Saturday, April 21, 2018

Brandeis Tournament

The Brandeis Tournament has been a spring highlight for over a decade -- the competition is high-quality mostly varsity teams and a reliable turf surface outside Boston in Waltham, MA. We were assigned three 30-minute games with Emmanuel College, Azzurri club team (of mostly graduated former varsity players) and our host Brandeis University.

Blue sky, 10+C/50+F -- perfect weather! Our first game was at 10:10am, so we planned to leave at 7am. We needed to wake up a couple players in order to have 11! We have suffered so many injuries! We were very fortunate to be able to include/recruit senior varsity player Zainab Bakrin '18 ('Z') as our 11th player -- she added so much!

We arrived with about 20 minutes to warm up. Many of our eleven graciously took positions they don't usually play. We weren't sure how it would go, but we just wanted to enjoy the game we love!

Emmanuel looked sharper than in the past, and they got off the first shot, saved by Bri. Meredith took a free kick that had a good chance of scoring but was saved before her shot in the run of play was also saved. 

Claire's breakaway looked menacing but went just barely wide left of the goal. Katie's free kicks and goal kicks were powerful and well lofted, and almost always they found our team. 

Emmanuel had a shot go over the cross-bar just before Jenna, with her extraordinary energy and skill set up Z for a shot from the left that she slotted into the far left side of the Emmanuel goal for the game-winner.

Claire had a shot go wide and a shot saved before Bri came up big with saving a very firm Emmanuel rocket-shot in the 24th minute.

After the game we spoke about all moving up and back as a group -- all attacking and all defending -- in addition to playing to feet (rather than sending long, high passes), making more diagonal passes and switching the ball to the other side of the field more often rather than always going forward.

G: Bri
CD: Julia F-O'L+Katie
OD: Sarah A+Jenny
CM: Meredith+Namya
OM: Sarah J+Jenna
F: Claire+Z


Shots 6:3  Saves 2:3

3 Emmanuel shot saved
6 Meredith free kick saved
7 Katie free kick 
10 Meredith shot saved
11 Claire breakaway shot wide
12 Katie free kick
13 Emmanuel shot over
17 Jenna set up Z with a low shot left --> 1:0
20 Claire shot wide
22 Claire shot saved for a corner
24 Emmanuel firm shot saved for a corner
29 Claire corner kick


Azzurri's players are always skillful and organized, most of them having played in college years earlier. They are a good team for us to play because they provide great competition. We came out strong after waiting over an hour enjoying the nice weather, earning a corner kick in the 2nd minute. Sarah A's corner kicks during all three games were spot-on.

Sarah J ('SJ') had two shots saved before Azzurri got off one that went wide. Bri saved an Azzurri shot in the 14th minute before Jenna's shot was saved in the 18th minute. Seconds later Meredith set up Z for her shot in the lower left side of the Azzurri net. Z had another shot saved immediately after that.

Meredith seemed to beat a half-dozen defenders on her way to the net for our second goal in the 22nd minute. Later, Azzurri had a shot wide followed by two that Bri saved by bravely coming out to grab the ball from them. Then SJ had another of her shots saved in the last minute of play.

Their coach, Dick Fishman, complimented our team for their quality. He was pleased to see how well his team played relative to their previous efforts, but he was impressed by how well we converted against them.

Julia Fissore-O'Leary's dad also complimented the team, defending impressively and being able to score so nicely.

Shots 7:4  Saves 3:5

2 Sarah A corner
4 SJ shot saved
5 SJ shot saved
7 Azzurri shot wide
10 Azzurri corner kick
14 Azzurri shot saved
18 Jenna shot saved
18 Meredith to Z shot lower left --> 1:0
19 Z shot saved
22 Meredith amazing dribbling and shot --> 2:0
25 Sarah A free kick
26 Azzurri shot wide
28 Azzurri shot saved for a corner
29 Azzurri corner kick, shot saved
30 SJ shot saved 


Brandeis historically is our toughest competitor at this tournament, so we spoke briefly about keeping the ball moving in order to keep the ball as much as possible. The game statistics show that neither team could get many shots off, having immense pressure by both teams. 

Katie got off a free kick early in the game before Brandeis got three corner kicks in a row that we defended brilliantly. In the middle of the game, Claire beat her defenders to get a cross off to a perfect location for Z to put her foot on it, but her shot was tipped over the cross-bar by the Brandeis keeper for a corner.

Brandeis sent a shot over before Jenny's on-target free kick was saved. Bri saved us again in the 22nd minute before another Brandeis shot just barely went wide, hitting the side netting. 

They might have been tired and maybe shocked not to able to score on us as they usually are able to do! Denise Dallamora, their coach, was impressed that we could play with no subs!

We could not have been happier to come away undefeated and playing so well!

Shots 2:3  Saves 1:2

5 Katie free kick
7 Brandeis corner kick
8 Brandeis corner kick
12 Brandeis corner kick
15 Claire cross to Z shot saved for a corner
17 Brandeis shot over
21 Jenny free kick saved
22 Brandeis shot saved
28 Brandeis shot wide into side netting

Saturday, April 14, 2018

at Harvard 14apr2018

Overcast and windy 5-10C/40-50F but dry, our 2pm game on Harvard's Jordan Field was our first since Regionals in October! Suffering many injuries, we had only two subs until Liz Niehaus '14 and Shelby Schrier '15 joined us. Molly Grimes '14 (nursing an ankle injury) brought brownies! It was great to see them!

Izzy kindly offered to play in our goal since she's had some trouble with her foot. She saved four shots in the first 12 minutes! Elise and Meredith had shots go wide before Harvard's shot in the 19th minute hit the cross-bar. Liz had her shot go wide and Izzy saved two more Harvard shots before the half. 

Neither team could muster very much possession and both demonstrated high energy and pressure on the ball. Harvard looked stronger than they had in the recent past.

During the break we spoke about better marking, passing back to the goalkeeper, more communication and using the sides more. 

Katie got off a free kick early in the second half just before Harvard got off a shot from the far right side of the field that hit the left side netting of our goal. 

Dani had a shot go wide and Jenna had her shot saved before Meredith broke loose of her defender with a swift turn and calmly slotted the ball into the left side of the Harvard goal to level the score in the 60th minute.

Harvard's free kick in the 62nd minute made its way into our goal but was ruled out due to a Harvard player involved in the play being in an offside position.

Namya had her shot go wide just before Meredith sailed the ball over the Harvard goalkeeper from 30yd out for the game-wining goal in the last minute of the game!

Harvard must have been stunned by the outcome because during most of the game it looked like either team might prevail. We were delighted by the late goals and our improvement as the game progressed.

G: Izzy!
CD: Julia F-O'L+Meredith, 
OD: Katie+Elise, Julia C, Liz N
CM: Maria+Namya, Jenny, Shelby S
OM: Sarah A+Jenna, Julia C
F: Sarah J+Dani, Meredith

Shots 7:11  Saves 6:1

1 Harvard shot saved
3 Harvard shot saved
5 Sarah A corner
   Elise shot wide
6 Harvard shot saved
12 Harvard shot saved
19 Harvard free kick hit cross-bar!
23 Liz N shot wide
26 Harvard shot wide
31 Harvard shot saved for a corner
35 Harvard shot saved
38 Katie free kick
39 Harvard shot from far right hit left side-netting --> 0:1
43 Harvard corner
46 Dani shot wide
59 Jenna shot saved
60 Meredith G turned and shot from about 6yd --> 1:1
61 Harvard shot wide
62 Harvard free kick goal ruled offside
68 Namya shot wide
70 Meredith from 30yd --> 2:1

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Regional Tournament 28-29oct2017

Our team first got to Regionals in 2013, when Amanda Flugstad-Clarke's family hosted the entire team for dinner and overnight in Morristown, NJ, and we played games in Downington, PA. We had chances to return to Regionals a couple times but had exams or homecoming preempt a trip.

This fall, there was early energy around attempting to return, and we even squeezed in a game before classes started in order to gain enough points to qualify. We had great season of undefeated games in our division, and we qualified for Regionals in an "at-large" bid. 

It was not an easy decision to accept the invitation to go, because there were a slew of injuries and conflicts that prevented many players from going, but with only two subs (and two who wanted to come even if they couldn't play), we made the decision to go. We thought it would be a great experience to play high-level teams and get more practice playing smart -- good passes and quick decisions.

We were paired with West Virginia University, Penn State, and Fordham. We played Penn State four years ago in a playoff game at Regionals and found them physically strong, fast and technical. We didn't know what to expect from WVU or Fordham, but since they were in the middle of the ranking of the 24 teams here we thought we might have a chance to play up to their level.

The trip down from 4pm to about mid-night went smoothly, with good weather and not too much traffic. We checked into our rooms at the New Castle Super 8 and after a night's rest woke up around 8 to be ready for our 9:30 game with West Virginia.

Meredith Srour's mom, Stephanie, was spotted as we walked into the Kirkwood Soccer Complex around 8:30 -- she put her finger to her lips to signal that it was a surprise visit. Meredith let out a shriek when she saw her mom, and her dad was close behind with food for the team! Dani's mom arrived in time for kickoff, too!

West Virginia -- 9:30am Saturday

West Virginia looked physically taller and bigger than our players, but we suggested that if we kept the ball moving and made good passes we would be able to play with them.

At first, we looked sprightly, earning a free kick and having Claire get a shot off that went wide. But then in the 4th minute in our trying to clear a WV cross they earned a corner that was lofted perfectly over everyone and into the far side netting. Pretty stunning goal!

Then in the 8th minute on another counter-attack WV got a cross off that their player on our 18 yd line slotted one-time into the lower left corner of our goal.

Bri saved a WV shot in the 21st minute, then Mari made a long dribble up the middle of the field and passed to Claire, whose shot was saved. 

After Tina's free kick in the 25th minute, Claire took a corner kick and they sent a cross wide of their net. She had another corner kick a minute later then had a shot saved and another blocked in the 32nd minute.

WV got a free kick in the 35th minute before we earned one four minutes later that Katie took.

At the half-time break, we spoke about how we are playing well against West Virginia and just need to be a little quicker with the ball.

In the first sixteen minutes of the 2nd half WV was very active, earning a free kick, a shot over, two shots wide and a shot saved by Bri.

Then in the 57th minute Claire had a shot glance off the cross-bar before she her shot from the left side of the field hit the right side-netting. That goal gave us needed energy and optimism!

West Virginia had a shot go wide in the 61st minute and a free kick do the same. After Tina's free kick, Dani had a great scoring opportunity and struck the ball firmly but their keeper saved it. 

WV had another shot go wide and another free kick go wide before Dani did her magic again in the 71st minute with a sweet spin to elude her defender so she could slot the ball to Claire, whose shot caromed off the right upright and spun with some sweet "English" (as they say in billiards) into their goal to tie the score.

WV sent another shot wide before Lindsey's strong shot was saved. Namya had a great dribbling escapade almost rewarded, but her defender read her moves and squelched her attempt in front of the West Virginia goal in the last minute.

It felt like a win to come back from two goals down against a strong team!

G: Bri

CD: Mari+Julia F-O'L
OD: Tina+Katie, Izzy
CM: Lindsey+Namya, Jenny, Meredith S
OM: Sarah A+Meredith S, Jenny, Dani, Sarah J, Jenna (Sunday)
F: Claire+Sarah J, Dani

Shots 9:11  Saves 2:5

2 Tina free kick

   Claire shot wide
4 WV corner off far side netting --> 0:1
8 WV cross to the 18, shot lower left --> 0:2
13 WV free kick
21 WV shot saved
24 Claire shot saved - pass from Mari who had dribble upfield
25 Tina free kick
27 Claire corner
     Claire cross wide
28 Claire corner
30 Claire shot saved
32 Claire shot blocked
35 WV free kick
39 Katie free kick
41 WV free kick
49 WV shot over
51 WV shot wide
56 WV shot saved
57 Claire shot glanced off the cross-bar
60 Claire shot from left to right side netting --> 1:2
61 WV shot wide
    WV free kick wide
64 Tina free kick
65 Dani shot saved
68 WV shot wide
70 WV free kick wide
71 Dani spin around defender, pass to Claire, whose
    shot from the left hit the right upright and bounded into left 
    side-netting --> 2:2
74 WV shot wide
76 Lindsey shot saved
80 Namya dribble squelched

Penn State -- 2:30pm Saturday

We knew from our last visit to Regionals that Penn State well deserved their spot as the number one team here -- they beat us 0:5! So we spoke about keeping the ball moving and making good passes on the ground since it was windy.

Penn State did not waste any time getting of their first shot after only 58 seconds, but we showed our promise with shots on target by Claire and Lindsey that were saved in the 4th and 7th minutes.

Penn State hit a shot wide and had a shot blocked in the 8th and 10th minutes, around which time players on the bench who witnessed how vocal the Penn State players were said "we could talk more." 

Penn State sent another shot wide just before Meredith set up Claire in the 17th minute for her shot into the upper right corner of the Penn State net to make it 1:0!

Bri saved us by coming quickly out of our box to clear a ball that got enough ahead of the Penn State forward for Bri to get her foot on. The attack continued with another shot, but Bri saved it.

In the 23rd minute just after Penn State took a free kick, one of their attackers dribbled the ball into our box and shot it from the left side of the field into the upper right corner of our net, equalizing the score.

Only three minutes later, Penn State had a shot deflected for a corner kick that looked like it would go into the upper area of our net, but Bri tipped the ball over our cross-bar for another corner. They earned another corner from a well-placed cross but didn't convert.

Claire had a solid shot saved in the 31st minute, seven minutes later, Sarah J (we've come often to call her "SJ") earned a free kick that Katie took, and in the last minute of the half Claire drew a foul.

At the half we spoke about talking more, taking on their back line and using give-and-go passes to get in behind their defense.

After Katie's free kick, Claire got far up in a space just in front and to the right of the Penn State net, saw Namya ahead of her and passed her the ball for a tap-in goal. But Namya was offsides so the goal in the 43rd minute didn't count.

Only a minute later, we had another great chance, but their goalkeeper got her hands on the ball just in time to prevent a goal. We actually got the ball out of her hands, but that resulting goal was disallowed since their goalkeeper was touching the ball.

Bri saved a free kick that was headed toward our net before Lindsey's shot went wide in the 53rd minute. After Tina's free kick a minute later, Bri saved another shot from Penn State and Katie took a free kick for us.

Jenny almost converted on Claire's well-placed diagonal cross from the right side of the field toward the left upright in the 57th minute. After Claire took a corner kick for us in the 61st minute, Penn State got a free kick, Tina took one for us and Penn State sent a shot wide.

Claire struck the ball so well in the 66th minute that the Penn State keeper couldn't keep it, so it rebounded back out to Claire, whose second attempt was prevented as the Penn State keeper caught the ball. 

Bri saved another Penn State shot ten minutes from time.

Claire earned us a free kick from about 40 yd out, and Tina sent it diagonally from the left side of the field to the far (right) post, where Jenny got her foot on it for the game-winning goal in the 71st minute.

We didn't let up after that! Meredith had a shot saved, Tina took another free kick, and Claire had another shot go wide before 80 minutes were up.

It was clear that we had worked harder and been more effective than Penn State, and we could not have been happier that we played so well against the team that usually wins the Regional Tournament!

We celebrated by taking many organized and candid photos and going out for Mexican food for dinner in the Christiana shopping district.

Shots 11:11  Saves 6:6

1 Penn State shot over
4 Claire shot saved
7 Lindsey shot saved
8 Penn State shot wide
10 Penn State shot blocked
16 Penn State shot wide
17 Meredith S set up Claire, upper right corner --> 1:0
21 Bri out to clear a Penn State breakaway
     Penn State shot saved
23 Penn State free kick to dribbling attacker whose shot from left to upper right corner of our net --> 1:1
26 Penn State shot deflected for a corner
     Bri tipped their cross over our cross-bar for another corner
30 Penn State corner off a cross
31 Claire shot saved
38 SJ earned free kick taken by Katie
40 Claire drew a foul
42 Katie free kick
43 Namya goal on pass from Claire disallowed (offside)
44 we kicked the ball from their GK hands, goal disallowed
47 Penn State free kick on target saved
51 Penn State free kick
53 Lindsey shot wide
54 Tina free kick
56 Penn State shot saved
     Katie free kick
57 Jenny almost got to Claire's cross
61 Claire corner
62 Penn State free kick
63 Tina free kick
64 Penn State shot wide
66 Claire shot saved twice
70 Penn State shot saved
71 Claire earned free kick taken by Tina
    Jenny at far right post converted --> 2:1!
75 Meredith S shot saved
     Tina free kick
78 Claire shot wide

Fordham -- 9am Sunday

Games today were shorted to two 20-minute halves in light of the rain (forecast to be heavy at times), so we got to the field in time to warm up. We spoke about passing to feet and to expect the ball to skip.

Jenna removed the boot from her foot and played outside mid! A very welcome return after a week from being injured by Northeastern last Saturday.

Fordham got off the first shot, but it went wide. Sarah A took the corner kick we earned in the 6th minute, and four minutes later Lindsey had her shot saved. Right after that, Claire took a corner kick for us, and Sarah J ("SJ") had her shot saved.

Fordham got a free kick and sent a shot over our cross-bar before Namya's shot was saved in the 20th minute for a corner Jenny took.

During the half-time break we felt confident that we could win the game if we kept pressing and making good passes.

SJ earned a free kick for Tina to take in the 25th minute, just before Fordham's corner and Bri's painful fall while clearing a ball in front of our net. It was remarkable that, while face-down on the pitch in agony, her instruction was to "Win the Game"! The trainers took her off in a cart for more evaluation.

We took her advice to heart! With Sarah A subbing into goalkeeper for Bri (thankfully!), SJ sent a pass upfield for Claire to slot into the Fordham net for the only goal of the game! 

WE WON OUR GROUP in the tournament with two wins and a draw! And we were the last-seeded team (24th)!

But our elation was tempered by Bri's pain, so Meredith's dad, David, a physician, and I went to see her after the game. She was handling it well, but the Kirkwood trainer, also a Navy veteran, recommended she be transported by "truck" ambulance to Christiana Hospital for an evaluation and medication to make a trip home less painful.

Shots 4:3 Saves 1:3

3 Fordham shot wide
6 Sarah A corner
10 Lindsey shot saved
11 Claire corner
12 SJ shot saved
14 Fordham free kick
19 Fordham shot over
20 Namya shot saved, Jenny corner
25 SJ earned a free kick taken by Tina
26 Fordham corner
     Bri fell on her back clearing a ball out
30 Fordham shot wide
35 SJ pass to set up Claire --> 1:0!

Northeastern -- 11am Sunday quarterfinal

Northeastern has established a reputation with us for being physical, feisty and strong, so we spoke about keeping the ball moving quickly so we don't get tackled. 

The field was very soaked, so we expected the ball to exhibit some crazy behavior. 

Katie took the first free kick of the game, in the 3rd minute, and Meredith S got off the first shot (wide) in the 5th minute. She subbed in for Julia F-O'L, whose foot was agony.

Claire had a shot skim the cross-bar and Namya had a shot go wide, in the 8th and 10th minutes, respectively. 

Northeastern got lucky in the 13th minute when dribbling toward our net the ball bounced just the right way amid the bumps in the field so they could get in behind our back line to slot the ball into the lower right corner of our net.

After Tina's free kick in the 15th minute, Sarah A came up with a big save for a corner in the 17th minute. The game was very back-and-forth, with neither team enjoying very much possession.

At the half we spoke about keeping up our work rate because we still felt we could come back from the one-goal deficit.

Northeastern earned a free kick in the 21st minute, and Namya had a great scoring chance in the 24th minute, but her shot went wide. Meredith had a shot right after that, but hers was saved.

SJ's nose got broken by a forceful-flying Northeastern elbow. After getting the official's permission to leave the field, she set her own nose (can you say "med school"?) and got ice from the trainers. She was back on the sideline in no time, reporting that "this has happened a couple other times" and not to worry. Fierce competitor!

We couldn't be disappointed by our loss on that fluky goal since we never expected to do this well in the Regional Tournament! Besides, we had Bri to worry about and we were down to one sub!

After drying off and eating bagels and drinking coffee offered to us by the Penn State men's team (!), and loaded with more treats from Meredith's folks, we headed to pick up Bri and Izzy, who had been so kind to offer to go with Bri to Christiana Hospital.

The drive home was nine hours of intense rain and wind, but we didn't rush -- we even stopped for dinner at Panera in White Plains, NY.

Worry about so few players turned into elation as probably everyone was surprised how well we did!

Shots 5:2  Saves 1:1

3 Katie free kick
5 Meredith S shot wide
8 Claire's shot skimmed off the cross-bar
10 Namya shot wide
13 Northeastern after dribble on crazy surface, lower right --> 0:1
15 Tina free kick
17 Northeastern shot/Sarah A save for a corner
21 Northeastern free kick
24 Tina free kick, Namya shot wide
25 Meredith shot saved
35 Katie free kick

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Northeastern 21oct2017

A beautiful day with blue sky and 20+C/70+F temperatures, we always look forward while bracing ourselves for games with Northeastern because they are so strong and intense. But it is good to play good teams in order to stretch ourselves.

Maria's family was here and Claire's grandmother and other relatives who brought water to the team!

We spoke about expecting them to be intense -- like UVM, UMass A or Penn State. We suggested moving the ball quickly and not holding onto it.

They were intense! After only 6 minutes, after one of their corner kicks that we cleared out they got another and scored in the upper left corner of our net.

Jenna earned us a corner kick that Claire took in the 10th minute, then Northeastern's free kick from 30 yd out hit the cross-bar and bounced back out into the field, luckily!

Jenny had a shot wide and Bri saved a Northeastern shot in the 18th minute. After Meredith G got a free kick, Northeastern earned two more corner kicks.

Claire had her shot blocked and we looked to have scored right after that, but it was disallowed for being offsides. Northeastern sent a shot wide in the 28th minute and another blocked for a corner in the 32nd minute. Five minutes later they got in behind us and sent a shot into the lower right corner to give them two goals.

Sarah J had a shot saved in the 41st minute, then another shot blocked, and Sarah A had her shot saved just before the break.

We spoke about settling down, using the fact that the ball can travel faster than the players, communicating more, forcing them outside, having our defensive back line step up more, using this game to help us improve, take chances, have fun -- the team had so many good ideas at half time!

We took our own advice! Maria in the first minute had a shot saved, then Sarah J slotted the ball to Claire for our first goal in the 42nd minute. We looked to have settled down really well and were much more organized and able to control the game!

Claire almost scored again, in the 44th minute, when she was standing by the right post of the Northeastern goal and tried to touch a cross into their net. But it went just wide.

Meredith G took a free kick and then, after dribbling the whole field from her left defense position and beating several Northeastern defenders had a shot saved in the 48th minute.

Bri saved a solid Northeastern shot right after that, then Sarah A earned a free kick that Meredith G took. Northeastern got a free kick from 30 yd in the 57th minute.

Sarah A earned a free kick that Meredith G took from 40 yd out, crossing the ball from the right side to the left (far post) side, where Claire crossed it to Maria who volleyed it into the Northeastern net to tie the score!

After Claire's corner in the 62nd minute, Bri saved another of Northeastern's shots. Only a minute later, Northeastern's free kick hit our cross-bar then they put the rebound into the upper right corner of our net for their go-ahead goal.

Bri saved another shot before we got another free kick and Jenna had a shot go wide. In the 81st injury-time minute Claire beat a couple defenders and got a clear shot on their goal but it was blocked.

It was a win or sorts to have come from two goals down and then to have so many chances in the second half and to have improved so much in the second half! They were 2nd place in their South Boston/RI division, after Boston College, who we play first next Saturday at the Regional Tournament. They have always been a strong team, so this was great preparation for next weekend!

G: Bri
CD: Mari+Julia F-O'L, Katie
OD: Meredith G+Katie, Julia C+Elise
CM: Namya+Maria, Elise+Meredith G, Jenny
OM: Meredith S+Jenna, Sarah A+Nat
F: Claire+Sarah J, Dani+Jenny

Shots 13:10  Saves 5:7

6 NE corner (2) upper left -->0:1
10 Jenna earned a corner taken by Claire
11 NE free kick from 30 yd hit the cross-bar
17 Jenny shot wide
18 NE shot saved
20 Meredith free kick
21 NE corner (2)
23 Claire shot blocked, goal disallowed - ruled offsides
28 NE shot wide
32 NE shot blocked for a corner
37 NE got in behind our defense, lower right --> 0:2
38 Katie free kick
41 Sarah J shot saved
    Sarah J shot blocked
    Sarah A shot saved
41 Maria shot saved
42 Sarah J to Claire --> 1:2
44 Claire shot just wide at the post
46 Meredith G free kick
48 Meredith G shot saved
49 NE free kick from 30+ yd saved
56 Sarah A earned a free kick taken by Meredith G
57 NE free kick from 30+ yd
59 Sarah A earned taken by Meredith G
    received by Claire who crossed to Maria --> 2:2
62 Claire corner
63 NE shot saved
64 NE free kick
     hit our cross-bar, rebound sent upper right --> 2:3
68 NE shot saved
75 Jenna shot wide
81 Claire shot blocked

Saturday, October 14, 2017

at UMass CS 14oct2017

Warm 20+C/70F and sunny, we went first to the field where we played 3 years ago, when Summer Hammond '17 documented the experience with her camera even though she couldn't play due to chemotherapy. We got the feeling maybe it was the wrong field when we couldn't spot any UMass players, so Lindsey scouted out the fields a bit to the south to find the right location.

Sarah A's family greeted us with drinks and mandarins -- they were visiting from CA! 

The field looked small, bumpy and not well seeded, and we spoke about being quick with the ball and expecting immense pressure.

UMass CS did exactly that -- they got off 6 shots in the first 16 minutes!

Immediately after their run of shots, Meredith G struck her free kick expertly -- placing it in front of the UMass goal but not reachable by their goalkeeper. Sarah A converted, putting us up a goal!

We did well to win many of the 50/50 balls and strung passes together better than UMass could. After Katie and Tina took free kicks, Claire had a corner kick and UMass had a threatening shot go wide.

Dani had a chance in the 35th minute, UMass had another free kick and so did Tina before Bri saved a UMass shot in the last minute of the first half.

We spoke about playing as if the score were 0:0, continuing to work hard and passing the ball quickly since we expected UMass to be very energized and physical.

After UMass earned a free kick, Bri saved a shot from them and they sent another shot wide. Tina and UMass took free kicks, and Bri saved us again in the 51st minute. We were fortunate her quad felt better!

UMass had a shot over our goal's cross-bar that was ruled to have been touched, so they got another corner.

Jenna used her immense speed to beat her defender down the right sideline, then cut the ball back to elude her defender and tried to chip the goalkeeper with a shot that just barely went over their cross-bar.

After Tina's free kick in the 63rd minute, Jenna had another chance to beat her defender, repeating her cutting the ball back to free up some space so she could see where to send the ball. She sent it diagonally across the field toward the far post, which it went by just barely wide.

After two more UMass free kicks and a corner, during which Bri was fouled by UMass (Tina took the free kick), Jenna had another chance but her shot was saved.

In the 75th minute, Maria also had a great shot saved. Then UMass had a couple  more free kicks, one that one of our players in the wall saved and one that Bri saved.

In the 78th minute, Dani was taken down in their box, and Meredith G slotted her penalty kick into the lower right side but somehow the UMass goalkeeper got her fingers on it!

We kept the ball in their third, and in the 80th minute Jenny earned a corner taken by Sarah A. We fully expected the ref to blow his whistle at that point, but he let the game go into extra time, during which UMass got a shot into the lower right corner of our goal to tie the score. The ref claimed that time needed to be added for the penalty kick, but we thought that was a rule violation. oh well!

It was a fiercely contest game, with our whole team putting everything out on the field. Good passes, high intensity, great goalkeeping and solid defense -- we played our best game which was also our most-important game! 


G: Bri
CD: Tina+Julia F-O'L
OD: Mari+Izzy, Katie, Meredith G
CM: Lindsey+Namya, Maria+Meredith G
OM: Meredith S+Jenna, Sarah A+Julia C
F: Claire+Sarah J, Dani+Jenny

Shots 7:14 Saves 6:3

3 UMass shot wide
5 UMass shot saved
9 UMass shot blocked
10 UMass shot wide
13 UMass free kick
     UMass shot wide
15 Katie free kick
16 UMass free kick
     UMass shot saved
17 Meredith G free kick from 30 yd
     Sarah A converted --> 1:0
24 Katie free kick
26 Tina free kick
29 Claire corner
34 UMass shot wide
35 Dani shot wide
36 UMass free kick 
37 Tina free kick
39 UMass shot saved
44 UMass free kick
46 UMass shot saved for a corner
48 UMass shot wide
49 Tina free kick
50 UMass free kick
51 UMass shot saved for a corner
58 UMass shot over for a corner
62 Jenna chipped the GK barely over
63 Tina free kick
65 Jenna cross/shot barely wide
66 UMass free kick
67 UMass free kick from 30 yd --> corner
     Bri fouled in the box, Tina free kick
70 Jenna shot saved
75 Maria shot saved
76 UMass free kick --> corner
77 UMass free kick saved
78 Dani taken down in the box, 
     Meredith G PK saved for a corner taken by Sarah A
80 Jenny earned a corner taken by Sarah A
81 UMass shot lower right --> 1:1

Saturday, October 7, 2017

UMass Minutewomen 7oct2017

UMass has so many good players, so they have TWO club teams. Today, their team named Minutewomen visited us, greeted by 15C/60F overcast weather. 

Claire's grandmother, aunt (with wonderfully tasty cookies) and uncle, Callie's mom, Lizzie's mom, Jenna's dad, Bri's wife Alice with their puppy, Hannah Nolan '16, Mel Brown '17, Caroline Vanacore '17 and Christyn Karol '17 came to cheer us on!

We spoke about keeping the ball moving quickly -- not holding it -- since we expected high pressure. UMass did exactly that, but we were ready for them!

In the first twelve minutes, Meredith S had a shot saved, Sarah J had one go wide, Mari and Claire had shots saved, Jenna's went wide and Maria's was saved. Tina had a free kick in the 16th minute.

In the 20th minute a lucky shot from 25 yd sailed into the upper center of our net -- nothing Bri could do about that (besides, as my Italian mentor told me "it's never the goalkeeper's fault"). They were ecstatic because they knew we were out-playing them and their goal was "against the run of play." 

We didn't let down. Claire's and Sarah J's shots were wide, and Claire's free kick from the corner of their box was saved. Callie's shot was saved just before UMass got off their second shot of the game, a free kick, that Bri saved handily.

Lindsey's shot went wide, Meredith G's shot was saved, and Callie's corner found Jenny, whose smart, quick flick of the ball was saved.

During the half time break we spoke about keeping up the good work -- the passes (many of them give-and-go) were clinical and we made very good use of diagonal passes and runs.

Claire got off a shot right away, then Callie's free kick from 30 yd out was punched out for Izzy's one-time hit that barely went over the cross-bar. Claire had a shot go wide in the 47th minute before UMass's free kick from mid-field.

Lindsey took a corner kick, UMass took a corner kick and Katie had a free kick before Izzy had a shot saved then took a free kick. UMass got another free kick just before Claire took one from the right side of the field that bounced out to find Izzy, whose shot was blocked.

In the next 4 minutes, Claire had four shots saved, blocked or wide! Then Katie earned and took a corner kick before Claire got off another shot for a corner. UMass got another free kick in the 68th minute.

Meredith G almost scored with her header in the 70th minute, and Claire had a shot and a cross deflected out for two corners. Lindsey caught the rebound on one of them but her shot was blocked.

After UMass got another free kick, Claire in the last minute of the game earned and took a corner that she sent smartly just past the UMass goalkeeper. Maria converted on the ensuing scuffle, leveling the score for us! Lindsey almost got us another goal right after that, but her shot went over the cross-bar.

It was wonderful to play so well and finally be rewarded for it! We were fortunate to have Katy Sprout on the team this fall! This was her last game before departing for San Francisco for a film internship. She made so many good runs and dribbles up the right side, and we will miss her dearly!

update: due to UMass Minutewomen using a goalkeeper from the UMass CS team, their result was ruled by the league to be a forfeit (win for us)

F: Claire+Sarah J, Dani+Jenna, Jenny
CM: Lindsey+Nam, Maria+Meredith G
OM: Meredith S+Katy, Jenny+Julia C, Jenna
CD: Tina+Julia F-O'L
OD: Mari+Katie, Callie+Izzy
G: Bri

Shots 32:2  Saves 1:16

2 Meredith S shot saved
   Sarah J's shot wide
4 Mari's shot saved
8 Claire's shot saved
9 Sarah J's shot wide
10 Claire's shot saved
11 Jenna's shot wide
12 Maria's shot saved
16 Tina free kick
20 UMass shot from distance upper center --> 0:1
25 Claire's shot wide
26 Sarah J's shot wide
27 Claire's free kick from corner of the box saved
28 Callie's shot saved
29 UMass free kick saved
30 Lindsey's shot wide
37 Meredith G's shot saved
38 Callie earned and took a corner kick
     Jenny's flicked shot saved
42 Claire's shot saved
46 Callie's free kick from 30 yd punched back out,
    Izzy's one-time shot of the rebound barely over
47 Claire's shot wide
48 UMass free kick from mid-field 
50 Lindsey corner kick
51 UMass corner kick
52 Katie free kick
55 Izzy's shot saved
56 Izzy free kick
58 UMass free kick
59 Claire's free kick on the right side bounced out
     Izzy's shot of the rebound blocked
60 Claire's shot saved
62 Claire's shot blocked
63 Claire's shot wide
64 Claire's shot blocked
65 Katie earned a corner kick and took it
66 Claire's shot out for a corner
68 UMass free kick
70 Meredith G header wide
72 Claire's shot deflected for a corner
73 Claire's cross deflected out for a corner
    Lindsey's shot blocked
74 UMass free kick
79 Claire earned and took a corner
     Maria got the rebound in a scuffle --> 1:1
81 Lindsey shot over

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Middlebury 5oct2017

Formerly we played Middlebury both home and away, but when we joined the club league we had no more weekends to visit Middlebury, which is a glorious trip at this time of year. Although our players' class schedules don't allow us to travel during the week, we have been pleased to be able to schedule a weekday game with Middlebury.

Summer weather and blue sky accompanied us for our game at 4:30 on the Thursday before Homecoming. We had 14 players to start, and another six came from class soon after we started playing.

We spoke about keeping the ball moving by making good passes. Middlebury surprised us in the 3rd minute with a shot from 30 yd that sailed over Sarah A's head (she had kindly offered to play some GK since Bri had an exam).

We reacted with great energy -- both Claire and Elise made shots that were saved a minute after Middlebury scored. Then only three minutes later, Claire crossed the ball for Elise to convert and level the score.

Sarah A made a great save on a Middlebury shot in the 10th minute for a corner, and they sent a shot wide after that. After Claire had a shot go wide and Dani had her shot saved, Tina had a free kick from 40 yd out that could well have been threatening but went wide.

Katie's corner kick in the 22nd minute found Lindsey, who got us our 2nd goal. Jenna had two shots saved, one that resulted in a corner Katie took. Then Elise put the ball into the lower right corner of the Middlebury net for our third goal.

Sarah J had a shot saved, then Sarah A saved another Middlebury shot before Sarah J had another shot saved for a corner that Claire took just before half time.

During the break, we spoke about switching the ball to the opposite side and not over-commiting in our third of the field. 

We immediately earned two corner kicks that Sarah A took before Claire almost scored on a back-heel shot, and Jenna almost scored on the rebound. Lindsey and Meredith S had shots saved and Sarah A took another corner kick before Nat saved a Middlebury shot in the 54th minute.

Jenna had another shot saved in the 55th minute, then Meredith S's shot was blocked for a corner kick that she took. After a Middlebury corner kick, Meredith S slotted a perfect pass up to Claire, who was in front of Meredith S and anticipated a pass. Claire beat two Middlebury defenders with a couple fake moves and then shot the ball low and right into the Middlebury net for our 4th goal.

Middlebury was still working hard and earned a free kick before Lindsey earned one, too. She quickly took the kick from about 30 yd and almost scored -- her shot whistling off a little bit left of the goal. After Claire's corner kick, Lindsey earned her second goal in the 76th minute.

Sarah A made a skillful run down the left sideline, beat her defender and made a cross to Jenna for a tap-in, but the Middlebury goalkeeper saved it and saved another shot from Claire after that as well.

We looked good, but Middlebury showed good energy, so we had to work for every goal. We made good passes and worked hard to get the ball back when we lost it. We made good use of our give-and-go passing that we worked on in practice! 

GK: Sarah A, Elise, Nat
CD: Tina+Julia F-O'L
OD: Mari+Izzy, Katie+Katy
CM: Elise+Namya, Lindsey, Meredith S
OM: Julia C+Jenna, Meredith S+Nat, Jenny
F: Claire+Sarah J, Dani, Jenny

Shots 22:4  Saves 2:14

3 Middlebury shot from 30 yd upper center --> 0:1
4 Claire shot saved for a corner
   Elise shot saved
7 Claire cross to Elise --> 1:1
10 Middlebury shot saved for a corner
     Middlebury shot wide
15 Claire shot wide
16 Dani shot saved
20 Tina free kick 
22 Katie corner, Lindsey scored --> 2:1
27 Jenna shot saved
29 Jenna shot saved for a corner taken by Katie
30 Elise lower right corner --> 3:1
35 Sarah J shot saved
36 Middlebury shot saved 
38 Sarah J shot saved for a corner taken by Claire
42 Sarah A corner (2)
43 Claire back-heel shot blocked, Jenna shot saved
44 Lindsey shot saved
45 Meredith S shot saved
50 Sarah A corner kick
54 Middlebury corner
55 Jenna shot saved
58 Meredith S shot blocked for a corner kick she took
60 Middlebury corner
63 Meredith S to Claire, who beat 2 defenders shot lower right --> 4:1
70 Middlebury free kick
71 Lindsey free kick barely wide 
74 Claire corner
76 Lindsey scored --> 5:1
77 Sarah A cross to Jenna whose shot was saved
78 Claire shot saved