May 18 soccer game.

         We knew it would be a tough game. We were playing a travel team. I do not have one girl on my team who plays travel soccer. In fact they only played the last 3 years of spring soccer. But I have a fundamentally sound team with a ton of heart. We are a physical, aggressive team that lacks overall team speed. They can compete with anyone.

First quarter started with us with the ball. The other team quickly established their speed superiority. They played a similar style to ours, short to intermediate passing, aggressive defense forcing the ball outside. They also packed the field making the short passing game very difficult. We quickly took advantage of their overagressive defense. We got a quick break away, our best scorer had the ball, made a move, their goalie fell, our girl took one extra dribble shot!!! Was stopped by their goalie. Great stop by their goalie. They followed up with a break shortly after. They drove it, beat one of our defenders, took the shot, it hit our goalies hand and dribbled in. GOAL!!!!! They went up 1-0. We had 4 shots to their 3.

Second quarter they started with the ball. It was a great back and forth quarter. They had breaks, we had breaks and both goalies were playing off the charts good. We started going for the chip to loosen up their defense. It gave us some great chances but we just couldnt finish. They also started chipping and had some incredible chances, but both goalies were ridiculous. It got a little extra physical but the calls werent falling our way. Our buildup attacks were working up field but our shots just werent hitting. After 2 it was still 1-0. We had 5 shots on goal to their 5.

We started off with the ball in the third quarter. It was the same as the second. A tough, grind it out type of game. It became a game of break aways. We were close and so were they but nothing was happening. It was just give and take. They were our team, just alot faster. Their players were getting frustrated that they couldn’t pull away and ours were frustrated that they couldnt get it in the goal. There were a lot of nice passes and buildups, but both defenses were playing great. The goalies were dominating this game. Still 1-0 after 3. They had 4 shots on goal to our 2.

Fourth quarter was the same as the previous 3. A hard fought give and take game. Very physical, a lot of buildups being negated. As the quarter went on our girls really put the pressure on. We began moving it easily through their defense but they either came up with a defensive stop or their goalie would make a great play. We were close time after time. We really dominated the last 6 minutes of the game only to fall short. We lost 1-0. We had 6 shots on goal to their 2.

I am very proud of the way our girls played. Travel teams have a hard time beating each other, they should have really taken it to us. That either means they were not very good or we have really improved. Either way I walked away truly impressed with my team. I let them know how proud I was and how impressed I am by their heart and dedication. I am a lucky coach.

May 18 soccer game.

         This week we played a travel team. It didnt bode well for us. We play maybe 6 months out of the year, not one kid on my team plays travel soccer. We knew they would have to dig deep and play near perfect. My girls are tough and pretty solid fundamentally. They play the game how it should be played.

Saturdays Soccer game

          We came into this weeks game with excellent momentum. This week we were playing a team a year older then us and it was our first time, practice and games included, that we had out full roster. We always have our girls show up 30 minutes early to warm up. When they showed up this day, there was no get and up and go, they were very flat. I talked to them about it, but it seemed to reach deaf ears.

The other team opened up the game with the ball. Our girls made me eat my words, they came out on fire. First 3 minutes were dominated the ball, working it up with excellent passing and some smart soccer. The unselfishness was really on display, but their goalie stop several shots and a few other went off to the side. They kicked the ball far up the field, our one defender who is very passive, did not play aggressive letting them get a very nice break. Our goalie made an excellent stop. Our mid recieved the kick, drew the defender in and made a quick move. She went around the defender, slowly working up the side drawing defenders to her. She made a beautiful cross to the forward who one touched passed to the other forward, who just got her foot on it to redirect it. GOAL!!!! 1-0 we were up. A little while later our defender had a nice tackle, pushed it up field and made a beautiful pass to the mid. The mid passed to the forward who quickly gave it back to the mid, very nice give and go. The mid deeked a defender, faked a shot and passed a dribbler to our forward, who quickly passed to our other mid. The mid hit a dribbler right past the goalie. GOAL!!!!! We went up 2-0. The quarter ended soon after. We had 7 shots on goal to their one. Nice quarter.

Second quarter started and we immediately saw a different team on the field. Our girls were not aggressive, our passes were ugly. We were walking up and down the field. They started bringing the ball up the field and everyone of our players were moving backward, which is contrary to what I teach them. They brought the ball down the field against our very passive defense, pushed it to the middle and shot. GOAL!!!!! 2-1. Our goalie didnt even move. Our girls were recieving passes very badly. Balls were bouncing 5 feet off their legs and it was very ugly. Off of one of our turnovers they chipped it up the field. Our defenders jogged to the ball, while their players ran to it. We of course got beat to the ball and they pushed hard, shot from the box. GOAL!!!!!! 2-2. The rest of the quarter was complete dominance by them. We couldn’t get our girls to play our game. If our goalie didnt make some nice saves we would be way down. They had 6 shots to our 2. It was tied 2-2.

The third quarter started and looked just like the second. We had the ball longer, they got breakaways. We were walking, they were running. Our passing was nice but our receiving the ball was horrible. Maybe it was the heat, but we could not get them to play the game we taught them. They went back to just kicking the ball, not even looking to kick it to someone. It was very frustrating, we kept instructing and offering encouragement. The ref said he appreciated the coaching method. They finally got a break, our defender hustled back and got her foot on the ball. Ball bounced up and hit our girl in the hand. Penalty shot for them. The girl kicked it and our goalie looked like her feet were in concrete. GOAL!!!! 3-2 they were up. They got 3 shots on goal to our 3. 3-2 after 3.

I told the girls there are 5 things that go into each game. 1 the refs, cant control that. 2 is the effort, which you can control. 3 is the game plan, which wins games. 4 is luck, which goes both ways. 5 is who wants it more. I told them to show me. The team from the first quarter showed back up. Out of 12 minutes, 9 of them were spent on their end. We had one excellent oppurtunity after another. Our girls just didnt pull the trigger. When they did, the defense and goalie where fantastic. They had 2 breaks the whole quarter. Everything looked great but the finish. With about a minute left our mid and forward hit on a give and go. Forward took the shot and the goalie got her hands on it. The goalie hit the ground and the ball bounced out, right to our forward. She followed up and tapped it on. GOAL!!!!! 3-3 we tied it up. We dominated the rest of the quarter but couldn’t finish. We had 6 shots on goal,4 more outside it to their 2. We ended it a 3-3 tie.

They exploited our kids lack of enthusiasm. The 2 quarters we played our game, we were dominant. They dominated the second and despite no score in the third, we controlled the ball. Our recieving skills were lacking, as was a consistency effort. Our goalie got lazy at times, refusing to use the footwork and positioning we teach her. Every coach will have these games. It is up to that coach to find their way through it without alienating their players. We go into practice and work on these issues and go out next week playing hard. The tie was a loss to me, but you cannot question their heart when it came down to it.

This weeks Soccer game.

            I was a little concerned going into this game. We were playing a team that beat us the last three times and were still missing one of our better players. They are a good fundamental team who seem to have our number. Our practice this week was cut short and this week we had 2 subs. We have faced our issues positively this season and left it with the kids. It is their team, we are the guides, they have to consistently do what we taught.

They started off with the ball. They brought it down and were stonewalled by our defense. They controlled the ball but could not get it into the scoring area. About half way through the quarter we moved our center defender (we play a 3-2-2) up to forward and replaced a mid. Our center defender turned forward imeadiately payed dividends. Our defender made a beautiful stop, passed to our mid who started bringing it up. The kids immeadiately spread out. Three passes later our new forward recieved the ball just outside the penalty box, made a move, drilled it into the net. GOAL!!!! It was the only shot on goal the whole quarter. We were up 1-0.

We started off with the ball in the second quarter. Our defense was near impenetrable. In the 12 minute quarter, we had the ball for about 9 minutes, that is no exageration. We were moving the ball real well, the passing was incredible. Our girls were dribbling until the defender committed, then would pass. We may have turned the ball over twice on passes, the rest would be on the dribble. About 7 minutes in our defense made a great stop, the defender made an incredible pass leading our forward who caught up to it, dribbled, faked once, then again, leaving 2 girls wondering what happened. She faked a shot to the right and kicked it to the left. GOAL!!!! We went up 2-0. Their goalie was playing really well or we would be up by at least 3. She had at least 5 beautiful saves. We had 7 shots on goal to their 0. 2-0 at the half.

They started the third quarter with the ball. We quickly stole the ball, our mid drove it down the right side, faked a girl out, crossed beautifully. Our forward got her foot on it, refirecting it. GOAL!!!! 3-0. They started playing very timidly. They were waiting on our girls instead of attacking on defense. That allowed us to easily set up our offense. The same mid recieved a pass from our outside defender. She started bringing it up, their defense was backing up allowing her to continue driving up. She got to the side, faked out 2 girls and crossed. Our forward, another girl who normally plays defense, got her foot on it. GOAL!!!! 4-0. Our defense didnt even let them get downfield. Everything got stopped really early. After 3 quarters we were up 4-0.

We opened up the fourth quarter with the ball. The other team was giving up. They got a break and got their only shot on goal. It was easily stopped by our goalie. We quickly pushed the ball up the field, our mid took it to the side for another beautiful cross which the same defender as last quarter turned forward easily kicked in. GOAL!!!!! 5-0. We then moved all of our defensive players up to mid and forward. We moved our forwards and mids to defense. The other team stopped crossing midfield, I think they were looking for a morale victory by not giving up any more goals. We had a couple more shots which their goalie easily stops. We had 6 shots on goal to their 1. We won 5-0.

My girls played exactly like we taught them. We have preached and repetitively practiced these things over and over again. We spend a lot of time at practice in game situations. We constantly work on passing the ball. We work on positional defense constantly. It has come together in our first 2 games. Hopefully we can keep it headed in the right direction. Fine tune what we do and add more as we go. I am very proud of these girls. They have come a long way and keep improving.