Games: This past weekend was spent in blustery conditions in Billings at the Magic City tournament in the U-17 Gold division. The team had a good tournament – playing to a 0-0 tie against a Canadian team, Swift Current United, before dispatching the Rushmore Soccer Club of South Dakota by a scope of 2-1. We went out at the Semi-final stage – losing to Helena Arsenal 4-2 in a tie that really could have gone either way. We were disappointed to not go further in the tournament – but our co-ed team left with their heads held high after putting in great performances against all-boy Premier level clubs.
Practice: Our practices don’t tend to vary a great deal from a consistent pattern – as we focus on three key areas – decision making, passing and movement off of the ball. Working hard on all three has served us well this season as we continue to rack up wins using those attributes of our game as part of a game that emphasizes possession. Another aspect of our game that we focus on is improving our weaker foot – for all but one of our players that means our left foot. We play a fast, short passing game requiring the player to pass the ball with either foot if the opportunity arises, so a lot of our dribbling or passing drills require that players use both feet. A player comfortable with either foot is a player who can make things happen on the soccer pitch. Keep that in mind when you want to work on your soccer skills.
Hot Shots: Our Girls! Playing a tournament against boys teams in this age-group can be pretty difficult. All of our girls came out with flying colors – holding their own against players much bigger and faster than them. A special shout out needs to go to Lani A. and Kelsey V. who battled all weekend long and made a number of brave interceptions and penetrating passes against opposition that might have thought that they could outmuscle an all-girl center midfield. Well done girls!
Homework: Juggle the ball 5 times with your right foot and then 5 times with your left. Run for 10 minutes (on a machine or outdoors) on days when you don’t have training or competitive matches.