Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Game V. WELLESLEY UNITED 9/30/18

Sunday Sept. 30, 2018
Princeton, MA


Noticeably our opponent today is a tall team collectively. Full disclosure, some of our players were intimidated by their size at first. In fact, it took some convincing from the Gunners coaching camp, to clarify  that size has little affect in soccer. Once we addressed that concern, the team performance was balanced, with better flow offensively. However, it took them giving up two goals before settling into the game; a repeating theme with the Lady Gunners.
To be fair, defensive preparation has not been covered in training, therefore the expectation for this group to perform well on that side of the ball is not totally fair. Our team priority at the moment is ball movement, possession, and more recently, wide play.

Defending will be covered towards the end of the season. The reason for prioritizing in this matter is because winning is not a focus; total soccer development is! For this age group, it's about continuing to play a balanced game.

The second half of this game was simply brilliant from the Lady Gunners. They came out in the second more confident on the ball, displayed aggression moving forward, and specifically executing wide play which generate numerous crosses and scoring opportunities.
Since our team had such a slow start, there were a few selected who worked tirelessly from start to finish.  Honorable mention for their stellar performance all game are: Gianna, who was solid at right back; Lydia, relentless at left back, toughest player out there pound for pound; Alyssa, who  shined at any position played; Bayley, getting the job done all over the field; Sophia, fearlessly engaging in all aspects of the game, giving us a much needed boost; and of course the always reliable Aurore in goal making brave, breath taking saves.
The final result was a 4-0 deserving win in Wellesley's favor. They displayed lots of the qualities we want to achieve. Skilled players, decent possession, and the ability to finish opportunities. Another fun day out on the pitch, which always gives our group an opportunity to grow by learning from the challenge. This week in training,  we will continue to focus on wide play, and some defensive transition.  Great job Ladies!

Game V. WESTFORD KNIGHTS 9/23/18


Sunday Sept. 23, 2018
Princeton, MA

Westford Knights came to visit the Lady Gunners on a cold Fall morning, in the wooded soccer fields of Princeton, MA. The drastic swings in temperatures even had the locals searching for warmth in the sun, what ever side of the field it shined. Will the Lady Gunners provide the excitement to generate enough heat to keep everyone's mind off the cold.

There is never a lack of excitement with this team, considering their passing style of play, and never- give-up attitude. Unfortunately, the exciting factors here were not the planned or desired ones,  with the Knights' control of the game with an early goal. Before any adjustments could be made, they added another to take a 2-0 at half time.

Clearly, the Lady Gunners were once again off to a slow start, especially in the first 15 minutes; an issue the Gunners camp is desperately trying to address with urgency. Past that 20 minute mark, the team came to life and competed well. The two major factors to correct for the second half were: 1- defensive line drop off to take away the long ball. 2- play the ball wide when in possession.

Lady Gunners responded well by creating more scoring chances through passing, ball movement, and consistent intensity on both sides of the ball. Unfortunately, no chances were converted, but they were a much improved side outplaying their opponent. A late goal with two minutes to the end capped off the score line a 3-0 in favor of the Knights.

In conclusion, it was fun match to be a part of. If the Lady Gunners can start games with the same level of intensity they finish with, they will be a tough team to compete against. This week in training, the topic will be wide play, in order to improve spreading the field, and generate more crosses. And of course, we will work improving how we start games with more focus. Great job as always Lady Gunners!

Gunners v. Westford Knights

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