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Christine S. Wins National Gymnastics Tumbling Championship!
Christing S. (aka Flipper) won first place in the National Gymnastics Championships in Orlando , Florida. Coached by olympian Amy Chow, Christine led wire to wire, demonstrating coordination and athletic talent far beyond her age. Congtatulations Flipper! You made us proud! (Mom and Dad too!). Maybe we'll be watching you in the Olympics someday...

"Central Valley Magic Cup Tournament Analysis"
Tournament Breakdown:
Game 1 -Placer- 2-2
Goals: 1 Eloise N.(1 half), Kelsey W.(1 half).
Game 2 Burlingame- 1 goal against. (Ouch!)
Penalty kicks: 4-3 (Kelsey,Lauren, Marissa, Elle)
Game 3- San Jose Flash- 4 goals against.(Ouch!)
Game 4- North Valley Grass Sharks- 2-0
Goals: 1 Laura S.(1 half), McKenzie C.(1 half).

Tournament Player Critique:
Dena- Solid defending-closed space on attackers well-Force more. Mid season shape-all 4 games. Relentless. Work on forcing on breaks and getting ready to run.
Kelly- Great wheels. Attacking mids should be all over the field. Work on staying square, and taking ball outside.Face your opponent-Don't turn your back to her! Be aggressive!
McKenzie- Great first tourney. Beautiful shot for a goal. Work on being open for a pass and continuing attack after passing! Develope a meaner streak! EXPLODE TO THE BALL!!!
Marissa- Excellent 4 games. Kicking power from both feet exceptional. Sweet penalty kick! Smarts show. Work on forcing with body contact(running start). Make defenders commit to you before you clear (unless we're fast breaking)
Sarah- Versatility, coordination, power, and smarts. Solid 4 games. Great penalty box awareness. Work on forcing with body, and comfort in the box. Way to charge the ball! NO FEAR!
Lauren- Great tourney! If there were an all tourney team, you would of been on it. Very few mistakes. Great trapping skills. Work on outside move with first five steps. Think about switching the ball to the right side now and then.
Darian- Hustle and effort awesome. For a right wing to be physical its a real plus. You never back off from anyone. Great job. Work on using your speed to get outside, and body protect the ball. On fast breaks, expect the ball to be placed past your defender (don't get caught behing her).
Eloise- You played an awesome goalkeeper and got the first goal of the season. WOW! For now-you are the ThunderCats starting keeper. Work on comfort in the box, and marking the center-mid after attacking. Keep your passes down (roll the ball- you know!).
Daniela- You remind me of myself at your age. Awesome skills and determination beyond the call of duty. You dribbled, shot, passed, and attacked ferociously all four games. Super job! (should of had a goal). Work on finding that point in the game that you can work a give and go and take advantage of your quickness. Move the ball!
Elle- My big girl finally gets her first goal. Awesome. You made dad proud. I especially pleased by the way you closed on attackers and worked the sideline to get the ball to the mids and front line. Work on stance during forcing (in case the winger is a lot faster than you- GET LOW,AND KICK IT IN TO HIGH!!), and you won't be beat.
Christine- A great first tourney! Great attacking, you had a chance to score. IT WILL HAPPEN! Shoot for the Low Corner, Far Post!!Shoot for the Low Corner, Far Post!Shoot for the Low Corner, Far Post!Shoot for the Low Corner, Far Post! Great wheels! work on staying square and forcing, and use your wheels to counter-attack!
Laura- Great effort- Great first goal, incredible second goal, and excellent corner kicks. Not a bad days work for being gone for six weeks. I want even more from you. Work on showing in the middle during a transition for passes from the outside mids. And mark the center-mids on goalie-kicks. Don't trail the play, lead the play-Rule the pitch!
Kelsey- Solid play in the middle at center-forward. You hustled and dominated play in the middle of the field. Attacking the stopper an sweeper (double team) opens up the field for your wingers for an outside pass and a shot on goal. Excellent penalty kick! Beautiful Second goal! Go for more! Work on fronting a defender during a long dribbling sprint talk to your outside wingers for give and go's. Use your fakes!!!
Caitlin- Great 4 games. Your fullback skills were excellent, and worked you passess to teammates. Great job. I saw you bump and blast people twice your size. Awesome. Work on an outside fake to give you more time to pass. You can use the same skills playing mid. AWESOMEEE!!!!

-Coach Ed

ThunderCats take Third In the Central Valley Magic Cup !!!
The Cats took third place in the Central Valley Magic Cup Tournament last weekend on August 12th and 13th, in 90 degree heat.
   In playing our first four games ever, this outcome is excellent. We played well, matched up well, and never-ever gave up. This tournament is a sign of good things to come.
   We started out fast against Placer and scored 2 goals in the first half (Eloise and Laura), but we played too soft in the middle in the second half and let the only two fast breaks in for scores. The second game we dominated the play and peppered the goal with shots, but none hit the net. The Burlingame Fire had elusive ball handlers on the outsides and worked counter attacks against the outside backs, and they put one goal in the net for the win. This created an interesting situation. The loss put us in a tie with Placer. We had to go to penalty kicks the next day.
    The penalty kicks were scheduled at halftime of the 8:00am game. Eloise was in the goal keeping for us. The shooters were (in order) Kelsey, Laura, Lauren, Marissa, and Elle, but Eloise was the first to be tested. El put her heels on the touchline, crouched low, ready to spring, but their first shooter was too good. She hit the net on the right side. Kelsey stepped to the ball and blasted her shot waist high in the left corner. Yes! It was Eloise's turn again. The second shooter stepped in and hit a screamer to El's left, but her fast hands were there for the save!!! AWESOME!!! We were up one. Our next shooter was Laura. She lined it up and mis-hit the ball to the keepers right. Keeper played the ball to the left but got her right foot on the ball. Darn! It was Eloise's turn again. The Placer shooter lined up, and rocketed the ball to El's left again-but diving hands were there! Eloise blocked a second shot!! Incredible! Now it was Lauren's turn. The lefty set up and pounded the net with authority! No problem! We were up by one! Again it was Placer's turn, and their shooter was up to the task, and hit the net. We were still up by one! Then Marissa readied herself in the penalty area, and calmly blasted an un-touchable shot in the left corner. Unbelieveable! Marissa's shot kept us ahead. Up came Placers last shooter. If she misses, we win. If she makes it, and our last shooter misses, we're still tied, and we do five more penalty kicks. Eloise dug in on the goal line, and crouched low. The Placer shooter hit an un-stoppable drive off the left post and it went in the goal. Elle was last. If she misses we're tied. She lined it up and shot the ball, the goalie dived right, and the ball sizzled up the middle under the goalies feet. We win the shootout!!! Wow.
    The shootout win gave us the opportunity to play the #1 team, the San Jose Flash. IN this game, WE PLAYED HARD. We never gave up. We had our chances, but just couldn't convert. I counted 6 fast breaks, one on one with their keeper, but we kept hitting the goalies hands. With more work I think we can do better. I know we can play...
The loss put us in the hunt for third place vs the North Valley Grass Sharks. Our posession game was working well and we scored twice in the first half against a powerful North Valley Team. The first was a beauty in the low corner by Kelsey, and the second was set up with unselfish team passing to a wide open McKenzie with a beautiful roof shot for our second goal. The true beauty of this goal wasn't just the finish, but it was the 7 passess it took to get the ball to McKenzie. It went like this: Lauren to Caitlin to Eloise to Caitlin to Danielle to Kelsey to McKenzie!!!Awesome!!!
   I'm proud and pleased of our effort of the first four games we've ever played. The medals and trophies are nice, but the experience we've just gained is PRICELESS.
   The thing that I am most proud of is how someone different stepped forward in each of the 4 games, and controlled their area of the field, and made awesome contributions. We played as a team. Congratulations Ladies!!! You deserve it!! GO CATS!!!

Team MVP's: Kelsey, Lauren, Caitlin, and Eloise.

"Class 3 Girls Under 11 Tryouts- TOTAL SUCCESS!"
We were fortunate to have 26 players try-out for the team. The criteria I measured of each of the candidates was Soccer skill level, natural athletic ability, and attitude. This was an extremely difficult process, so I invited University of Michigan centerforward Matt Schaeffer to evaluate all the players on his own for a non-biased second opinion. This worked perfectly. Matt identifed all but two players, and had listed the players ranking in almost the same order as myself. What I have left is the best 18 comp-players in town.

Monday, October 1
ThunderCats Take Second Place at the Mt. Diablo Classic!
The ThunderCats played four strong games and displayed precision midfield one touch passing, mixed with brilliant play from the back line, and relentless attacking, producing a 3 wins and a well played Championship game, before losing to the CVU Chaos 3 nil at the Ultramar fields.
   The Alameda Cybergirls clogged up the box and denied us a goal until late in the first half. Our midfield and outside backs controlled the game where we took and astounding 31 shots on goal. Kelsey wrongfooted the sweeper and buried the shot in the low right corner for the gamewinner. Neither of our goalkeepers (Eloise and Darien) touched the ball during the game.
   The El Dorado Badgirls were a rebuilding team that had a hard time equaling our speed and passing. Our strikers went into frenzy mode and produces an astounding 45 shots on goal. For Kelsey's awesome effort she scored the teams three goals for a hat trick!!! They came by way of a turn and blast (off the keeper's chest)and following the shot to put it away. The second goal came of a series of 6 passes (kerry and emily and dani) where Kelsey took a thru ball and finished past the keeper. The third came from a penalty kick for roughing inside the penalty box (Kelsey was high elbowed while shooting). Kelsey put the penalty in the low corner to complete the trick! AWESOME!!! The Goalkeepers touched the ball once during this game.
   The third game was an 8:00am eye-opener that featured the undefeated Livermore Elite Fusion. There were 1 point ahead in the standings and dominated their opponents in the prelims.
   The grass was wet, and penny sized mosquitoes were taking blood from myself and all of the players. In two minutes Kelsey pushed a thru ball between the twin sweepers and Daniela squeezed between them and streaked to the right post, burying the shot in the low left corner. Her second goal came in a similar fashion where Kelsey drew both sweepers to herself, and rolled off the angle pass to Dani. She went over the keepers head far post.Beautiful! For her hat trick, again Kelsey chipped a pass wide and Dani struck a 25 yarder at a tight angle and the ball sailed over the keepers head, into the far corner. Unbelieveable! There was still 15 minutes to go in the half!
Her fourth goal came in identical fashion to her second goal a driving run down the right side and a sailing ball over the keepers head!!! Dani=4 goals!!!Coming into halftime we were up 4 nil and the girls were beaming! We had taken an amazing 23 shots scored 4 goals and Eloise touched the ball twice.
    The second half featured our strikers. It was Kayla, Kerry, and Kiki's chance to score. Kerry made piercing runs doing give and go's to Kelsey, Kiki's outside move got her to the box where she took 5 shots on goal. Kayla surprised herself and beat the right back and blasted a shot on the inside post. The keeper made the save, but she made 2 more amazing runs with the right footed blast.
After a indirect penalty was called, the "Patty" play was called and was executed to perfection- Marissa pushed the ball to Kayla, it kissed her boot and rolled directly to Emily who blasted it into the lower left corner. It unfortunately was called back, and we were given a direct penalty kick on goal. Marissa took it and buried it in the lower left corner identical to Emily's shot. The sixth goal will be forever one of my favorites. We were again attacking the goal when a clearing ball was punched out of the box out to the 25-30 yard area. Dena, playing stopper, is responsible for the space between when we are in the attacking third middle. She closed on the ball and blasted a high sailing ball over everyone's heads, landing behind the keeper and hitting the back of the net. That was Dena's first goal ever! Recreation or competetive- First ever!!! It was a happy moment for us all.

This set us up to play in the championship game at 2:00. We had time to burn befor the game and about half the team was in the pool and then went to Marie Calendar's.
By game time everyone was at the field and ready. It was hot. Really hot and dry. Different from home. The refinery also left the air with a gas odor. The CVU Chaos was definitely the largest team we've faced, who has a nice mix of skill, speed, and strength. Our girls played a little on their heels for the first 10 minutes, before the Chaos scored. We got a little disorganized in the middle and their centerfoward made us pay. After that, we started to play. The main thing to remember is that skills always overcome speed and size. All three is deadly. We started to win more balls and posess and shoot to the point where we had 14 shots in the first half and we were matching their posession. But they scored again from a streaking right wing that struck a high shot over Eloise to find the back of the net. 7 minutes later the exact same thing happened again. 3-nil. The half came quickly and we pound ourselves in a big hole, in the heat.
The second half started and something interesting started happening- the girls started playing harder. Christine led the charge showing everyone that she never gives up. Her play picked up the whole team. Kelsey stepped up, McKenzie, Dani, Caitlin, Lauren, Elle, Dena, Emily, Kerry, Darien, Eloise, Laura, and Marissa, all played with a new purpose and more desire. The T-Cats fired 13 more shots on goal. Both outside mids made overlapping runs till their legs burned. Dena marked the centerforward but came off her for any 50-50 ball in her "space". Everybody played one notch up!
No more goals were scored for the rest of the day.
Final score CUV Chaos 3, ThunderCats 0.
They bested us, and we come away knowing that we never gave up, never packed the box, never stopped playing aggressive competitive soccer. A great weekend, with a result that I am proud of. -Coach Ed

ThunderCats Win Almaden Soccer Festival Tournament!
Almaden 1
2001 Almaden October Soccer Festival Champions!

The ThunderCats played four strong games and displayed strong midfield control, mixed with brilliant play from the back line, and relentless attacking, producing a tie, and 3 wins including a win against a fast and powerful San Ramon Storm team at the Championship game, at the Morgan Hill Soccer Complex.
Our first match against the Santa Rosa Hurricanes frustrating defense clogged up the box and denied us a goal despite the girls controlling the ball 75% of the time. Our midfield and outside backs controlled the middle where we took and 17 shots on goal, and many more outside the frame. Our goalkeepers (Eloise and Darien) touched the ball three times during the game.
                         The North Valley Grass Sharks are a good team that had a hard time equaling our speed and passing. Our strikers went into frenzy mode and produces an amazing 20 shots on goal. The first goal came from pure desire from Daniela dribbling past the goalie and putting it in the back of the net. This was after colliding with the sweeper and the left back fighting for the ball. Unbelievable! The second goal came via a blast from Christine that tipped the goalies hands and hit the back of the net. The ball was being rotated from Caitlin, to Laura, who rolled it off to a wide-open Christine. The one time shot probably felt like the keepers hands were hit by a baseball bat! A net ripper!
The third goal game through hard work and smart placement as Emily pushed the ball up the middle and led Kiki down the left side. Kiki cut back and centered the ball at the 6 on target to a wide open Kayla, and Kayla one timed a left footed shot that hit the side net- Sweet! Excellent work!
The final goal is 100% desire and was an unassisted goal. Kerry had been working her right back over with long runs and fast footwork. Off a diagonal roll from Kelsey, Kerry burned the right back again and went one on one with the keeper straight at the left post. A little fake kick to freeze the keeper, and Kerry had her first goal of the tourney. Awesome!

Los Gatos 4, North Valley 1

The third game was an 7:30am daylight savings start that featured the undefeated Burlingame Arsenal. The Arsenal is 6-0 in the Redwood league, and beat their Saturday opponents 5-nil, and 5-nil, and came into our game knowing that we played last year at District cup, where we tied 1-1. They were 1 point ahead in the standings and dominated their opponents- I knew we were in for a war.
The grass was wet, and the girls seemed loose warming up to Chumbawumba, and we seemed ready to play our best. The ball was kicked off by Arsenal, and 2 minutes and 48 seconds later, after a series of six consecutive touches, Arsenal scored. Uh-oh. Captian Marissia started yelling instructions to the troops and we kicked off. 13 minutes later a hand ball was called against Arsenal in the box and we were awarded a PK, which Kelsey's solid shot converted to the keepers right, to tie the score at 1-1. Nice! The equalizer!
Five minutes before the half, we were awarded an indirect kick from about 30 yards away after a tackle from behind. Marissa calmly strode up to the ball and smacked it over the keeper's head, for her second goal of the season, and the longest shot of the year. WOW!
The final goal came in the second half for Daniela where hard work and her skills helped her score a goal. McKenzie took a punt from the keeper and settled it , and passed to Kelsey in the middle. Kelsey tried to turn and blast, but got under the ball where it took a high bounce on the 18. Daniela arrived a split second before the keeper, and headed it over the keeper's outstreched hands to herself, finding herself standing in front of an open goal. Excellent left footed Finnish!
Outstanding Play:
Our defense played like their hair was on fire. Dena- As stopper, her responsibility is to mark the CF and own the "Space Between", and she did exactly that. Dena owns the circle! Our sweeper Marissa possibly played her finest game this year (so far). On one play, she got caught sheparding off balance, found herself 2 yards behind a striker at the 1/3 line. Ten steps later, she stole the ball cleanly before the 18. A Blueish Blur! Later, Marissa had tried to slide tackle, and missed the ball at midfield. The striker was off to the races toward our goal with a 5 yard head start. Lauren G. kicked in the afterburners, and caught her mark and stole the ball at the 18. Unbelievable! Elle played her most complete game. She forward marked, and blew by a forward to recover a thru ball that went past Marissa in the middle. Thats my Bubby!

Los Gatos 3, Burlingame 1

The 1:00 championship game featured bright overcast skies, almost muggy. The morning dew had dried up and the field was perfect and playable. Cliff brought a "Queen" CD, and played "We will we will Rock you", and the girls were loving it. Again, the team seemed looser when we warm up to music, and they go into their "Zen Soccer" mode. This year in the 4 tourneys we played in, we're been able to reach medal rounds in each, but never seemed to put it together for 60 minutes. I wondered if today was "THE DAY".
We won the toss and started with the ball. The kick off play "Juex Un", was perfectly executed and the game was on.
The pace of the game was played very high, and in games of this type, errant passes tend to happen, and long balls became the smart play, because both teams were overloading numbers, in the attacking third. Unfortunately, five minutes into the game, a handball in-direct foul was awarded to the Storm from about 30yards away outside the box on the left side of the pitch. Their center-mid (a tall girl easily 5 foot 6, took the shot. It sailed high and over Eloise's outstretched arms, inside the nearpost, for an early strike! Uh-ho. I thought this might wake the girls up, and it did. The pace of the game quickened, and for the majority of the 1st half we maintained possession and attacked building from the back, and staying active in the attacking third. The Storm worked give and go's on the outside, and used speedy wing to advance the ball towards our goal.
        With 5 minutes to go in the half Danika brought the ball down the left side and dropped it to McKenzie, who rolled it off to Kelsey, who squared a perfect set to Christine, who had fresh legs coming into the game. Christine one-timed the ball and blasted it from the 18, into the upper left corner to equalize! Sweet!

As the girls were coming off the field for halftime coach Mike said, "Alright, its 0-0! New game!" The second half started with the Storm controlling the ball with a series of back-passes and chips, but we countered their outstretched defense and began our possession game till we began controlling the middle, and were getting set shots and many chances. Dena controlled the middle, and the mids, and outside backs, started marking tighter. Little by little, we started winning more 50-50's, and Eloise, Emily, and Laura, had us switching back an forth, forcing their defense to constantly re-adjust. But our gradual take-over of possession never felt complete, because we missed so many chances.
        With two minutes to go, Christine, pushed a diagonal ball outside right to Kiki, who pushed it up twenty yards past midfield, she pulled back and squared a low ball to Kelsey. Being marked now by the sweeper, Kelsey rolled off a pass to herself, the sweeper made a stab, but it was too late. The sweeper slipped. Kelsey was already racing towards the keeper with no one within 10 yards. The keeper came out, and Kelsey went low corner, and followed the ball into the net. The screaming hurt my ears. And that was Julie and Maxine, and Mike!

        San Ramon kicked off, the whistle blew, and that was it. Less than a minute to spare.

Final score ThunderCats 2, San Ramon 1

The San Ramon Storm has a beautiful passing attack, and will continue to do well. Coach Steve Greenspan has done a great job with their skills, and girls understand the game.

            Hats off to the defense for only allowing 3 goals all weekend long. Our back line played with strength, and honor, and are truly the foundation of our club. One goal was an unstoppable PK, and another was a indirect, while the third was a result of good play on the Arsenal's part, and dis-organization at the beginning of the game. Take away the PK and the indirect, and you have one goal against in 4 games.
Our midfielders played their usual "Hair on Fire" approach, where if you have the ball, you better move it, or you're going to lose it. The endurance and toughness, mixed with attacking skills is fabulous to watch.
Our strikers played their opportunist/ blazing speed attacking game, and constantly fought off challenges for the ball, as well as having the presence of mind to find a teammate with space.

The ThunderCats became a good team this weekend, finding out, the only way to win a championship, is to never quit, never stop challenging, and to never panic. Every player on the team contributed to every win. It was a great, great weekend for the girls, with a result that the parents should be proud of, and one that I am extremely proud of.

    -Coach Ed

Coerver staff Ron Benjamin, Donald and Shawn, taught every move to beat an opponent in the book, and worked the moves with girls till everyone had it! Every one of the T-Cats attending demonstrated the moves for the entire camp, and were the dominant players attending (except for Carl Fries). Awesome!. Next year, EVERYONE ATTENDS. The Coerver guys are also willing to do an attacking camp for teams that we might do. For those that didn't attend, watch and imitate your teammates. If you need help, ask me. I want everyone to have equal ball handling skills. Keep practicing! - Coach Ed


"THE CAT FILES"- July 1st
Well- Where are we?
We're on schedule. When I get back from vacation, we'll start practicing at Fisher to get the team accustomed to the size of the pitch.
Foot-skills are improving thanks to the Coerver Camp. Lets keep it up! Using move to beat opponents set up clear passes and helps you to get to open space. I'd like the girls that didn't attend Coerver to watch your teammates and learn. Imitate. Watch. Imitate.
The two-touch passing in fast break fashion is coming along, and we've been working a lot on one-touch straight line passing, averaging 1000-2000 touches at each practice. Remember: the more touches you have, the more touch you have- the better you get.
I have the first cut at the playing roster and have a good idea of what positions you will be playing. I've determined this from what I see at every practice and how you practice. We'll keep doing DOG (Day Of Game) Drills and keep playing, and I'll keep watching. So don't be surprised if I change where you play.
    Tapes- If you finished the first tape and are tired of watching it, bring me your tapes, and I'll add the the second tape to the current one. Get the tapes to me!!!
    OUR PLAYBOOK- Read your playbooks. They will be TOP SECRET!!! For your eyes only!!!. They are not to be shared with friends or other teams (especially teams that we are competiting with).
So-keep studying your tapes, try all the moves, at home as well as at practice. Practice, practice, practice, and WE WILL BE A GOOD TEAM.

The CSYA Tournament Calendar is out!
This year's Tournament Calendar is out! Click on the CYSA banner and check it out!

Cats Finish in Second Place in League Play
The 2001 ThunderCats finished in second place to the undefeated San Jose Flash in District 2 play this season. This was a coming of age season where the girls really learned how to play the "game", as well as improve their own skills. Below is a brief description of each league game this year.
Game 1- TIE 0-0 / The girls played as well as you can play without finishing. (ARRRRH!). Bill's girls played extremely well with the same result. Well played.
Game 2- Win 5-0 / The X-treme played us very tough and the score was not indicative to the way they played. Our Cats matched the X-treme's effort for the win. A good team effort.
Game 3- Win 4-0 /We had an early morning game against the Fog who has a very big, very skilled, and very fast team. It was a very well played game.
Game 4- Tie 2-2 / Hats off to the Flash. They clearly played the best soccer I've seen them play- we we're lucky to come away with a tie. Our keeper (Eloise), played an incredible game, and kept the score at a tie.
Game 5- Win 1-0 / The Pride is a much better team than their record implies, and we were fortunate to come away with a win.
Game 6- Cancelled / We played 1/2 of the game in a dounpour and finished the the first half. During halftime, a lightning bolt hit the ground not far from Covington Fields. Both fields(our game and a BU11 game) were officially abandoned by the referees. We tried to reschedule on December 2nd, and was cancelled due to the big rainstorm that weekend. District cup was the next weekend, and we couldn't play the following weekend having a game against the Fog on 12/15, and a game against the GrassSharks on 12/16. Games during the week are impossible.
Game 7- Loss 1-2 / We had another battle with the Flash, and if you wanted to watch girls battling, this was a good one to watch. Ashley's fast break drop to Allegra was well timed and she beat Eloise to the far post. We countered with good passing and working a one touch shot by McKenzie for her 4th goal of the season. The game winner came by a fast break by Shaunna. The games against the Flash are always memorable, and the T-cats love the challenge of playing the best team in out league. But today was not our day.
Game 8- Win 2-0 / The Extreme played much stronger than the first match of the season, but our midfield came out to play strong today. Our first goal came by Kelsey's left footed blast, and Danika's fast break upper right corner shot was unstoppable. A well played game.
Game 9- Win 3-0 /The Fog Played us tough thru the first half and kept the score nil-nil. We broke thru in the second half with good pressure and passing. Cold but sunny.
Game 10- Win 3-0 /Our final game for this season versus the GrassSharks was going to be a big battle. The GrassSharks beat us in the district cup and went on to finish 3rd, so the girls knew that this was a big game. The field was in good shape with a few muddy spots, and Kelsey found one of them 5 minutes into the game and slipped a wet ball thru the keepers hands to barely cross the line for a goal. The second goal came 15 minutes later with a low cross to Danika covering the far post, who punched a sweet low shot in-stride to find the back of the net (just like we practice!). The Third and final goal of the year came off a left footed high corner shot from Daniela!. I've never seen Daniela finish a ball that well with her left foot! Our keepers (Eloise and Darien) showed poise, quickness off the line, and sure hands like they normally do. The back line played with Strength and Pride as they usually do(Marissa, Dena, Lauren, & Elle), and the mid-fielders (McKenzie, Christine, Laura, Darien, Caitlin, & Eloise)worked the middle like they have done so well thru-out the season. Our forwards(Kelsey, Kiki, Kerry, Kayla, Daniela, and Danika)ran their rear-ends off trying to push the ball down the field. But- the GrassSharks did'nt give up, and played us nil-nil in the second half, and continued to attack our goal relentlessy. Hats off to the GrassSharks and Coach Bill.

Congratulations to the Flash on a perfect finish, and to all of the teams in our district for a fun season. The girls are getting better!

Next on the agenda, the California State Cup in January.

ThunderCats Play in State Cup!
We have come far. VERY far.

But we didn't do as well as I hoped, but in playing we gained a few things we didn't have before.
In our second State Cup I went in with the hope of "a chance to advance". The teams that we played were diverse in both in athletic talent, and style of play and the games were as hard fought as I've seen. It was fun. It was maddening. The overwhelming satisfaction of a great defensive play was quickly erased by a bad pass. It went like this on and on. Consistancy is a thing not easily captured at this level. But we'll work on it.

We scored in the 7th minute against the Mia Hammsters and then went completely flat. they tied us 2 minutes before the half and the second half went no better. Flat, not winning balls, knocking what balls we did win out-of-bounds or to the other team! We ended up losing 3-1 and the girls played their worst game of the tournament.

   The second game was against the Bay Oaks Bombers who was the "seeded" team in our bracket. They played a 4-4-2, had BIG players and featured this fast striker named Maya (pure athlete).
She floated from side to side and I kept her solidly marked, but she still worked 4 chances, but we stopped all of them. I told the girls to not play soft, and to not let her run. Our girls were pumped. Our best chance was an overlaping right mid that crossed a roller at the six. The ball skipped across the mouth of the goal and all three of my strikers either missed or whiffed at the open net. We tied 0-0.
    Sundays game was against the Butte Diamondbacks. We dominated the first half and had 2 shots clang off the crossbar. We took about 10 quality shots off the backpass to mids and our stopper. Nothing went in. They had one fast break where our sweeper overcommitted, and our keeper came off the line and the forward chipped a heartbreaker over her head. That was the only goal. We had other chances, but couldn't find the net. The girls played their butts off, and even though we lost, the feeling was positive because we were pressing and attacking until the very end.

It was a good learning experience- In playing Bay Oaks, all of the practice hard marking came into play (big and athletic players), and in playing Butte we played in an urgent (but not panicky) fashion. And it was interesting to see the girls change from the first game flatness, to the final 2 games...their intensity was at an all time high and none of them wanted off the field! That was a first- it was nice to see.
A lot of the less experienced players grew and really showed that they belong, and some players showed the ability to deal with stronger, faster, and bigger players. We've got our work cut out.

All in all, I'd always be happier with wins, but everyone should be proud of all of our daughters, and pleased with their efforts.

Many thanks to the San Francisco Vikings Soccer Club for Hosting and reffing- The Polo Grounds were perfect, and the Beach Chalet Fields we're beautiful.

Coach Ed - Striker 1976- Nice Haircut?!
Guess Who?
Yellow and white striped jersey, yellow shorts, and yellow socks. Yikes!

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