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.