Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Love Turkey!

Happy Thanksgiving to all and to all a good feast! I just love eating turkey on Thanksgiving. My absolute favorite meal of all time. I can't tell you how much I love it (did I say I love it?)

What else do I love??? I love soccer and just can't get enough of it. I give thanks for Fox Soccer Channel which gives me the power to watch Manchester United on the Premier League review show on Sunday nights.

Can you tell that I already miss my CSM soccer team and the season has barely been over for 3 weeks? I want to thank the team for an enjoyable season.

I am rambling a bit but here on Thanksgiving eve I also want to give thanks for my family (my wife and 2 kids) as well as my CSM soccer family. We are all "there" for each other through thick and thin, victory and defeat, as well as getting stuck in the mud with a van or a bus (see past blogs if you want to know what that means.)

The next thing on the soccer team's agenda is to help out at CSM basketball games, taking money at the gate, selling concessions, taping the game, etc. One of our soccer players is also a basketball player (Kira Cross.) The manager of the b-ball team is also a soccer player--our own Mollie Jones (MoJo.) We are working the games on the 28th and the 1st. Come and support the b-ball team if you can and say "Hi" to both basketball and soccer players!

The team has a break from soccer and conditioning until mid January, when we start our Xplosive Edge training. There won't be much news in the next few months unless we have recruits sign. I am hot on the recruiting trail now and hope to sign a few more to bolster our talented team. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 7, 2008

End of the Line

One of our mottos for this year was "start fast, finish strong." We gave a good attempt to do that this season and to do the same in every game. Sometimes we did and sometimes we did not. Playing Park at Park for the second time in a week in our conference semi-final did not finish the way we wanted and we fell 1-3. We definately started fast in the second half but we did not finish strong.

Park opened up the scoring in the first half. A ball was sent into the box which we unfortunately headed almost straight up in the air and Park pounced on it. The first half ended with us down 0-1.

Second half we came out strong and were able to tie when Daniela Padilla dribbled half the length of the field and scored, beating 4 players in the process. I distinctly recall telling Daniela at halftime that she could dribble around their whole team if she wanted, and so she did. Park fought back bravely and we were able to make some key blocks and saves. Jackie Swanger got her fingertips to a great shot and knocked the ball wide enough to hit the post and rebound to the feet of Padilla. Daniela cleared it but it was intercepted and put right back into the box to an unmarked Park player who buried it. That goal shattered our hopes and we were unable to reply.

I told the players after the game that it has been such an honor and privilege for me to coach them this year. I know there were some frustrating times but there were also some great moments and I will remember those forever. One of the best things about this team was how well they got along on and off the field. They truly were family. I wish our record would have reflected our effort and our togetherness but it didn't. I thought we were a better team that what was reflected in our final record (7-9-1.) I look forward to next year, though. Our team was very young this season and took some time to figure out how hard and how smart they have to play. Next year--we don't have to go through those kinds of growing pains and there is no doubt we will achieve excellence. The future looks bright--the only one whose eligibility is up is senior player Daniela Padilla.

We will all miss "Dee" for sure. She had a great career at CSM and we wish her nothing but the best as she finishes up her nursing degree.

Watch out for the Flames next year!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

CSM Signs Fort Collins, Colorado Soccer Player

I am very pleased to announce the signing of our first recruit for the 2009 soccer season, Raeleigh Withey. Raeleigh is a keeper that has had great success with her club team, ODP team as well as her Rocky Mountain High School soccer team in Colorado. Raeleigh's high school team made it all the way to the 5A state semi-final in May.

Raeleigh had a great visit with us in August. During her visit, she was able to practice with us, making a memorable save where she had to change direction in mid-air. She was even able to play forward on the field for awhile (Raeleigh is very fast!) The rest of her trip she attended a team dinner with us and spent the night in the dorms.

I personally like Raeleigh's commitment to excellence and her outstanding effort and hustle. She will bring a great attitude and work ethic to CSM and will definately contribute to the success of the Flames. Welcome to the Flames Family!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Few Steps Back Before the Next Step Forward.

We have been taking steps forward recently but took a few steps back today. We were unable to deal effectively with Park's attack and gave up fairly easy goals to fall to the Pirates 0-3. Started strong but then failed to mark central runs sufficiently on a cross and Park's Chapman had a free shot and she made no mistake. Ironically, their goal came minutes after our best opportunity where we chipped the ball over the defense to King who headed it over the keeper but hit the crossbar. Their other goals again capitalized on some of our silly mistakes. We have plenty of time to clean those up this week and we know what we need to do.

Part one of the CSM-Park battle went to Park. We get to see them again this Friday, same place, same time (Park's Julien Field, noon) for the MCAC Conference Championship Tournament. We are looking forward to seeing them again.