Monday, May 3, 2021

Lady Gunners vs. MAF- Spring Opener 2021


April 25, 2021 | Canton, MA

Season Opener
After a long indoor season, the Lady Gunners were ready to play an outdoor game. They worked hard on their possession game, shooting, and finishing. Above all, this group is in search of team leadership during games. Will a few place their candidacy for the position? 
Historically, the Lady Gunners start slowly and come to life in the second. The issue with that approach is they are usually trying to dig themselves out of multiple goals deficit. This time, they did come out playing with great intensity. 

MAF is a formidable opponent, but overall it was an even match, with both sides taking turns at controlling play. At the half, it was a 1-0 deficit for the Gunners, but no question this match was up for grabs.
2nd Half- Final Result
At halftime, the team discussion was about creating more scoring opportunities and taking shots on goal. The Lady Gunners improved their offensive play, spent more time in MAF's half, and managed to score from a direct free-kick by Alexis. A 1-1 final score was a fair result for both sides. 
Players of the Match
Lady Gunners played short-handed, down to just 2 subs. Players had to play out of position, made no excuses, or fuss about it.  The entire team responded well honestly to the adjustments. Gabby had a strong game offensively, helping her team transition from Defense to Offense. 

However, the two outstanding performers were Alexis and Aubrey. Both played out of position, going from midfielders to defenders. As a duo, they were sound disrupting attacks and poised in transition to offense. 
Congrats to you both on a well-deserved Players of the Match Award!!

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Lady Gunners v Legacy Pride


Oct. 18th, 2020 | Tauton, MA

Search for Win 
Lady Gunners have not won a game in weeks! Their search for victory has become a major challenge. It is not for a lack of training, effort, or commitment. The answer is not clear, but if one factor had to be pointed out, it's scoring goals! 
Legacy Pride is a scrappy team, that does not build much out of the back or midfield. Their approach is to hustle, hopefully, shoot their way to success. Unfortunately, the Lady Gunners gave into their style of play. 
First Half Struggle
Without any passing sequences in midfield, no team build-up, the Lady Gunners looked lost. They got away from their strength, which makes it difficult to be productive. Consequently, they never got a grip on the game, finding themselves down 2-0.
Half - Time Adjustments
Lady Gunners' issues were simply offensive today. Playing  9 v 9 makes it tough with 17 players in terms of game flow, and may have contributed to their struggles. However, the lack of quality shots taken on goal clearly made it impossible to level the score.
Second Half
The second simply was a repeat of the first! In fact, it was identical, with sporadic offensive flashes from Gabby. With such limited threat in the offensive third, the opportunity to come back from the deficit came and went.

Final Result
The final result was a 4-0 loss.  Legacy Pride won from their stronger desire, and will to beat their opponent to every ball! On the other hand, the Lady Gunners have to figure out how to be more aggressive, while finding their scoring form.
Players of the Match
With so many defensive duties, today's outstanding performers were busy saving their side from a blowout today. Without the offense producing, the game becomes imbalanced, especially if the opponent does pose a threat to your goal.
Aurore: with countless shots taken on her, an improved Aurore continued to keep her team in it with quality saves, aggressive play, especially in the second half!  Often times her efforts go unnoticed, because her mistakes may result in a goal. But clearly, she kept the score close today.
Bailey: The only true bright spot for all the field players from the start was Bailey today.  Her smart play to cover her keeper, clear a goal off the line, exemplified her performance.  She consistently disrupted anything threats from her side, with aggressive strong play!

Congrats to you both on a well-deserved Players of the Match Award!!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Lady Gunners vs. Wellesley United


Oct. 4th, 2020 | Princeton, MA

Tough Challenge 
Wellesley United is in town, bringing a tough challenge to the Lady Gunners. This is most likely the best team in the league. With a decent week of preparation for the Gunners, they should do well...
Family Support
Before the opening whistle, a Special Moment of Silence in Memory of Alexi's Grandmother, Coach Joe Mercier's Mother-in-Law recent passing, was Observed. Our team is an extension of Mercier's Family. We support them during this difficult time! 
Wellesley struck early with a quick goal coming right down the center of defense.  The concern about it was the Lady Gunners' body language. Heads were down, shock was the reaction, uncharacteristic of this group. At the half, it was a 2-0 deficit...still close enough to make a run! 
Half - Time Adjustments
Honestly speaking, Wellesley had one major advantage tough to neutralize, SPEED! They consistently got the ball wide, took us on at speed, generated crosses, and scoring opportunities. Our goal was to slow them down, cut angles, and deny crosses.
Second Half
Less than five minutes into the second, the Lady Gunners gave up the 3rd goal. Bad timing because a 2-1 score would change the game dynamics. The Gunners showed resiliency by scoring to make it 3-1. Minutes later had an opportunity to close the gap from a penalty, but it was not converted. A golden opportunity gone! 

Final Result
The final result was a 5-1 loss.  Wellesley's #4 completely controlled their attacks. Quick on the dribble, clinical at finishing, and providing glorious crosses for her teammate to finish. They were well-balanced, deserving of a win for sure. A measuring stick for the Gunners to stride for!
Players of the Match
The most impressive factor about the Lady Gunners is the 'Never-Give-Up' attitude. Although outmatched by Wellesley's team speed, they kept fighting to keep the match close all the way to the end. 
Alyssa: with countless attacks coming from both sides of the field, Alyssa had plenty to disrupt, prevent, and defend! By far the most consistent shield for her team, covering all over the park for her teammates. It's a thankless job, without stats, but one worthy of recognition today!
Maddie: showing her ability to control the middle, for the first time this season, Maddie demonstrated her ability to generate offense with swift skills out of the middle! On a day where most of the time was spent defending, it was truly a valuable contribution on the offensive side.

Congrats to you both on a well-deserved Players of the Match Award!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Lady Gunners vs. Medfield Warriors


Sept. 27th, 2020 | Medfield, MA

Early Morning Game
Games played early, 9am this week, can be concerning for teams with young players who may not be morning people!  All showed up ready to compete with spirits high. How will they perform? 
The Lady Gunners started slowly because they allowed an early goal, from a corner kick slotted home by a center midfield cutting through the box.  Soon after, another goal was conceded scored by the same player who clearly was alert, ahead of everyone in her quick playability. 
Half - Time Adjustments
At the half, the Gunners discussed one thing defensively; #3 center midfield who ran everything offensively for the Warriors, including scoring their goals.  Secondly, Medfield did not have a true goalkeeper, therefore should be tested more often. 
Second Half - Execution
The plan was to shut down #3, take more shots on net...simple! Part of that plan was executed with the Lady Gunners taking more shots on the keeper for sure. However, the defensive duties were not delivered as a team. Double-Tripple Team #3 would have sealed the deal...

Final Result
In the end, it was a 6-3 loss.  Their playmaker #3 hit the net four times. Aside from her phenomenal free-kick, she should have been limited to two goals. A shootout evidently, with the Lady Gunners producing three goals of their own. Defensive Work this week seems imminent.
Players of the Match
There were two players who definitely stepped up their game, deserving of honorable mentions. Hope: absolutely came to life on the left-wing, controlling attacks, staying wide, crossing, and taking shots, scored on a great strike. Courtney was a positive presence up front, with great energy, movement off the ball, chasing down players to pressure, doing a great job overall. However, two others were outstanding in midfield.

Avery: has been consistently improving, dominating opponents, and putting her stamp on games all season. Today was no different, it was significant because it neutralized Medfield's midfield potency.  Her body of work on both sides of the ball was outstanding!

Aubrey: assigned the major task of defending the dangerous playmaker today, helped keep her team relevant, prevented a blowout. She closed down quickly, played tough when necessary, and launched attacks. Her execution was pivotal for her team! 

Congrats to you both on a well-deserved Players of the Match Award!!

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Lady Gunners vs NE Navigators


Sept. 20th, 2020 | Princeton, MA

Home Field
It's a pleasant, sunny Sunday afternoon for a home game, with a great week of preparation leading up to this match. Last week, the Gunners lost a close one from a counter. This week, they take that lesson into consideration, and are ready to perform!

NE Navigators being a new team, had no history playing against the Lady Gunners.  From the start, Gunners controlled possession, were always in the opponent's final third,  pouncing to establish dominance. Lady Gunners scored an early goal, added another to take a 2-0 lead at the half.

Half - Time Adjustments
Although the Gunners were up 2-0, most coaches will express how dangerous this lead can be for a team. It has a tendency to give players a false sense of security, right into the trap of complacency.  

The priority adjustment was to lockdown the NE Navigators center midfield. She was the player maker the Navigators offense ran through. Several times, she put her wingers in great advanced positions, creating glorious scoring opportunities, which fortunately for the Gunners, were not converted. 

Second Half - Execution
The Lady Gunners responded well to the adjustment.  Every Lady Gunner who played in center midfield worked tirelessly to shut down the dangerous midfielder.  This caused paralysis in the Navigator's offense.

As the half went on, it was clear the Navigators had lost any momentum built in the first half to generate a comeback. This fueled the Lady Gunners' confidence to impose their will on the match, which they did convincingly.

Final Result
It was a 5-0 victory for the Lady Gunners who found their scoring form, by way of shots, crosses, and quick combination play out of the midfield. A well-balanced team performance, with every player making a significant contribution. 
Players of the Match
Dominant performances such as this one, always involve several players. In this case, it was a team effort overall. The consistency of every player was remarkable, however, there were two outstanding performers who set the tone:

 Gabby sparked energy into her side early, with tremendous wing play from the right side. Her ability to take players on at speed, while generating crosses, really helped her team launch their dominance.

Ryan: was the recipient of crosses from the wing. Ryan scored from two well-struck shots in the first half and finished the game with a hat trick. After working hard on finishing around the box, it was great to see her enjoy the success!

Congrats to you both on a well-deserved Players of the Match Award!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Gunners v. Westford Knights


Sept. 13th, 2020 | Westford, MA

Pandemic World
It is a new world we live in, to say the least!  With endless adjustments made to life in general, the same applies to soccer. To summarize some of the playing requirements:  All Must Wear Masks. No...Throw-ins, Heading, Sliding, Direct Corners in the Box. The list goes on, let's get on with it. 

Family Support
Before the season's opening whistle, a Special Moment of Silence in Memory of Avery's Uncle, Coach Mike Rice's brother's recent passing, was Observed. Our team is an extension of the Rice Family. We support them during this difficult time! 
Westford Knights normally dominates the Lady Gunners on all aspects of the game. Last year, the Lady Gunners lost 4-0, without any chances of winning. How will they do this year?  

The first fifteen minutes of the game was a complete surprize, especially for the opponents. The Lady Gunners controlled possession, combined well in midfield, and had them pinned deep into their own defensive 3rd, with a couple of opportunities to score. 

Half - Time Adjustments
With the score locked at 0-0, the main concern from the Gunners' camp was to eliminate the possibility of a counter attack goal. To summarize the discussion in a quote, "Don't get beat on a counter, and the Knights won't beat you!"

Second Half - Struggles
The Lady Gunners struggled to find their form, offense, or energy the second half. The Knights realized it,  took over the game, locked the Gunners deep into their own half, shutting down any  hope of escape.  

The defining moment was the Knight's goal, which came from a counter attack, on their right wing, exposing the Gunner's slow recovery.  They managed a cross then a shot passed our keeper. It was disappointing to concede in this manner, especially after pointing out at the half. 
Final Result
It was a 1-0 final score in favor of the Knight! They deserve credit for weathering the first half storm, hanging on long enough to expose a weakness, and walk away with a victory. 
The Lady Gunners ran out of energy towards the end of the game; they will need to get in better physical shape in order to reach their limitless potential!

Players of the Match
The Lady Gunners have improved in all aspects of the game. Many contributed to this, with honorable mentions going to Sophia / Avery who shined on the wings, Aubrey who covered lots of ground in defensive midfield. 
However, our two outstanding performers who  made the most significant contribution were:
Alexis: a tireless warrior in the midfield, who finished with energy, intensity, carried her team offensive hope, especially in the second half. 

Mollie: anticipated well defensively to disrupt attacks, win possession with poise, use vision to distribute the ball, and help her team launch attacks. 

Congrats to you both on a well deserved Players of the Match Award!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Game vs Franklin FSC

Oct. 20, 2019 | Princenton, MA

Another home game to enjoy! We have been spoiled with great weather, and numerous consecutive games at home.  Today's challenge was to get it done for two halves. Previous game showed potential where the Lady Gunners were effective for one half;  this one is about realizing that potential by getting results the entire game.
First half
The first half displayed two opponents testing each other's strength. Franklin came out with confidence, attempting to establish early dominance through wide play, shots, and crosses. Lady Gunners resiliently responded with quick counters, direct attacks, supported with a high level of energy. An uneventful half with the score deadlocked at 0-0. 
Half Time Adjustments
The Gunners' side addressed two major factors during our conversation at the half. 1- our midfield triangle composing of Maddie, Gabby, Alexis, had to be more centralized, produce consistent combinations, build attacks through the middle. 2- wide players had to provide width, generate crosses, which would result in more scoring opportunities.
Second Half
Franklin SC scored first, early in the second half. The Lady Gunners quickly responded within a few minutes to keep the contest even at 1-1. There was a sense of confidence growing from the Gunners, evident in their purposeful possession. Midfield established control, wide players got involved consistently on offense, defense transitioned effectively to disrupt dangerous attacks. 
 Final Result
At the end, the Gunners had to equalize twice to make it a 2-2 final, achieving their first point of a challenging season.  The improvements are reflected in their ability to score goals; something the group struggled with for weeks.  
Players of the Match
It was truly a team effort this Sunday. It takes great character as a group to produce results when facing such challenging adversities.  Our goal keeper improved by making key saves. Our defensive unit showed great fight, especially in the first half.  Our offensive unit showed up in second half to generate two goals. No question this one took a collective effort to accomplish!!
Congrats on a well deserved Players of the Match Award!!

Lady Gunners vs. MAF- Spring Opener 2021

  April 25, 2021 | Canton, MA Season Opener After a long indoor season, the Lady Gunners were ready to play an outdoor game. They worked har...