Monday, October 29, 2012

Tufts 27Oct2012

After a great Bonfire the night before -- organized by Amanda Winch! -- it was cloudy but warm 15C/60F, with a great fan base of visiting families and alumnae! 

Katherine's parents, Liz's parents and grandparent, sister Emily '12, Kristin's parents, Lindsay's parents and grandparents, Bri Perry '12, Annie Saunders '12, Hannah Nolan's dad, Annie O's parents, Shelby's mom, Courtney's family, Allison's grandparents (?), Kate's mom, maybe others!

We knew Tufts played well last fall, and we saw their good results in the Boston-area Region 1 league. They came out with high pressure, but we got off the first shots by Molly, Allison and Natalie. Then Jenn's cross in the 10th minute came off their GKer's fingers for Natalie to put into the net for the first goal.

Tufts got off five shots in the rest of the first half, two requiring saves by Hannah N. But we only had one (Kristin's) shot during that 30-minute spell.  It was difficult for either team to retain much possession because both teams were highly energized to pressure the other!

At the break we spoke about making the easy ground passes, being more diagonal and switching the point of attack more often. 

In the second minute of the 2nd half Allison flicked the ball up over a Tufts defender for Julia to put into the net for our second goal. We had a good spell of connected passes after that, but around the hour mark Tufts sent a long ball over our defense that was deftly chest-trapped by a Tufts forward and shot into the far side of our net, reminiscent of Alex Morgan's skill and speed. Credit Tufts for figuring out a way to get behind us.

Soon after that, Tufts got a break-away opportunity that Hannah N rushed out to squash by grabbing the ball off the feet of the Tufts attacker! Three more Tufts shots and at the 82nd minute they hit our side netting again to tie it up 2:2.  

In the last few minutes, Tufts' GK'er had to make two more saves from shots by Lindsay and Christine,. Hannah N made one more save just before Kristin got a burst of energetic skill to dribble (jump over!) past several Tufts defenders and pass the ball to Natalie, who scored the game-winner.  Hannah N preserved the win by making another huge save in the last minute!

It was a tribute to both teams' never-say-never attitudes! We were happy to benefit from highly talented goalkeeper Hannah Nolan and the persistence of our very motivated team to make the difference in the last minutes of the game!  All of our fans were ecstatic for such a great homecoming present!

GK: Hannah N
CD: Molly+Collin, Christine+Tessa
OD: Blythe+Liz, Annie O+Kate
CM: Julia+Shelby, Kristin+Amanda FC
OM: Jenn+Mila, Amanda W+Katherine, Ginny
F: Natalie+Allison, Courtney+Caroline, Sophie+Lindsay

Shots 14:12 Saves 6:7

6 Molly shot saved
8 Allison shot wide
   Natalie shot hit the upright
10 Jenn's cross off GK'er fingers, Natalie scored --> 1:0
15 Tufts shot wide
33 Tufts shot saved
41 Tufts shot saved
43 Kristin shot saved
44 Tufts shot wide
45 Tufts shot deflected for a corner
47 Allison flick to Julia --> 2:0
50 Tufts corner
51 Natalie shot wide
55 Natalie cross to Jenn shot over
56 D corner
59 Tufts sent a long ball in behind our defense --> 2:1
61 Julia shot saved
62 Amanda FC shot saved
65 Hannah N came way out to take the ball off a Tufts foot!
66 Tufts shot saved
67 Tufts shot deflected for a corner
80 Tufts shot over
82 Tufts shot into side netting --> 2:2
87 Lindsay shot saved
88 Tufts shot saved
89 Christine shot saved
91 Kristin dribble through 4 defenders, pass to Natalie --> 3:2
92 Hannah huge save

Sunday, October 14, 2012

at Williams 13Oct2012

Blue sky, pretty leaves, a nice drive southwest past Bromley, Manchester and Bennington VT into northwest Massachusetts, we found perfectly renovated fields damaged by Irene a year ago.  

We remembered they were a good team last year, so we talked about being quick and making the easy passes. Their varsity teams played nearby, so there was a little bit of a carnival atmosphere!

Williams was feisty and put a lot of pressure on us. Mila and Jenn had the first shots, but a Williams shot on a breakaway in the 8th for an almost certain goal went wide.  In the 10th minute, Hannah N smothered another almost-certain Williams goal. Soon after, we made several really good, short passes to get close to goal but shot wide. Later, Tessa made a crucial tackle to prevent Williams from a scoring opportunity.  The game seemed pretty even, but we were concerned that Williams was getting in behind our defense so often!

At the break, after thanking Hannah N for amazing goalkeeping, we spoke about being more aggressive. We created many scoring chances, and after the hour mark Jenn's two shots (deflected) found Courtney, who pounded the ball into the net for the first goal. Soon after that, Hannah N came out to grab the ball off the foot of a Williams attacker who got in behind our defense -- very gutsy!! Then Amanda W got the result of Courtney's cross to make it 2:0.

In the 87th minute, Hannah N made another huge, crucial save from another Williams breakaway and then scooped up a rolling shot.  After Amanda W made another shot (that was saved) and the scoreboard said the game was over, Williams got one last breakaway.  We might have thought the game was over, but the goal was probably counted to present Williams with some reward for a game well played. 

We were happy to have played so well in the second half, but we all thanked HANNAH N who kept us ahead!  Great that her dad could be there to see it!  And Julia's parents, maybe others, too!! 

G: Hannah N
OD: Blythe+Liz, Annie O+Christine
CD: Molly+Collin, Julia+Tessa
OM: Jenn+Mila, AmandaW+Katherine
F: Allison+Natalie, Courtney+Ginny, Sophie+Lindsay

Shots 14:8 Saves 6:5

3 Mila shot over
5 Jenn shot wide
6 Mila's cross out for a corner
7 another corner, taken by Mila
8 Williams breakaway shot wide
10 Hannah N came out to smother a Williams shot
12 Jenn shot over
15 Williams corner
19 Molly shot saved
22 Shelby run to the end line, cross out for a corner
24 Williams corner
25 Ginny shot wide
26 Tessa blocked a shot for a Williams corner
40 Williams shot saved
48 Jenn shot saved for a corner
58 Williams shot wide
63 Jenn shot wide
65 Jenn 2 shots on target, Courtney rebound --> 1:0
69 Molly shot wide
71 Hannah N snatched the ball off the Williams player's foot!
72 Courtney's cross deflected, Amanda W rebound --> 2:0
80 Molly shot wide
87 Williams shot on breakaway saved for a corner
88 Williams rolling 'shot' saved
89 Williams free kick over
90 Amanda W shot saved
91 Williams breakaway --> 2:1

Saturday, October 6, 2012

UVM 6Oct2012

Rainy but warm, we wanted to prove to UVM that we were able to beat them, and we wanted a chance at Regionals!  We talked about playing as we did vs Middlebury during the week -- quick, give-and-go passes with switching the point of attack. With rain on its way, we expected the ball would skip a lot.

Both teams were very energetic at the start, but we created more chances. In the 13th minute, UVM took an optimistic shot from over 30m out that lofted into the upper left corner of our goal. It was a shock for us, but we kept working hard. It rained hard for long spells.

At the break we spoke about believing in ourselves, our skill, our teamwork.  We knew we were the better team -- not as physical but more capable at stringing passes together and creating chances.

Immediately after that Natalie or Julia or Allison must have had a shot that deflected back out because Shelby shot a rebound into their net for the equalizer.  The team seemed buoyed by that and kept the ball in the UVM third for extended periods.  Soon, we created another great chance with a free kick that Molly almost scored on. 

We took more than twice as many shots as UVM, and more on target.  At the hour mark, Jenn delivered a perfect corner to the far post for Mila to nail into the net for the game-winner. Hannah N made two big saves to preserve our win, and Molly almost got us 3rd goal in the 87th minute.

It was a muted celebration for us, knowing that we wanted one more goal to beat UVM's slightly better goal-differential in the league standings.  But, as Jenn said, "hey -- we beat them!"  We can take great pride that we controlled our play even when they were more physical and wanted desperately to beat us!

It was so great to see so many fans who braved the bad weather!  The Cima's and adorable dog Ellie, Collin's parents, Shelby's dad, Courtney's family, Mila's parents, probably others!

Shots 15:7 Saves 2:4

3 Molly cross to Jenn shot wide
4 UVM hit the upright
8 Molly shot over
9 Julia shot saved
10 Natalie shot saved
13 UVM lofted ball 30+m out, top left corner --> 0:1
14 Julia shot wide
20 Molly corner
32 UVM shot wide
40 UVM corner
46 Natalie, Allison or Julia shot bounced off UVM defenders
46 Shelby rebound --> 1:1
51 Molly free kick over
55 Amanda FC shot saved
57 D corner
58 Natalie shot saved
60 UVM free kick wide
62 Jenn's corner kick to Mila --> 2:1
72 UVM shot wide
75 Molly free kick wide
80 UVM breakaway big save by Hannah N
80 UVM corner
87 Molly shot wide
87 Molly shot saved for a corner
90 UVM shot saved by Hannah N

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Middlebury 3Oct2012

Cloudy but warm 60'sF and damp from the rain that ended in the morning, we greeted a strong Middlebury team that also -- like us -- had lost by only one goal to UVM.  

We talked about being quick and keeping possession -- switching the field and not always going forward into pressure.  It worked -- we had most of the possession even with high pressure on us.  

In the 6th minute, Courtney and Julia both got off shots that came back into the field.  Natalie gathered Julia's rebound and got off a powerful shot that was saved.  A little later, Amanda F-C got off another powerful shot that was saved.

In the 11th minute, Shelby anticipated Mila's corner as it wafted over the goalkeeper and skillfully volleyed it inside the far post.  Later in the first half Hannah N made some difficult saves before Middlebury's keeper suffered an ankle injury.

At half-time we talked about playing to feet and being calm about possession.  That spurred a period of our best playing to date -- we strung together many passes, often wall-passes with give-and-go movement -- and we switched the side of attack much more often than the first half.

Natalie in the 61st minute got into a breakaway run that seemed a certain goal, but her shot was saved. Soon after that, Amanda W made a brilliant cross to Julia who powered the ball into Middlebury's net for the game-winning goal.

Shelby, Ginny and Allison added power shots over the remainder of the half as we had a big majority of the possession.  Middlebury kept working hard and got lucky by sending a long ball to a really fast player who beat our defense to slot in a roller past Hannah N, who had smartly come out to reduce the angle.

One of the big improvements in our play during this game was the offensive role of our defenders -- Collin, Blythe, Liz, Tessa, Amanda F-C, Kate, Annie O all became part of the offense to push the whole team up farther toward Middlebury's goal.  Amanda F-C in stopper almost made a goal!

Middlebury's coach congratulated us on a another great game, lauding our speed and skill.  It was a great game for both teams, and we were happy to have built on our solid playing style over this fourth game of our season.

F: Natalie+Courtney, Ginny+Allison
OM: Jenn+Mila, Amanda W+Katherine
CM: Shelby+Julia, Kristin+Christine
OD: Blythe+Liz, Annie O+Kate
CD: Amanda F-C+Collin, Julia+Tessa
GK: Hannah N

Shots 18:7   Saves 4:9

2 Mila shot saved
4 Shelby shot wide
6 D corner
   Courntey shot deflected, Julia shot deflected
   Natalie shot saved
9 Amanda F-C shot saved
11 Mila corner to Shelby volley --> 1:0
18 D corner (Jenn)
32 Middlebury shot wide
35 Middlebury shot saved
45 Middlebury corner saved/cleared out
     Middlebury shot saved
47 Allison shot saved
49 Middlebury shot saved
50 Mila to Jenn shot wide
54 Jenn shot saved
60 Natalie shot wide
61 Natalie shot saved on breakaway for a corner
     Julia header saved
62,64 D corner
67 Amanda W cross to Julia --> 2:0
70 Shelby shot saved
81 Julia corner, Kristin header wide
85 Ginny shot saved
87 Middlebury breakaway --> 2:1
89 Middlebury shot wide
91 Allison shot hit the cross-bar