Taylor’s team finished the season 1-8-1 (0-7-1 in league play). Our Columbus Day tournament was rained out and we never found our rhythm for the second half. Our better games came at the end of the season. The girls were able to play together extremely well at the end. Our biggest challenge going in to next season will be putting together a complete effort. We seem to hold our shape well in one game, attack well in another, and play great defense the next week but we don’t do it all well each game and that has been our downfall.
Am I disappointed? Yes. I rarely lose at anything and it pains me to have this team lose so many games because of the talent level, the desire, and the competitiveness of the kids. A parent put it in perspective and I am grateful for his sharing. His oldest daughter after playing on a team for two seasons is now undefeated. Our team scored more goals in our first season that many first time girls teams do, including the older team. So I do take comfort in that fact.
I also was touched that several of the parents have expressed concern over my career transition. Seems most want me back to keep coaching their kids and don’t want me to leave the area. I honestly don’t know how to feel about that although I will admit that I’m a little Dick Vermeil when I think of the individual achievements of the kids. Most of the team is actually playing up an age level and to have held their own (we only got blown out in one game) was quite amazing.
Hale’s team did well too. I don’t recall their record although I would guess it was in the neighborhood of 5-3. They lost in the first round of their tournament to a team that beat them previously so they were disappointed not to play for the division title. But for a rec team they did really good.
Hale had a good year and I’m proud of her for sticking with it. She’s had a good coach who has had tremendous patience with her for the last three seasons. His comment to me this year was that Hale didn’t run from the action or turn away from the play this time around as she’s done in previous seasons. I think in a coed league it helps to have other girls who are aggressive to show the others that they too can play. Hale was fortunate to have some strong girls on her team that she could look up to and learn from.
Side note on Hale that you’ll find funny: I noticed in her last game that she was kind of reverting back to some weak play towards the end of the game so when we got home I called her out on her performance. She complained about her toe hurting and I assumed it was typical Hale trying to come up with a sly way out of her accountability. It turns out that I’m the bozo. Hale fractured her right big toe in the match when an opponent stepped on it while she was going for the ball. When I asked her why she didn’t tell the coach she was hurt she said eye brows raised “I didn’t want to come out of the game, Dad!”
Maybe we have a soccer player here?! She says she wants to keep going with it and who knows, with that kind of devotion she may be coachable if I can only get her in the back yard practicing in the off season. Right now though, it still appears that she’s in soccer to be social and to compete for parental affection with her sister. However there appears to be a crack of light at the end of the tunnel.
Well I need to get off the gym to fill some time while I await word on two final interview outcomes. One opportunity is back down south closer to my maternal roots. The area has a couple of incredible soccer clubs with a track record of placing girls in division I-A schools. So I’m excited for the kids to have that opportunity if we land there. Another position is just over the mountain in C’Ville and would afford me the opportunity to continue to coach at least one more season with Taylor’s team.