Fall 2012 Season - Game 3

It is not how they start, but how they finish. 

Games like the one the boys played yesterday can teach them so much about how to deal with adversity.  For the first 30 minutes, both teams did their thing to prevent the other from scoring.  After the Wings broke the scoreless tie early in the 2nd half, the Hawks offense came alive.  They played the game they are accustomed to playing and lit the lamp five times in a 21 minute stretch.  Defensively, the team closed down the shooting lanes and had a good number of defensive stops, holding the opponents to just three shots on goal all game (compared to the 20 taken by our boys).  Our keepers were not challenged too much, but they stood their ground when needed. They demonstrated great poise in the goal area and did not flinch on the shot attempts. 

My favorite stat from yesterday was how the boys controlled the ball for over 38 minutes of the game (unofficial stat I kept on my stop watch).  This is a tribute to the solid performance by our six midfielders and their ability to control the ball in the middle third of the field.  They found a lot of success in defending high and creating several scoring chances in transition.

And WOW!  These forwards are fast!!

There was a very good reason as to why we were held scoreless in the first half.  The Wings performed admirably on defense and did a great job of forcing our forwards into less than favorable shot selections. The closest opportunity we had was a shot that hit the post.  Solid effort on their part. 

This was a great effort all around.  I cannot be more pleased with how these boys are progressing as a team.  Be proud of their efforts yesterday.  They played like champions. 

Up next, we are back on the practice field this Thursday to get ready for the next game against Pegasus.  Practice will take place at St Joan from 6-7PM. 

Have a great week.

Fall 2012 Season - Game 2

What a game!!!

Today's game was a tale of two halves.  After trailing 3-2 at halftime and then 4-2 early in the 2nd half, the boys rallied for five goals en route to a 7-4 win.  How did the boys do it?  I can can answer that question in one word...HUSTLE.  After a halftime pep talk (and then giving up that 4th goal in the 36th minute), the boys settled down, turned on the jets, found their "A" game and took charge for the final 24 minutes of the game. 

With all of that said, credit has to be given where credit is due.  The boys from Team Evanston played a great game and gave the Hawks a run for their money.  They were well coached. 

Here are some highlights from from today's game:
  • Seven goals were scored by five different players. 
  • ZERO illegal throw-ins (great work)
  • The boys were called for off-sides on four occasions today.  That is also an improvement over last week.
  • There were also seven fouls called on the Hawks today.  On one occasion, one of our boys made a pass back to the keeper, who then proceeded to pick up the ball.  That is an illegal pass and always results in an Indirect kick from the top of the circle. Had the keeper played the ball with his feet, the play would have continued.
  • One of Team Evanston's players was cited with a Yellow Card for a hard foul on one of our boys.  Instead of retaliating, our players took the high road and reached out to shake hands with the other player.  That was class.  Nice going!

My favorite part about today's game was that they overcame that nervous feeling of falling behind in the score and used the remainder of the game to take care of business.  After allowing that 4th goal, the boys tightened up on defense in a big way.  They only allowed one shot on goal the rest of the way.  That was huge.  

Up next, we are back on the practice field tomorrow at 4:00 PM to start prepping for the Wings.  Game time is Sunday, September 23rd @ 4:00 PM at the Hawks Nest.  Because the game is on Sunday, we will have an 80 minute practice on Saturday, September 22nd starting at 4:00 PM.  Check the website for details. 

Be proud with the team today!  They continue to work efficiently to improve their game and help make the team better with each passing week.  

We will see most of you tomorrow.  Happy New Year's to those of you celebrating. 



Fall 2012 Season - Game 1

Hi everyone,

Talk about a statement game!

This travel soccer stuff is fun.  I guess the secret about the newest, coolest North Shore U8 soccer team will be officially out when the scores are updated on the web site this afternoon.

The boys executed well.  They played like a team.  They took charge from minute one.  Here are the key observations:

Congratulations to Mick for making history and scoring the team's first ever goal!  This is the first of many.

Goals were scored by 6 different players.  All but one goal was scored from an assist.  The boys created several more chances that were either just off target or saved by the opposing keeper (who was VERY busy today).

My favorite observation was that EVERYBODY contributed because they got their teammates involved.  These boys are more than just a team with great players.  They are becoming a great team.

The keepers were not needed too often, but they stepped up when necessary.  There were three spectacular saves made on the day.  Guy, kudos to you for stepping up and playing goalie both halves. Overall, the play was solid.

They were outstanding.  I received a lot of compliments from random observers after the game about how well they played as a team.  This is a tribute to how much they have grown in such a short time.  Just think, this is the start of a season long work in progress.  As the season progresses, they are going to improve on their existing skills and learn new ones along the way.

Up next, we go back to the practice field tomorrow at 4:00PM to start prepping for Team Evanston.  Practice will take place back at the Hawk's Nest.  The primary coaching points will focus on transitioning to team defense and learning to avoid off-sides.  Technically, time will be spent working on keeping their feet on the ground for throw-ins.  And yes, we will scrimmage.  Practice is planned to go until 6:00PM.  Let's keep it there for now and then as the season progresses (and daytime starts to shrink further), we will reduce the time to 90 minutes.

The boys played like champions today.  Let them celebrate.  Let them be confident, but do not let it get to their heads too much.  We should be proud.

See you all tomorrow.