Well, it finally happened! Our program and community waited thirty-one matches, two thousand four hundred and eighty minutes for our program to secure a goal. Frankly, we have been very dangerous moving forward with our attacks all season long. It is surprising it took fifteen games this season to hit the back of the net, regardless, we are proud of our accomplishment!
Our coaches are proud of the sequence of events that led to our first goal this season. Midway through the second half, our defensive line pushed forward to force an offsides (high defensive line is a major component to our defensive philosophy). We earned a direct free-kick at our own forty yard line. The free-kick was struck with power that allowed for us to possess the ball within thirty yards our of opponent’s goal. An outside midfielder stretched wide to open gaps in the interior which created space for our central midfielders to construct a combination of passes that produced our goal scoring chance. Our highest striker tracked down a through ball near Greenville’s baseline. As our highest striker turned right to take baseline, a Greenville defender made a reckless tackle. The official quickly called a penalty kick. One of our captains stepped up to strike a laser to the back of the net.
Here is what the common folk need to recognize, our program has the ability to compete. We have the wherewithal to make the proper decisions seventy percent of the time. The unfortunate factor is that most of our opponents simply process scenarios much faster than our ladies. This is primarily due to their experience playing at the travel club level (majority of our opponents have at least sixty percent active participation at the travel club level, our team has a six percent active participation rate at the travel club level- one player). This is a disadvantage that glares at us at the start and finish of every match.
Tonight, we finally faced an opponent that was at or a bit above our playing level. Yes, we lost the match, but it was game that was back and forth from start to finish. It is highly important our program secures more matches against programs similar or a bit better than tonight’s opponent. We do not want to schedule “cupcakes” but we do believe our schedule is often loaded with superior talent that leaves our program facing too tall of a mountain to traverse.
With that being said, our football team clearly presented the fact, if you play nearly perfect, you can secure victories over “superior” opponents. Their victory was an inspiration for us to seek to achieve similar success. We appreciate their ability to overcome the odds!
Our last regular season match is this Wednesday, then, our season will reach do-or-die stage next Monday when we face a perennial powerhouse Carroll in the first round of the Division 1 state playoffs.