LARS Juniors 2012-2013
Posted 03 September 2012 - 12:15 PM
We are entering the season having lost our best forward and spending all spring and summer looking for a replacement. We added one kid very late and she seems to be very able. We are still up in the air about one of our backs, who is weighing an offer from a U19 Premier team.
So, with our current roster, we will be changing our default formation from a flat back 4-4-2 to a 3-5-2. Assuming we lose our back to the U19 team, we would have 3 healthy backs. Thankfully our best 1v1 defender is progressing well from ACL surgery so she'll get minutes but I can't see her going 80 yet. We have lots of good central mids, so we will play to our strength and play two dmids. I moved one of our wings to forward where she will see more of the ball and it looks like she'll have a good partner in our new addition.
I'm hoping that we stay healthy this year. Last year was tough, but we won promotion. Can we make it four years in a row?
Serafina will be in the first 11 as a dmid. I'm hoping she's found a role model in Juninho. Every time she's come to watch the G's this season, she has been impressed by him.
Here's our schedule
Celtic Park is Oaks Middle School in Ontario, by the way.
Good luck to all the other clubbers out there. RTB, twigg--how goes it for the boys? Gunner--what is your girl up to? Anyone else?
Posted 09 September 2012 - 01:38 AM
Still, we controlled the ball very well for long stretches, but loose passing in the final third kept us from taking advantage of our build up. Disappointing but not distressing. We play tomorrow at home. Hoping we rebound and salvage the weekend.
Posted 09 September 2012 - 11:13 PM
We finally scored from a great cross and a header from the smallest girl on the field with about 15 minutes after I had gone to three forwards. We scored about five minutes later off a counter attack as we decided to bunker down a bit. Turns out 90 minutes is a pretty long game, especially under the conditions and having played one yesterday as well. But a poor clearance from my shaky center back gave FC Long Beach a goal and a chance late. But we managed to win what could've been a breather. We'll take it. The win puts us in a tie for 5th in a 13-team group.
Next Saturday we travel to Palm Desert to play long-time nemesis Desert United, then return home on Sunday for a date with Oxnard Wave.
Sera has been steady, but I'd like to see her take more initiative to start or join attacks. The late run is so potent, but Sera tends to stay home more than necessary with a 2nd dmid. A work in progress.
Posted 15 September 2012 - 09:12 PM
Of course, we can look at a missed PK early that could've tied the score and changed the game, and a few other good opportunities that went begging, but with a team playing a counter attack, there were three 1v1s between our center back and their striker, and the striker won each one.
Now I'm stuck. Do I make a switch at center back and risk sending a morale-sapping message to our center back? Or, do I try going to a four back system to give this girl some cover--meaning I would either have to drop one of my dmids to center back or try playing my comebacker more minutes? OR, do I stick with what I have and make her learn on the job? My gut is to stick with the girl who had a bad game and make adjustments as needed. Hopefully we can salvage a split on the weekend tomorrow.
On a positive note, Sera had a good game. Managed to earn an assist on a well-weighted ball from the left wing late in the game. She was open at the far post but the cross came in just a bit high earlier and her header went over the bar. Too bad.
Posted 16 September 2012 - 05:20 PM
But the focus was solid today. Too bad our finishing was not. Some very good opportunities throughout, and some great ones in the last 10 minutes. Girls either shot wide or took too many touches and got pressured. A tough game against a team that finished its tackles. 0-0 was the final. Another good outing for Sera. Moved her to forward to start the game, as we only needed one dmid. Played lots of the 2nd half as a dmid, however.
Four points in four games is not a typical start for us, but I'll take the result today and hope for better next week.
Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:52 PM
Once our forwards timed their runs right, we were able to beat their trap. Early in the 2nd half, Sera got on the end of a well-weighted chip and got behind the defense. The keeper came out and forced a wide shot, but that play seemed to turn the momentum. With 25 minutes to go, another chipped ball found us 1v1 with the keeper. Once again, the keeper came out and made a good play, blocking a shot. Sera ran onto the rebound and shot it into a crowd in the goalmouth and the rebound fell to our wing making the long run to the far post.
That goal stood, but there were a few dicey moments in the long final 25. We had a few chances to double our lead, but we also survived a brain fart from our keeper.
No problem. We are sitting in a tie for 5th and we host the undefeated leader at home tomorrow. Should be a great test.
On a personal note, I trotted out my best 1v1 defender with the starting 11 today. This was her first start since suffering an ACL tear on a reckless tackle against this Valley United side last November. She was so happy and fired up, and she did well. This is a cool kid (right, next to Sera).
Posted 23 September 2012 - 10:33 PM
Well, I know it is cliche to say that good teams punish your mistakes, but it is true.
We played a pretty good side today. Select Cities Avalanche. Very fit, swarmed the ball well. Very few wasted touches. Lots of athletes and played a wide game. Coach was a pretty lady, too.
Our tackling and clearances have been mediocre this season and we gave up a cheap goal early. Came totally against the run of play, as we started the game with pretty good possession and worked our way into final third on several occasions before the goal. Near the end of the half, one of my backs is chasing down the ball toward our corner. I yell, "don't dive in." I think she thought I said, "dive in." She is prone to doing that, no matter how often we practice good defense. Come game time, something doesn't quite compute. So, the wing makes a decent move, loses my back, then finds the forehead of her teammate while my girls ball watch in the back.
We keep trying to make a game of it, but just can't make that last good pass. Some really wasted chances as we played a lot of the second half with 3 forwards and keep getting behind their defenders. Keeper had to make one great save against us, but overall we didn't complete the chances created. Another back decides to chase the ball, dive in and give up goalside late. It finished 3-0.
So, it becomes more clear what we have to do as a team to get better. The way I see it, there was plenty for everyone to learn, including for me.
On paper, it looks like we should win our next two games, as these are teams in the cellar. If we don't, then we start mopping up.
Got some work to do.
Posted 29 September 2012 - 08:58 PM
Last night I get word that two girls that have been struggling with injured ankles will not be available. Both are constantly injured, but one is kind of flaky and I wouldn't be surprised to find out she got invited to visit her grandmother and go to Disneyland, or something. It has happened before.
Plus, Sera is sick and was feeling kind of lightheaded, and my inconsistent back had the homecoming dance on her mind. She was less than focused today.
And we went out and got beaten. We played a sloppy first half and muffed two very good chances and one hit the crossbar. Overall, we should've been ahead based on the possession, but the defending was pretty sloppy and we were lucky not to turn balls over in bad spots. In the second half, my flaky back got picked clean while trying to do too much and the forward, to her credit, struck a great ball to score far post. I have to play 3 forwards at this point and it clicks for a bit. We score to tie the game and almost score soon afterwards. Poorly received passes cost us the chance to take momentum, then we lose a ball very deep on a nothing play, leading to a throw in that my flaky back watches go over her head. Same forward that hurt us scored another beauty.
And that was it. Some moments of danger created late ended with a weak cross or a sloppy pass to no one in particular.
So, the dream of winning promotion one more time is probably over. We would need way too much lucky results that we can't control to help us. As I told the girls, we have two more goals for the rest of the season: 1. Beat our rivals, and 2. stay in Gold. Neither task is assured. The girls will have to bring it and get it together.
Expecting to go with only two subs tomorrow. Hope Sera gets a good night sleep and recovers. She only played half the game and looked out of it.
Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:50 PM
Turns out a third player called in sick today. She took a hard hit and fell awkwardly last weekend and has whiplash. She tried to play yesterday but apparently was not fit this morning. Sera was also sick and couldn't finish the first half. Bummer, because she was doing okay. No subs for the 2nd half. Who knows what I'll have next weekend.
Once again, we had the game in our hands. Poor finishing or passing left us with no goals in the first half. But then the dumb mistakes came back. One girl managed to run through the back of a girl taking a throw in just outside the area. Not smart. Girl was not a threat. Then, she topped it off by scoring an own goal.
After my flaky back fails to slide across to cover an unmarked striker for the 2nd goal, we got one back and should have had more.
The center ref was horrible. The game got dirty. A striker went studs up into and through my keeper as she came out to clear a ball. Very dirty and dangerous, but no call. It pretty much gave the opponent license to get more reckless, which they did. Of course, my girls had to start defending themselves, so it got beyond chippy. One of my forwards was clipped form behind in the goal area by the goalie and the clown called a goal kick. Near the end of the game, my dmid takes a sliding tackle from behind and goes down. Very reckless and the intent was bad. Not only does the guy not give the obvious red card, he doesn't even call a foul. After my girl is carried off the field, he calls a drop ball. And, of course, the opponent doesn't have the sense or the courtesy to kick it to us. Later, on a free kick, one of our girls gets tackled in the box. The AR waves his flag, but the clown doesn't see him. When we yell that his AR was calling a foul, the AR put his flag down and starts running upfield. It was a comedy of errors. Unfortunately, these guys were not being evaluated. Truthfully, these guys are lucky they weren't reffing a Mexican league match. They would've gotten their asses kicked. You guys know what I mean.
But, I told the girls that the ref only made the game more difficult, but we are responsible for the loss.
But it kills me that this clown got money for that.
Posted 13 October 2012 - 10:04 PM
Last Sunday, we went to Brea to play AC Brea for the 6th time ever. We were 0-1-4 against them over the last 3 years, all four losses being by one goal. Man, did we need this win.
We played with only 12 girls. Figuring I'd need to conserve our legs, we went with a 4-5-1 and created enough good chances to keep the defense honest, but it was obvious that our back line was on it and we could handle the mid with one dmid. Moved the Stopperette to forward in a 4-4-2 to start the half. Immediately pays dividends. About 15 minutes in, she gets behind the defense and attacks the area. She strikes a great ball with her left foot on the dead run toward the far post. A defender gets her hip on it and it deflects into goal.
After a few shaky moments, I feel more comfortable reverting back to the 4-5-1. We break up many attacks in the dmid, as Sera and my other dmid Beth are playing out of their minds. With about five minutes to go, my center mid hits a bomb from 30 yards to make it 2-0.
A late brain fart makes it scary, but we end up 2-1 winners.
Today was a different story. The game was a complete microcosm of our season. We are playing a rival, FC Barcelona, who is in 2nd place. I feared we would only have 11 as one of our healthy girls opted to visit her sister in Washington this weekend (?!) and my best attacking threat sprained her ankle at practice. I end up signing a girl from my high school who I have not seen play yet, thinking we need the insurance as one of my projected starters is coming off an injury layoff and looked gimpy at practice.
My injured forward tapes up her ankle and decides to play. Tough girl, lots of heart.
We started off retarted and asleep and give up a stupid goal in the first minute of play. Unbelievable. With all that is on the line for us and our girls start off with such poor focus.
We start stringing passes together and eventually make a game of it. But, a horrible brain fart and ball watching leads to another goal. At the start of the 2nd half, I send them out in a 3-4-3. As is often the case, we control the tempo and the possession. Although we had to survive a few iffy moments, and my keeper made a fantastic save, we could not finish the opportunities created. Sera was just a few inches away from gathering in a few passes in the area, but a lot of shots in the area went harmlessly to the keeper or skied over the crossbar. I'd say we had the slight advantage in possession and had more shot but not as many on frame. It was a deserved 2-0 loss, but overall I can't say that we were out classed. We played 88 minutes of very good soccer and 2 minutes of retarted soccer.
I am shocked to check the table and find that we are still holding 8th place with 2 games to go. We play the last place team tomorrow, but it is a big rival and anything is possible when we play. We really need this win. We can pretty much solidify our place in U18 Gold with a win tomorrow. Wish us luck.
Posted 14 October 2012 - 05:26 PM
Because of our injury situation, we decided against playing in the league cup. I would love to have had a second chance against some of our league foes, but considering our roster issues, it is better to get some time off. So, we don't play again until Nov. 10. We'll be checking out the table over the next few weeks to see how things play out. We are holding 7th place with 13 points but only one team is clearly relegated. As of now, every other team still has two games to go and the team in 12th place has 8 points. It's not over yet.
By the way, the ladies will be training at the indoor facility in Garden Grove on Wednesday with the staff at Great Falls University, a Catholic NAIA school in Montana. Got the tip from a GFU grad that was drinking free Bud Light at the picnic a few weeks back. Looking forward to it.
Posted 10 November 2012 - 08:50 PM
It has been very frustrating, soccer-wise. On top of that, there were some head cases to be dealt with early, and lately there's been divisive team drama instigated by a few girls. It has not been much fun. I expect to have a few at the picnic tomorrow to make the pain go away.
Now its off to the high school season. Sera is competing for a spot on Rancho Cucamonga's varsity and I will be starting my 5th season with Ontario HS's Lady Jaguars. Good luck to everyone competing in prep soccer.
Posted 23 November 2012 - 10:34 PM
Posted 27 November 2012 - 12:54 AM
They had a bit of tough luck in the second game against a Yucaipa team with a good striker. The Cougars were missing a few girls because of club duty, but other girls had opportunities to step up against a league champ from last year. It ended 3-2 with some calls that went against Rancho, but it was a decent early season effort.
They play tomorrow night in the game that should determine 2nd place in the group.
Posted 29 December 2012 - 08:15 PM
His girls won five games against pretty tough competition. He and Claudio did a great job of managing the bench so that every girl played in every game. That's a big deal in high school soccer--pretty hard to do, but every girl contributed to the championship. Well done.
Sera is the farthest right in the front row. Sera didn't score any goals but contributed to a couple and had some good late game moments.
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