Sunday, September 28, 2008

CSM takes Central

On Saturday, September 27, the Flames traveled to Pella, Iowa to take on the Dutch from Central College and came away victorius, beating the Dutch 7-1. Daniela Padilla opened the scoring in the first 5 minutes taking a pass from Kira Cross and dribbling deep in the box, beating the keeper with a rocket to the far post. Daniela added 2 more for a hattrick and Melissa King put in her 3 for another hattrick. The last 2 goals scored in the second half, one by Sara Schweiger and one by King were both from long distance and beat the keeper over her outstreched hand. It is good to see that we can score both from close range and from far away.

In the second half we worked on maintaining our discipline and after a slow first few minutes, we were able to impose our will, keep possession in the opponent's half and finish strong!

Before the game, some of our wacky players engaged in some shenanigans. On the way to the game, we stopped in Des Moines for an early lunch and a Subway/Kwik Stop. Kira Cross and Mollie Jones decided to try on some hats (see pic.) Also, Ashley Turco wondered if she could fit one of the lockers in the locker room at Central College. Well, the proof is right before your eyes...a perfect fit!

Our next game is on this Wednesday, October 1 at Midland Lutheran, 4 PM. Be sure to come out and root on the Flames!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Tie and 3 Days Off

After our game on Saturday, I gave the team 3 days off. We have been going strong for quite awhile and I felt like we needed rest. I also took 3 days off and didn't post anything here after the game--so I better tell you about it.

We tied MNU (Mid-America Nazarene University) 1-1 last Saturday in the final game of the NMU Tournament. We scored on a short shot by Daniela Padilla after a nice set-up by Melissa King. King was at the top of the box and played a ball across the goal. Daniela sprinted after it, all the time saying to herself, "Xlposive Edge, Xplosive Edge!" She was able to catch up to it and slot it in to break open the scoring. By the way, Xplosive Edge is the company we hire to do our weight training and conditioning. Unfortunately for us, MNU tied the game a couple minutes later on a corner kick. We didn't mark up very well and an MNU player had a free header that she knocked down. The ball then bounced high over our heads and went into the upper 90.

The game went into overtime and we had a number of chances but nothing went in. We will work on that.

Next game is Septmember 27th @ Central College in Pella, Iowa at 2:00 PM.

Friday, September 12, 2008

CSM Stuck in the Mud and Mire. Baker overtakes the Flames.

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?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Aarrgh. CSM falls to Hastings

Our team lost a close one to the Broncos from Hastings on Sunday. CSM started strong witha blast from Daniella Padilla at the top of the box with an assist from King. However, we made a couple of silly mistakes and gave up a little breakaway and a penalty kick because of a handball in the box.

In the second half, Amanda Brabec scored in her second game in a row from an assist by Melissa King. Amanda scored 28 seconds into the second half. I can't really tell you more about the goal because I wa in the bathroom. My ten year old daughter told me that I need to go to the bathroom more often in games.

Hastings scored an a breakaway with about 10 minutes to go. That seemed to really take the wind out of our sails and we ended up falling to the Broncos.

I told my coach after the game that if we just clean up half of the errors that we made today, we will dominate our opponents.

Next game is on Friday in Olate, Kansas against Baker at 10:30 am in the MidAmerica Nazarene University Tournament. We then play MNU at 2:30 on Saturday.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Flames Tripped Up by Graceland

The CSM Flames experienced their first loss of the season to the Graceland Yellowjackets from Lamoni, Iowa 1-2. We came out strong the first 15 or 20 minutes of the match, getting a lot of possession and some early chances. Katie Archibald had a shot that just barely went wide in the first 10 minutes. After the first part of the game we struggled to keep our shape and keep possession and were back on our heals for a time.

Graceland was able to score their first goal on a miscommunication between defenders. We just kind of let the ball hang out in the box and a Yellowjacket swooped in, shot and scored. Graceland added to their lead a few minutes later on a corner kick.

Again, we struggled coming out of the gate in the second half. The Yellowjackets had a lot of possession but not tons of chances. We were unable to find the ball. Then, on one of our few attacks, we were able to win a corner. Abbey Arlt played the ball into the box with the corner kick and Amanda Brabec climbed a ladder and got a head on it to score. An awesome corner kick and an even awesomer goal.

After that, everything changed. Graceland was back on their heals and we were attacking hard and creating chances. We won another 3 or 4 corners and kept the pressure on. We played extremely hard and a lot smarter the last 15 minutes but were unable to convert.

If we just took the first and last 15 minutes and look at that--we are a heckuva team. Unfortunately, in between those times--we struggled. I think if we learn from this game, be more consistant and step it up, this experience will really make us a strong team. We are currently 3-1.

Thanks to all who came out and supported us! Next game is Sunday vs Hastings at home at 2:00 pm.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

We are the Champions! CSM Rules in Indiana

CSM Soccer won its first tournament of the season by defeating Missouri Valley and Rockford College over the weekend in Schererville, Indiana at the Crimson Wave Invite. The invite was sponsored by Calumet College of Saint Joseph and this was the first time that we have participated in that tourney.

Missouri Valley was our first game and we started kind of slow, to be honest. Mo Valley hustled a lot and put a lot of pressure on the ball. It seemed like we didn't have very much time to do anything with the ball. After about 20 minutes, Daniela Padilla played a ball into Amanda Brabec who shot and scored her first collegiate goal. Missouri Valley bounced back about 10 minutes later with a goal of their own on a long shot that caught our keeper out of postition. We responded with a nice goal by Melissa King 12 minutes later in the 42nd minute with an assist by Kira Cross. We played better the second half and created fantastic chances--2 breakaways by Melissa King and an open goal opportunity for Sara Schwieger, but were unable to convert. The game ended 2-1 and we advanced into the finals to play Rockford College.

Rockford had beaten the hosts of the tourney 7-1 in their first game. They were staying at the same hotel that we were and I was able to talk briefly to the coach. Anyway, we started fast and finished strong in the final. Melissa King scored 5 minutes into the game (Schwieger with the assist) on a breakaway and that just opened the flood gates. Get ready...Daniela Padilla scored in the 22nd minute (assist by King,) and again in the 33rd minute (assist by Cardenas.) Ashley Turco scored her first collegiate goal on a nice cross by Kira Cross in the 42nd minute. Half time came and went and we just kept on scoring. Sara Schwieger scored in the 51st minute (Padilla assist,) and Daniella scored again (hatrick) 3 minutes later (McLaughlin with the assist.) Kira Cross finished the scoring with 2 long shots from the midfield (her first collegiate goals) that beat the keeper just under the crossbar (assists by Padilla and Arlt.) Final score 8-0.

The trophy we received was very nice--carved out of wood. Daniela Padilla was named the tournament's most valuable player. Kira Cross was voted player of the game by Rockford College. Melissa King, Tiffany Reis, Katie Archibald and Daniella were all named to the Crimsom Wave Invite All Tournament Team. I have to say it was fun winning our first tourament of the year. However, we still have a lot of work to do (coaches like to say stuff like that!;)

After the game we drove to downtown Chicago and spent time walking around, shopping, eating and talking. Coach Kim and I ran into the former AD at CSM, Kevin Lein. Kevin had just taken his son out the Cubs ballgame and was having dinner at the Navy Pier. Talk about a small world. Daniela ran into her brother and Alex saw a friend who was in the Navy. We also saw Forrest Gump. We got home safe and sound last night about 6. Leon was our bus driver and he drove good. A good trip for all.

Next up--Graceland at home, 4:00 PM on Friday, September 5 and Hastings at home, 2:00 Sunday, September 7th. Hastings and Graceland play each other on our field on the 6th at 2:00 PM.