Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Soccer Season

Lots of people have been asking me about soccer... here's the short version.

My third year as girls soccer coach at Pekin High school is going well. We're having a lot of fun, but the makeup of the team is very different. Gone are the 12 seniors I started working with when I was volunteer. Gone is the only freshman I took to varsity last year... missing are three juniors who I had projected as starters.

So with only two starters from opening day last year, and, honestly not having a clue how we'd do once games started when asked by reporters from both local newspapers, I wasn't suprised when we were predicted for a last place finish in conference by the Journal Star.

As much as I don't like the term "rebuilding", we did lose a lot of experience.

Our first game was against Notre Dame, and as expected we lost. The score was 7-0, but there were some reasons to be hopeful. We had a few posessions that were made up of five, six, seven good touches... which is light years ahead of where we've been. Notre Dame has a great coach and a terrific team and despite what some are saying about some other teams, they're still the team to beat around here.

Our second game was against Washington. We beat them for the first time ever last year, but they proved to be much more confident offensively this year. They won 2-0, but it was 1-0 for 73 minutes and we had a few really good chances. We played a much better second half than we did the first, but all in all, I was very pleased with the progress we made.

Last night we played Central. During my first two years all the games with them have been close and we were only up 1-0 at half. Then, during a fifteen minute stretch, my girls put up five goals. It was a great win and I think the girls wanted to prove that at least as it comes to fighting for third in conference (ND and Richwoods dominate the top two spots) that reports of our demise aren't totally true. We didn't allow a shot on goal and everyone got a great deal of playing time.

Tomorrow we play Bloomington. They beat us pretty badly last year, but I'm hoping the strides were making in terms of controlling the ball will make it a more competitive game.

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