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!
Girls even though we only got to watch your games thru the website and the coaches blog, I can't wait to see you all next year when we can watch you on the field, up close. Thanks for getting us excited about CSM Soccer!
Coach Homan, you are doing a great job. Keep up the good work. You are a great coach and a quality person, and any midwest recruit would be nuts not to take a serious look at your program and what you can do for them as a coach.
I love your blog!
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