeks heartbreaking loss we saw a lot of improvements. The girls passing continues to improve, as well as their field awareness. Goal play was good except for one quarter and the defense showed marked improvement. I had a lot of confidence going into yesterdays game. These girls are really showing that they want it.
The First quarter started off with us having the ball. Again like last week they had the ball down on our end for the better part of the first 3 minutes. Our defense kept kicking the ball out of bounds and making them restart. Despite them having the ball there they didn’t get a shot off. We forced the ball up the field, changing field position. Our mids were really getting involved on both defense and offense. As the quarter went on we really dominated ball control. With about 3 minutes left our girls started a great buildup, mids moved the ball to the forwards, moved ahead, 3 quick passes across the field and our mid scored on a rainbow shot. Real high and real slow over the goalie, I didn’t think it had a chance to go in. They moved the ball down really quick on us, defender stepped wrong giving the girl and open shot. Our goalie got right up on it and grabbed the ball. She caught a knee to the face and was bent over backwards over her knees. She got right back up. We had 4 shots on goal to their 2. We were up 1-0.
Second Quarter was a lot of give and take. It was back and forth, each team moving it up and down the field. There was a lot of good passin, footwork and defense. It was a really good quarter. We ended up getting called for a handball in the box, giving them a penalty shot. They made it, I told our goalie to shake it off, there was never a goalie that didn’t give up a goal. This was a real physical quarter, several calls for pushing and elbowing. That is typical against this team, they are rough but generally clean. They outshot us 5-3 and the score was 1-1.
Third Quarter was a lot like the Second Quarter. A lot of back and forth, but our superior passing really showed. Even with several newer players the passing was just incredible. One touch passes, not passing to the person but the spot they are going. They were moving when the ball was in the air, everything was clicking. Our girls moved the ball down the field with 3 one touch passes, setting up a cross, which was perfect and the girl scored let it hit her foot and hit a dribbler past the goalie. Our goal play and defense was incredible. As soon as the ball hit our side of the field our defenders were kicking it out. If they were able to move it forward they would, but the decision making was great. We had 4 shots on goal to their 3 and were up 2-1.
The Fourth Quarter was ours. Our superior conditioning was what put this team away. We were forcing the ball up the field, forcing them to work for everything. As the quarter went on you could see their kids wilting. We forced the ball up the field, real crisp beautiful selfless play and shot from the left side, it hit the goalie, bounced off and our girls swarmed. Never saw the aggressiveness like that before. We weren’t even sure which girl scored, there wad four of them attacking. Our next possession our forward sent a beautiful cross which hit the girls foot and went off to the side she got it back; made a quick move and put it right past the goalie. The whole quarter they could not get past our defense, as soon as our girls attacked, they forced them outside and toe poked. Moved it up when they could and kicked it out when they couldn’t. The girls were dominant in the quarter. We had several break aways which didn’t pan out, but overall it was very impressive. We had 6 shots to their 2 and won 4-1. Our goalie played lights out, as well as the rest of our team.
I would love to tell you what a good coach I am, but this is totally on the kids. We have a great group of girls who were really hungry to learn. I am lucky to coach a group like this. They are an incredible group of girls who play hard and find ways around their althletic limitations. By no means are we a fast team, selfless, skillful, easy to coach and a ton of heart. They make it a game of attrition and wear teams down with solid defense and incredible passing on offense. Very good game and first win this season. It has been my favorite season to coach so far.