It has been an odd few weeks. I have been lazy concerning my posts. I want to make it abundantly clear how proud I am of my girls. We are a U-13 team playing at the U-14 level. Not only are we playing but we are playing well. I am going to give brief synopsises of the last three games. Then a simple overview of what I liked and what has gone wrong. My last season as a volunteer has been incredible with the kids.
The first game was a mess. We played U-14 soccer on a U-10 field, with U-10 nets. The one ref coached the team we were playing last year and the other played for the club 2 years ago. We knew we were up against it. We play 12 minute quarters and the quarter times went as follows, 1-12 minutes, 2-13 minutes, 3-14 minutes and 4-16 minutes. We went up early in the second on a nice breakaway by our forward. She hit a nice shot. We held them in check for the whole actual games. It was in the 15th minute of the 4th quarter that they scored. It was off a cheesy foul call and the kick was high. Our goalie got her hands on it but not enough. They got away with blatant pushing as well as tripping and dragging our kids to the ground. It was a struggle to keep our kids from retaliating. There was an altercation after the game where one of their players went after a parent. It was a mess. I reported the refs to the league office. This game was ridiculous. Score was a 1-1 tie.
The second game was an outstanding game. We had the chance to play 11 v. 11 and ran with the oppurtunity. We did not have any subs, but our kids played fantastic. I could not have been prouder. They dominated the first quarter, the ball was in our end for the majority of the quarter. Our defense bailed us out continuously. The second quarter was more in our favor. We kept it on their side or midfield for the majority but neither team could score. The ref said the game would come down to a fluke shot and it did. The third quarter was more of the same. Very even and well played. Half way through the fourth quarter they pushed it down into our box. We kicked it to the side, where one of their girls got off a hard shot. It hit off one of our girls, then one of theirs , hit our goalie in the face and went in. Nothing could have been done about it. We pushed them hard but couldnt score. We lost 1-0. Their were a combined 9 shots on goal for the game, 6 for them and 3 for us. It was a fantastic game. Although we lost our kids played very well. I was incredibly proud.
Our last game showed how far we truly have come. We were playing what was considered the strongest team in the league. We had an early break away in the first for a quick goal. They came back with a nice shot early in the second. Halfway through the third we hit on a nice crossfield pass and put in the oppisite corner. She really made the goalie look bad. Then we got another break away and our Mid hit a dribbler past the goalie. Their girls were getting very frustrated. We lost one of better defenders to injury in the first and one of our mids in the third. We were out of subs. So I told them to push it if they had it and if not waste away the clock. We did give up a goal on a beautiful rainbow shot over the goalie. One of our other defenders got hurt, but stayed in the game. After our defender went out in the first our defense was very weak. Our goalie saved at least 25 shots if not 30. She seriously bailed our girls out. We wasted the time away for a 3-2 win. It really showed how these girls can play through adversity.
We still lack consistency. We have a quarter every game that is way below how we play. But somehow, someway these kids pull it off. Our 2 losses this season were both 1-0. Our goalie has been great all season. Our defense has had one terrible game. Our offense gets lost at times but usually finds a way. Playing up a year has opened their eyes. They have realized what it takes to compete going forward. I believe in the system we have taught them, it is evolving with the addition of the cross field pass and allowing them to chip. I honestly believe that I have been lucky to coach this group of girls. We have one game left together. I hope we go out with a bang.