Friday, May 20, 2011

Gross Catholic 9-7.

The Gross Catholic Girls Soccer team finished the season with 9 wins and 7 losses. A decent season where we just happened to score 58 goals. I think that total is a GC Girls Soccer record. My records don't go back to pre-historic times (before I was the head coach) but no team that I have coached has scored so many, until now. A job well done.

Our final 2 games were opposites. The first game we couldn't stop scoring and the second game, we couldn't score at all. St. Peter Claver was put away early 10-0 but in the District semi-final, Platteview were the ones who put us away and sent us home for good. Platteview scored early and we had no answer, eventually falling 0-3. Julie O had the best chance halfway through the first half, getting on the end of a cross but the Platteview keeper was able to get a foot and then a hand on it to keep us off of the score sheet.

We really had a great group this year and did well. Overall, it was good.

Next on my soccer agenda is to begin coaching the under 11 Elite 1 girls soccer team for Omaha Football Club (OFC.) That too is a good group of girls and I am looking forward to coaching them. Tryouts for the U11s begin on June 18, 10:45am at Discovery Fields. Awesome.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Set Back But Not Fallen

I was watching the second "Transformers" move, "Revenge of the Fallen" on HBO this weekend. It was pretty good, lots of action. The heroes of the movie face many trials and setbacks, but win in the end.

Our heroes (the Cougars) started the week with victory but had a couple setbacks since.

On Monday, Roncalli gave us some difficulties, not Megatron-level trouble, but trouble all the same. We started well, scoring early, but made a mistake in the back and we unprepared for a long Roncalli shot that went over the head of our keeper. We bounced back with a penalty kick (made by Shannon) and another goal to make it 3-1. Made a mistake on a free kick and Roncalli got one back. We responded well and got another goal to make it 4-2. Prime victory.

Tuesday, we went in confident, but a few things just sort of blew up on us like a house full of mini Decepticons. First, there was a mix up with referees, we didn't have any. The game ended up starting an hour and fifteen minutes late after we finally found some available refs. The ninety minute warm up seemed to effect us, as we started slow. About 20 minutes in we couldn't clear a ball out of our box after numerous tries and Duchesne got a goal. We responded well and had more possession, but the chances we created were lacking until about 10 minutes left. Sienna showed all heart and effort, created a chance and stuck it in the net. Tied 1-1. We did all we could for the rest of the game and into overtime. No goals, shootout. Let me just say that we had one person score a goal in the shootout and that is not optimum (or Optimus.)

The next RCC game would then be the third consolation place game versus also orange Beatrice. We scored 5 against them last time we played. But, we knew they were dangerous because they scored 3 against us. At the beginning of Thursday's game we made a series of mistakes in row, right down the center of the field and Beatrice scored. After Beatrice scored, we did not feel panic. We were confident we could bounce back and win the game. We were very patient and controlled. We created chance after chance, but that killer pass to break open the game, or that jetfire of a shot to make the net bulge, that allspark of a goal did not occur. A disappointing loss 0-1 even though we dominated possession and shot count.

We faced 3 teams and were set back by 2. We expect to win in the end this week.

Coming up next is Districts. The first round is at 8 pm against St. Peter Claver, Monday, May 2 at Ralston. Our goal is to get goals.

As Sam Witwicky once said, "No sacrifice, no victory." We will sacrifice all this week, transforming our setbacks into success.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Central, Schuyler and RCC

Since we last chatted, twittered, facebooked, or blogged, the Gross Catholic Girls Soccer Team (Go Cougars) has beaten Central 1-0 and Schuyler 7-1. Right now we stand at 7-4 and are riding a 6 game winning streak.

At Central on the 16th, the game was played mostly in the midfield. Our breakthrough goal came from Z at about 31 minutes. A through ball was played, Z got there before the keeper, shot it by her and CrASh!*, they collided. Z popped right up but the keeper had to be replaced for awhile.

The rest of the game was back and forth in with neither side finding much opportunity to shoot. Central did smack a ball pretty hard from the top of the box with about 5 minutes to go. Bri was able to pare it over the crossbar much to our relief. Great save!

Traveling to Schuyler this past Monday, we scored 2 goals early and then sat back and let Schuyler dominate us for the rest of the half, much to the coaches dismay. The second half we had more ambition and determination. We were able to put the ball in the back of the net which took the wind out of the Warriors. One defensive let down on our part saw Schuyler pull back a goal.

We were supposed to play Mercy on the 19th but it was rained out. Our next game is against Roncalli at 4:30 at home on April 25th in the first round of the RCC Tourney. We are looking forward to playing Roncalli again and correcting the mistakes we made against them earlier in the season.

Have a great Easter!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Explosion of Goals!

Since my last post we have only scored 28 goals over 4 games. An explosion of finishing. What happened?

The competition did not play well during this 4 game stretch against South Sioux, Ralston, St. Peter Claver, and Bryan. Some of the programs are struggling at this time. St. Peter Claver is closing at the end of the year. Be that as it may, I have coached teams playing against sputtering opponents and still have had close games or a game with a few goals. I have even lost to poor teams when we make one mistake and they score and we have trouble finishing. So, just because a team is having some difficulties does not mean you will be successful against them. You have to perform, finish and run through the ball. We were able to do so.

The most competitive game of the lot was against Ralston in the pouring rain. At the start of the game, we played tentatively, and allowed Ralston to dominate possession. We scored against the run of play about 15 minutes in. Our first shot of the game was a goal. Then, as Ralston was worried about that goal, we scored again about a minute later. As the game went on, we had more and more possession and were able to finish our chances, beating them 5-0. We have never beaten Ralston by that many goals so it was a game to remember.

The most difficult challenge when playing teams that aren't at your level (either above or below) is to stay focused and confident. We need to guard against over-confidence or under-confidence. Just because a team has beaten you in the past, doesn't make it so the next time you play. Also, beating a team by a large margin yesterday does not mean you will do so again. You need to strive to perform at your peak no matter the circumstances. As Chris Berman says, "That's why they play the game."

Our next game is at Central, Saturday April 16 at 1:00 PM. Come out and watch the Cougars claw the Eagles.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Roncalli Squeeks by the Cougars.

The Cougars came out very strong in the first minutes of the game, creating a number of good chances. Abby was able to run through and poke one in but was ruled offsides by the assistant referee. Even though we were against the wind, we had a lot of possession in the Roncalli end of the field.

Roncalli's goal came toward the end of the first half. It looked like one of their players was out of bounds on the far side of the field and a number of our players stopped, allowing 3 Roncalli players free in the box. Anyway, the player that looked as if she was out of bounds crossed the ball to one of the open people and she tapped it in.

We could have responded better finishing the half a bit down mentally. At halftime, we encouraged the team to run through balls and we started the second half on fire, creating many opportunities, but not finishing them. We had a bit of a wind at our backs and that ended up helping us keep possession of the ball for long periods.

The final tally of shots, Gross Catholic 27, Roncalli 7. A dominating performance in all areas except the one that they put in the paper, the score.

We are very close to breaking through to awesomeness. Working hard, working smart, and finishing are the 3 things that will get us to the next level. Count on us getting there.

Next game is today at home versus South Sioux City.

Victory Over Beatrice!

Another game breakdown from an email from Coach Kim. Remember, I was out of town dealing with my step-moms funeral services. This is for the March 31st game vs Beatrice.

Okey dokey here goes. First of all we changed the warm up a bit. We started with a brief game of handball and then did 6v6 plus 6. You know blue and black keeping it away from yellow who is in the middle. Then we did run throughs and dog fight and score possession (we ran out of time for scramble in the box). Okay game time came and I asked them very nicely to please, please, please, please, please play hard and make a personal commitmet to not let the other team score. Well we did that very well in the beginning. Actually I think in the first 5 minutes of the game Beatrice was yelling at each other saying that we were winning all the balls :)

Our first goal came at 28 mins in. Amy sent a thru ball to Abby and she just ran through the ball and stayed with it until it went in. We were all so proud! The next goal was at 34. Sam dropped it to Renee who had a pretty nice shot around the 18. Goal three was at 36 mins by Sam...sprinted hard to the ball and took it to goal and shot it at the near post and it went in.

Problems in the first half...after we had a corner, they went all the way down the field and almost scored and on one of the kick offs we stabbed like 3 times and they got to the 18.

Second half we started out pretty good. The game was getting more physical. At 59 minutes 00 from Beatrice got physical with one of our defenders right at the top of the box, and the ref put his whistle to his mouth and then decided not to blow it. Anyway she then dribbled into the box and shot it past Bri. Then just a couple of minutes later one of their players crossed/shot it and 00 flicked it in the goal. It was a nice goal. At 66 minutes, Abby scored again on another complete hustle play. It was played forward and she got a toe on it as the keeper was coming out. Although she kind of hurt her knee a bit. At 68 minutes, Z had a nice shot that beat the keeper. Then at 70 they had a girl that we felt was clearly offsides who went on a breakaway and was able to beat Bri.

All in all it was pretty good. I know that they scored 3, but we scored thats good!

Skyhawks Fly over Cougars

Okay here is the breakdown mostly taken from an email from Coach Kim. Overall we played pretty hard at the game on March 28.

Lost to Skutt 0-6. Goal One: Came from our left side dribbled across the 18 on the ground about 12 yards out and then an open Skutt girl knocked it in. Goal Two: They did a short corner on the other one went out to pressure. The short corner went to Bartels and she dribbled it in and took a line drive shot on goal. Goal Three: Girl brings it down and crosses from the right hand side of the field, and finds an open Skutt girl just chillin in the box. Goal Four: Bartels fakes out a defender and gets a cross off and finds an open girl at the top of the six.

During the first half we had some opportunities on goal and a couple of corners, but no shots. Skutt's defense had a few problems with us but we were unable to capitalize. Their sweeper is good at tracking people down. Kim thought we would come away with some breakaways....but it never hapened.

Second half we worked a bit harder defensively the first goal was a shot from pretty far out right over Bri's head the second was from the side-ish and it was a hard shot....I think Bri attempted to tip it over....but that didn't work.

Offensively we had a bit more attack, we got it down there more and had one shot on goal. We were too quiet on the field....and off.

It was a disappointing scoreline, but all the defensive breakdowns are fixable.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Central Postponed. Snow Why?

OK. The Central game was postponed because it snowed. Who needs snow during the spring sports season? It snow laughing matter. But after we thawed about it, we drifted toward accepting that practice instead of the game would do us some good.

We had an avalanche of energy when we practiced Saturday morning at the Omaha Sports Complex. If we play the next game the way we practiced on Saturday, extremely good things will happen.

That is the big question, really. Can we take the way we practice to the game? It is up to each and every player to find a way to do that. I believe we can.

The next game is a nice challenge for us. If it doesn't snow, we play Skutt at 4:30 at Papio Soccer Park, Monday, March 28. Skutt has had a bit of success the past few years. We look to put pressure on them and take advantage of our opportunities. I look forward to the results.

Unfortunately, I cannot be at the games this week, if we have them. My step mom passed away in Arkansas after battling cancer. Our whole family is traveling there this week to support my Dad and attend the services. Your prayers for our family and for the Cougar soccer players would be appreciated. Coach Kim and Coach Maggie and Coach John will be in charge in my absence.

A shout out to the former Kristin Monzingo who I hear was recently reading this blog. Thanks for all you have done for us in the graphics department. (I think perhaps you have been so good to us recently , designing graphics for all of our uniforms and t-shirts because you feel so guilty about coaching for Skutt against the Cougars when you were a youth.)(ha...kidding:-)

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

1-3, 1-3 Echo, Echo.

OK Cougars, not a great start to the season if you are basing greatness on our win/loss record. We lost to Duchesne, 1-3. We lost to Bellevue West, 1-3. (Is there an echo in here? Is there an echo...?)

The games were similar in score only. Our performance in the BW game was far superior to our first game. In terms of effort, hard work and intensity, we played great in that second game. The score difference comes down to two things: not taking advantage of some fantastic scoring opportunities and making silly mistakes defensively.

So far our goals have been scored by Zenovia and Julie. Both goals scored because they pounced on a mistake by the opponent. Well done girls!

One thing I really want to improve upon is our team's defensive mentality. I want to be a team that is difficult to score upon. I want a team that our opponents have to sweat blood and bullets, work extremely hard and be very, very skillful in order to on us. We were not there this past week. We will get there.

We play at Central this Saturday, March 26th at 1:00 pm. I anticipate it to be very cold because I don't think we have ever played Central when the weather has been warm. Be there and bring a blanket.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Open vs Duchesne

The Cougars open the season tomorrow with Duchesne at home (Papillion Soccer Complex) at 4:30. We look forward to the challenge. The team has been training well. Can't wait!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Waking Up and Changing

Oh, my blog has been asleep for awhile, but now we are waking up. (Yawn, yawn, wakey, wakey.) Since my last post, I decided to leave the College of Saint Mary and move on to other things. Move on to what? Bigger and better things? Hope so.

The first bigger and better thing is the Gross Catholic Girls Soccer Team. We begin our season today and I am ready and excited about the season. We have a great group of seniors returning as well as some talented younger players. Tryouts begin at 3:20 today.