This Saturday we played a team that dominated the WVYSA for the last 3 years. They beat our team by 5 goals every time we played them. They were undefeated so far this season, despite losing a few girls. We had lost a few girls as well, but we were beginning to gel. They came in 5-0. We lost our first game, we were missing our whole offensive team and lost our second in a close game. Then we won 2 straight. Our girls were really confident coming into this game.
We got to the game late because the directions to the field were not on our website and our team told me they didn’t have the paper with the coaches numbers. We started with the ball. The first 5 minutes were really sloppy. Both teams were losing the ball time after time. There were no serious scoring threats. We stopped an attack at midfield, worked it up with 3 passes. Our forward started to break out, was cut off by the defender, the ball ricocheted off the defender back to our forward. She got away with a push, kicked it past the goalie. GOAL!!!!! After that it was back and forth. They got 2 shots on goal but our goalie is a rock. Our defense tightened up and really clamped down near the end of the quarter. They had 2 shots on goal to our 1. We were up 1-0.
The Second quarter started with them with the ball. Like I said our defense really clamped down. The whole quarter they never got into our penalty box and only got near our box twice. Our defenders were working the ball up the field to the mids, we have put a lot of work into that the last 2 weeks. We were moving the ball up the field, but their defense held strong for the first 4 minutes. After that our passing started opening up shots. We had a few nice ones, but we were off. Finally our mid stole it at midfield; worked it up to our forward. We asked our mids to push hard to get to the goal. She passed to our mid on the outside, who mishandled the ball, passed it back to a mid, who passed to our forward in the middle. She hit our cutting forward right on her foot and she hit a dribbler past the goalie. GOAL!!!!!!!! We had 4 shots on goal to their 0, love that 0. We were up 2-0, we never had a lead on them at the half before.
Third quarter started with us with the ball. We are a very good second half team, our cardio is great and our passing constantly keeps their girls moving, tiring them out. Again our defense was a rock, we gave up 1 shot in goal and we stopped their attacks around our box routinely. Our defenders were generally making good decisions with the ball, not just kicking it, but looking up trying to move the ball to the mids. Our offense was passing beautifully. Moving the ball, looking for teammates. We are really coming together. We had a 3 on 2 break, started on the far side of the field. They worked it all the way across to the near side, where our mid took the shot, it bounced off the goalie to our forward, who kicked it over the goalies head. GOAL!!!!!!!! About 3 minutes later our defender made a nice tackle, worked the ball to midfield, passed to our mid, who one touch passed to our forward, who passed back to the mid, who crossed it to our other forward, who kicked a dribbler around the goalie. GOAL!!!!! We were up 4-0. We had 4 shots on goal to their 1. These girls were playing great.
The Fourth quarter started with them with the ball. We moved our goalie out to mid and put our backup goalie in. We came out on fire. We moved the ball up the field quickly and our mid crossed to our other mid. She stopped it made a move and kicked a screamer past the goalie GOAL!!!!!!! We were up 5-0. Our girls seemed to let up some. Our defense started to get sloppy, they allowed them to get 3 straight shots ob our goal. Our mid lost the ball by the midfield circle, they pushed it down quick. Our backup goalie played it out high, the ball went between her legs. GOAL!!!!! It was now 5-1. We settled down, dominated possession and closed out the game in dominant fashion. They had 5 shots on goal to our 3. We won 5-1, THE FIRST TIME OUR GIRLS HAVE EVER BEAT THIS TEAM. The coach for the other team was cursing at her kids, it was off putting. She also didn’t slap hands with the kids at the end of the game.
This team we played was the hold standard in our league. They were very upset to lose to a team that was never competitive with them before. I had 2 parents after the game tell me our defense was bad, that I don’t play mids, that we need to work the ball across the field and our girls pass the ball to the other team to much. First I will say we beat our last 3 oppenents by a combined 17-3. Yes we gave up 3 goals in 3 games. I believe we gave up 16 shots on goal over that period. All but one of our goals was scored off a pass. We play a 3-2-2 and expect our mids to get up and back. They will not camp in the middle of the field. This showed ne that our parents have gone from expecting our girls to lose, to expecting perfection. Truthfully I wanted to tell them to pound sand, but……. I am very proud of our girls. They have come a long way, as have myself and my assistants. None of us ever played soccer before. We have done what we set out to do. These girls went from last place, not knowing how to play the game, to very competitive and very knowledgeable about the game. Coaching is very fulfilling.