On Friday in Baldwin City, Missouri, the Flames lost their 3rd game of the season at the MidAmerica Nazarene Tournament. CSM fell to an excellent Baker University team 0-3. Baker controlled most of the possession and had some good chances on goal. Perhaps our poor performace can be blamed on the rain (it has been raining all day and continues to rain.) Maybe it was the fact that we left at 6 in the morning to get to the game, or perhaps it was the fact that we got one of the vans stuck on the way to the game and showed up pretty late. Whatever the reason, we played at times like our feet were stuck in the mud.
I was talking to Kim (our trusty assistant coach) during the game about our struggles and she said if we counted how many players were on the field at that time that played college soccer before--the number would be 4. I do forget at times how inexperienced we are as a group. I don't want to use that as an excuse, but our lack of "speed of play" really showed up today. I usually tell people that ramping up their speed of play is the biggest adjustment new players have to make. We spent too much time reacting instead of anticipating. When we did get in a rythym, then we would make a couple silly mistakes and get scored on. The second goal that Baker scored--I think we whiffed three times in attempting to clear it. Crazy.
Most of our chances came toward the end of the game when we won a few corners. We put a lot of pressure on Baker during those corner kicks, and we kept the ball alive in the box--but were unable to capitalize.
If we learn the lesson that we really need to play quickly as well as play together as a team, it should really help us down the road.
How did we get the van stuck? It was a series of misshaps. First, I thought we missed a turn and had to go back. OOPS, first mistake (we didn't miss the turn.) So, I pulled into a long driveway and everyone followed. I went up the driveway a bit, stopped, backed and turned to face the other direction. As I started to creep forward, one of the other vehicles pulled in at the end of the driveway, so I paused. Unwittingly, my pausing made Kim's van stop on a little incline. She had pulled the van into the grass and was turning around when I halted. When she tried to get the van going--it just sunk it the muddy quagmire of death that was masquerading as the side of the road. The wheels of the van went round and round, round and round, round and round (you get my meaning.) The team got out to push. The pushing didn't go very well. I thought with our X-Edge training--that the players could show off their muscles and push an itty, bitty van out of the mud--but NOOOOOOO!
So...we all PANICKED and ran around aimlessly, wondering what to do. Actually, what really happened is few of the players went up the the house located at the end of the long driveway, to ask for help. Thank goodness a man was home who had a chain and a big pick-up truck. That nice man hooked us up to his truck, pulled us out and we were on our way to the game. Late, but better late than never.
You could say the theme of the day (or moral of the story) is "Stuck in the Mud." Stuck before the game and unfortunately during the game.
We are in Kansas--and the tornado sirens just started going off as I write this. That is all we need :} Get to shelter immediately! (Actually, I checked with the desk here at our hotel and they said we are safe--the twister is way north of us. Ya--that is what probably what they told Dorothy.) Wait a minute, is that a cow flying by my window?