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Get Directions to <b>RSC Lightning'96</b>Rochester Local Weather
RSC Lightning'96
Ken Hernandez
1460 W. University Ave
Suite 203
Rochester, Michigan
  Team News  

Monday, August 11
it's all about TEAMTeam camp is here! And with it, the beginning of another great season. Team camp is a special event on many levels. It helps establish a tone of work ethic and effort. It is a magnificent team bonding opportunity – we are not 16 players just showing up to play the game, we are one team. And, of course, there is the obvious benefit of improving technical and tactical skills as we learn from day to day.

Our camp will run 9:00am to 11:30am, Aug 11th-15th at Oakland Christian School, 3075 Shimmons Road, Auburn Hills. Oakland Christian is located at Shimmons & Dexter roads north of Walton and west of Squirrel (you can enter from either main road).

Dexter runs north off Walton Blvd, west of Squirrel Rd.
Shimmons Rd. runs west off Squirrel, north of Walton
Either one will lead you directly to the school.

Regular team training sessions will resume Monday, 18 Aug.
We will not have regular team practice sessions the week of team camp.


Monday, May 21
What is OFFSIDE?
What is Offside?Here is an outstanding (and handy) explanation of what does and what does not constitute an offside violation. Click Here to start the animated video or just click the picture of the linesman.



Thunder Training Log
click pic to download
view full size
Training Logs will be due to me at the 1st practice of each week. To download extra copies, click here or click on the picture.

Your rate and level of skill and development as a player is mostly up to you. I can show you HOW to become the best player you can be - but only YOU can make the decision to CHOOSE to become the best player you can be. If you commit yourself to the 20-30 minutes a day that I suggest, you WILL be well on you way toward that goal.

Go to the Pride Training Page for more details about the 1000 Touches Warm-up, the 1000 Touches Workout and the Touch Ladder. Go to the Safety Page for important information about proper warm-up, stretching, cool-down and why these thing are so very important to your health and safety.

Lightning Applies All The Heat 29 April 2007
070501 - maddie
Maddie attacks wide while Shannon prepares for the serve
RSSC Lightning 3 – BASC Heat 0

Lightning followed up on yesterday’s success by turning it up a notch and earning a shutout in a dominant performance against the visiting Bay Area Heat. Once again, great passing, vision, communication led to the excellent outing.

You players are looking and playing fantastic so far this season. Keep up the great work.


Thursday, May 31
Strong Comeback Earns Impressive Win
070531 - Maria vs Lobos
RSSC Lightning 2 – Lobos 1

Lightning traveled to Clarkson for the second league match against Lobos. The grass on the game field was uncommonly long which would make for a much slower game than normal. As in the first match Lobos scored first but Lightning remained unrattled and as they began to adjust to the field conditions, their usual great team play and communication begain to shine through and they established control of the match play and pace. Lightning equalized before halftime as Maria beat her defender to create a breakaway and made no mistake with the finish.

The game winner came in the second half on a lovely restart 20 yard out to the right of goal. MaryJo played the touch to Bella who served a textbook ball to the far post area where Shannon got on the end of it with a perfectly timed run to one-timed the ball home. Lightning kept the pressure on for the majority of the match and what chance Lobos might create were thwarted by the stubborn defense and the shot-stopping on Clary in the net.

It was another fine team win to keep the fantastic spring season going for this exceptional team.


Tuesday, May 15
The Wolf At Our Heels 12 May 2007
070512 - kari
RSSC Lightning 4 – LOBOS 2

Lobos came out strong today and gave Lightning a very strong challenge. Both teams played attractive attacking soccer and displayed excellent individual skill as well as great ball movement among the teams. Lobos struck first and scored early to take the lead. Lightning tied it up several minutes later and then pulled ahead 2-1. But before halftime Lobos drew level again and carried a 2-2 tied score into halftime.

Lightning came out for the second half, still looking strong and took great advantage of their opportunities. The go ahead goal came off a restart taken by Bella and served across the face of the goal and rang off the far post. Meanwhile, Kari who was attacking the far post in time with Bella’s service, knocked the rebounding ball directly out of the air into the back of the net for the score. The insurance goal Came from a Carley Harvey corner kick that was half cleared right back to Carley on the extreme right flank. Carley drove a low driven cross through the box and MaryJo, perfectly positioned on the far post coolly redirected the cross into the open net to finish the bang-bang play.

It was a very nice win on a fantastic full team effort against a good, strong opponent. EXCELLENT game girls. Keep up the great work.


Saturday, May 19
Heat Loss
RSCC Lightning 3 - BASC Heat 0

Lightning hit the road Saturday morning to Bay Area for thier second meeting of the spring. Different field, same result. The opponent were simply unable to keep pace with Lighining as consistant ball movement and attacking preasure kept Heat on their heels all morning.

Lightning tucked away three goals for a convincing win and head into the Pacesetter Invitational looking strong and playing well.

070519 - vs BASC Heat
All business on the field; all smiles off

News Flash 5 May 2007
070501 - taylor
RSSC Lightning 5 – FYSC Flash 2

It was a lean and trim Lightning roster that traveled to Fraser this weekend with 5 players out either sick or with previous commitments. But that did not rattle the team in the least. With Carley K back in goal for Lighting, Shannon, Bella, Kari, Maria, Taylor and KK took care of business on the field. Rotating the single sub every 2 & 3 minutes to keep everybody fresh, the team played with exceptional focus, creativity, and a wonderful combination of toughness and fineness. Use of support, switching the field, quick combination play, team communication – all these aspects of the game that make a team play great, were in evidence today.

It was Carley K, with excellent shot stopping and an uncanny accuracy in distribution (only 1 punt over half-field), it was KK patrolling the back with skill and confidence all game long, It was Bella, Kari & Maria partnering up with KK on defense in their turn and making the defense rock solid. And then those three with Shannon and Taylor up front passing, combining, attacking and creating havoc for the Flash defense and keeper.

Goals resulted in abundance and Flash seemed like they didn’t know what hit them. Two of my three favorite moments of the match though had nothing to do with the goals. The first was and amazing combination sequence started from KK in the back and then continued between Bella & Maria all the way up the right flank as they tic-tac-toed their way through the Flash defense – I think coach Sandi & I counted 6 one-touch & two-touch passing movements in that sequence which resulted in a corned kick for us. The second was Kari’s goal and the reason I loved that one so much was because of the pass that led to it – from way out to the right of goal near the endline and the ball was beautifully played at a back angle (just the way we worked on it last week!) and Kari, correctly in a great position was able to one-time it home thanks to that great pass. (I cannot remember who mad the pass though – let me know so I can write it here). But the single most memorable moment of the day (possibly the season so far) was when a Fraser player tried to send a long ball into our end but hit Kari square in the face from only 4 yards away (the ball was hit so hard that it rebounded 6 yards the other way!). If I had had more than an instant to digest the moment, I’m sure I would have began to wonder how badly she was hurt and asked the ref for permission to enter the field and check on her. But I didn’t have that amount of time to worry because even as the ball was bouncing off her face and heading the other way, Kari just started LAUGHING. And then she went and collected the ball and passed it across the goal.

Coach Sandi (who is a plenty tough player herself) just looked at me in amazement and said “Wow – now that’s tough.”

Yeah. Tough, creative, skilled, finessed, focused, technically strong, tactically solid, communicative – you girls were all that stuff today and more. I cannot praise you more highly for such a great outing. All I know it this: If I were the Fraser team, here’s what I’d be thinking… “Geez! If that’s only half their team, how in the world are we ganna be able to play against their entire team!?”

Well, we don’t need to worry about answering that question for another few weeks. Just for now, let’s keep up the fantastic work and get ready for this weekend’s homestand against Lobos and Grosse Pointe.

See you on the training fields.


Lightning Strikes Twice Against Berkley 28 April 2007
RSSC Lightning 2 – BYSC 1

Lightning took a well-earned victory from Berkley today to complete the home & home sweep. It was a tighter match today than last week’s wide open lots-of-goals affair. Lighting opened up the scoring with a laser of a shot that grazed off the crossbar and was redirected almost straight down to the ground… BUT it did cross the endline to count for the goal.

Berkley came back to tie it with a very nice goal of their own. Lightning once again carried play throughout the match and created numerous scoring chances, many of which went just wide – a function of those tiny little hockey-sized goals. The game winner came from a converted PK. Carley K., playing as a passcard guest from Coach Dani’s team, chalks up her first win in her first appearance as Goalkeeper for Lightning White.

Two goals to take the victory today. Two strong wins to open up your season and take the spring series against Berkley. Fantastic Job Girls! Tomorrow we’re back home against Bay Area. Can't wait.


Hat Trick Does The Trick 13 May 2007
070512 - bella v gpsa
RSSC Lightning 3 – GPSA Breakers 1

Grosse Point Breaker and Lightning both entered the match today undefeated so this promised to be an exciting game and great competition. That proved to be the case through the 1st half as both team created their own chances but neither was able to break the ice. The 1st half highlight came when Breakers were awarded a penalty kick halfway through the half. Bella was in goal and settled onto her line to face the shot. There was nothing half-way about the Breaker player’s shot. It was driven well and with force. But Bella was equal to the task, getting both hand up and behind the ball to deflect it up and over the bar to deny Grosse Pointe the early lead. The half ended in a scoreless tie.

That great save was only the harbinger of the amazing day Bella was to have. Early in the 2nd half coming out of the back, KK spotted her with space up the right side of the field and fed her the ball. A couple of touches into space and then Bella took the shot from outside the penalty area and bent it over the keeper into the far side panel. Her second goal came several minutes later. Grosse Pointe continued to press and made it a one-goal game with about twelve minutes left. Shannon was then assigned to man-mark the Braekers’ go-to player and deny her any further opportunity to possess the ball or get shots on goal. She performed the task to perfection. With that particular need addressed, Lightning began to have a bit more success again with ball possession and movement. Then with about 5 minutes left, the insurance goal sealed the deal as Bella completed her hat trick to top off a milestone performance.

Great Job everybody. Defense, your rock solid outings are the catalyst behind our ability to attack with force. And all of you, you keep getting better game by game in all aspects. The ball movement and vision you are playing with this spring is at an entirely different level than even last fall. Your communication is great and it is all resulting in you playing the best team soccer yet.

Keep up the great work.


Lightning Rules the Storm 22 April 2007
RSSC Lightning 5 – BYSC 3

Lightning opened up the spring season with a convincing win over Berkley Storm. Passing was sharp, and the Lightning attack was potent. Defense was solid while the primary defenders were taking care of business. Once we started switching things around however, Berkley broke through to tie up the score 3-3. Fortunately, once adjusting back to the roles best suited for the players, Rochester put the hammer down and finished the deal with two more goals and no more quality chances allowed to the opponent.

Great Job girls. Way to open the season up.


060909-petoskey autumn blast logo
Tuesday, September 12

RSSC Lightning '97: 4 - Rush Swoosh (Northville):    1
RSSC Lightning '97: 4 - Birmingham Springboks Green: 1
RSSC Lightning '97: 2 - Plymouth Lightning 97 Green: 1
RSSC Lightning '97: 4 - Birmingham Springbok Black: 0 (Semi-Final Match)
RSSC Lightning '97: 7 - Plymouth Lightning 97 Green: 0 (Championship Match)

Goal Celebration
Rochester's U-10 girls soccer team, RSSC Lightning '97, won the Autumn Blast Soccer Tournament in Petoskey, Michigan over the September 9, 2006 weekend. They started the tournament of the 12-team field on Saturday with a 4-1 victory over Rush Swoosh (Northville, MI). Their momentum and enthusiasm carried over to later that day as Lightning beat Birmingham Springboks Green 4-1.

They came out charged on Sunday as they defeating Plymouth Lightning 2-1 in a closely conteted match, and Birmingham Springboks Black 4-0. RSSC girls won the championship game later that day in a rematch against Plymouth Lightning 7-0.

I am so proud of you girls. You played absolutely beautiful soccer this weekend. It was great fun to watch and I know it must have been great fun to create. All your hard work is showing. Your work ethic, your intensity, your individual skills, your team movement ?all of it were spot on all weekend long.

I think?no, I KNOW a big reason for your victory in that last match was your fitness level. This is where your daily individual work is paying off. Now (I hope) you can see where all that bouncing comes into play. Your strength, endurance, touch and concentration (all factors that are being worked on if you are doing your homework as suggested) all stayed very sharp as the opponent's faded. That Plymouth team is a pretty good team, as they showed in our first match-up. But by the time that 3rd game of the day came around, I'm certain that fatigue was a major factor in their difficulties keeping pace with us. But because you are dedicating the 15-30 minutes every day to your touches and skills, your fitness came into play and you were prepared and were able to stay far more fresh and alert as the minutes piled up.

There is not a whole lot more to say, except keep it up. I love coaching you and I am very proud of you.

See you later this week.

060909-troy city classic
Monday, September 4
Season Opens with Troy City Classic
RSSC Lightning '97: 3 - Future Stars Blue: 2
RSSC Lightning '97: 0 - Troy Elite Red 1:
RSSC Lightning '97: 4 - Canton Quest Blue: 0
RSSC Lightning '97: 0 - Future Stars: 1

RSSC Lightning '97 opened up thier season with a runner-up placing at the Troy City Classic tournament over the Labor Day weekend.

The first macth-up was with a very strong Future Stars team. Lightning conceded an early goal, but held off the rest of the half. In the second half Lightning score 3 unanswered goals before allowing the Stars to score one more to pull within one. But that was it for the match. 3-2 victory for Lightning.

The second game was very flat and RSSC never got into the groove of it. Troy score an opportune goal and that was it for the game. 1-0 loss.

Sunday morning Lighning seemed to learn the lesson about ahowing up to every match and giving full intensity and effort. They rolled to a convincing 4-0 win over Cant Quest.

The finals featured a rematch between Lightning and Future Stars. It was a magnificent game both way with both teams very strong on defense and not allowing many chances. Unfortunately for Lightning, with a mere 10 seconds left in the match, Stars took advantage of a defensive gap and finished the shot to steal a 1-0 win and the championship standing.

Nonetheless, it was an excellent weekend for us. When we were on our game, we were very good. Hopefully the lessons regarding lapses in attention are learned and we can build on the strengths we a displaying.

Great job girls! Next weekend... road trip!


Thursday, May 18
End Of Season Tournament
Novi Jaguars 97 are organizing and hosting an End of Season Tournament for the best teams of the '97 age group in the tri-county area. I've called the Novi caoch and accepted the invitation.

The tournament field will be comprised of teams from the first divisions of the 3 major select soccer leagues in the Metro Detroit area - Western Suburban Soccer League (WSSL), Michigan Youth Soccer League (MYSL), and Michigan Champions League (MCL).

The tournament will take place on June 10,2006 and run from 9:00am to 5:00pm. The format will be a single elimination tournament (16 teams); however each team will be guaranteed two games (consolation game). Every player will receive a plaque and the winning team will receive individual player trophies and the tourny champ will receive a 4-foot championship trophy.

The tournament will run from 9 am-5 pm. Game schedule is being finalized.

This is going to be a blast! Keep up the great work girls.

Coach Ken.


Thursday, May 18
Pacesetter Tournament Schedule Set
Click for Autumn Blast home page

Our schedule for 2006 PSI has been set.
game #1 - Saturday, 27 May, 11:15am - field 19
game #2 - Saturday, 27 May, 5:30pm - field 19
game #3 - Sunday, 28 May, 8:45am - field 19
game #4 - Sunday, 28 May, 3:00pm - field 19

Maps and field layouts are also available on the Tournament Website.




Monday, October 31
Mujeres Que Corren Con Los Lobos
RSSC Lightning 6 – LOBOS 0

team captain, BellaLightning capped off an outstanding season against the visiting Lobos Sunday with and equally outstanding outing. Once again, the goals came from all directions (four different players scoring – even more assisting). The highlight of the match (but how do you choose among them?) may well have been the first goal served in by Maddie from the right wing. Maria, with a brilliant run into the space to get on the end of it, volleyed it from knee-high with her left foot to bang it home into the side panel. Very lovely.

Bella & Maria combined once more in net minding duties to earn the team shutout. Defense was key once again as LOBOS were unable to sustain any sort of attack nor, indeed, to even get shots off that posed any real threat.

Girls, you have put together just a magnificent season for yourselves. All your hard work in training and on your own has shown up all season long on the game field. The wins are nice. But that is just the byproduct of the real success, which is this – you are learning how the game works and you are playing lovely soccer. The things I see when I watch you play are how I measure your success:

it's all about TEAMDeft touches.
Great passes to feet or to space for a teammate to run onto.
Eyes up to look for options BEFORE you have the ball.
Looking for each other off the ball.
Moving for each other off the ball.
Using the whole field and not just the bit between the goalposts
Talking to each other. Giving each other information.
Ball movement.
Take-on moves.

When I see these things, THAT’S when I say to myself “these girls are succeeding”. And I have seen a lot of that this season – and more & more of it as the season has progressed. And THAT is why you should be very proud of yourselves, girls. You have worked very hard. Hard work begets success. And yours is well earned.

Great job.

Great team.

Excellent well done. I’m very proud of every one of you.

it's all about TEAM

Sunday, October 23
Getting To The Pointe
RSSC Lightning 2 - GPSA Breakers 1

Michelle attacks down the wingLightning traveled to Grosse Pointe Saturday to play the Breakers. Rochester came out a bit flat in the first half and didn’t create as many opportunities as normal. The shots we did take were going wide of the posts until we had a chance to adjust to those teeny-tiny little hockey goals they use down there. Breakers took advantage of their best chance in the half and were able to poke one through in a goalmouth scramble and came off at halftime carrying a 1-0 lead.

For the second half, the referee decided to show up and Lightning decided to get their heads in it. We started to find our groove, moving the ball around with more purpose and started getting in behind defense to create nice chances. At the same time, we buttoned down the defense a bit and did not give the Breakers a lot to work with.

As the half progressed and chances were created, the goals seemed inevitable. Finally, half way through the half, the equalizer came off the left foot of Maddie S. And then 5 minutes later Syd The Kid came through with the go-ahead goal. Breakers picked up their pace and urgency of play after the go-ahead goal was scored, but were denied by the defense and by an outstanding game-saving stop by Carly late in the game.

I like come-from-behind wins because they really test the character of a team. It’s one thing to build a lead and hold onto it (and don’t get me wrong – given the choice, that is certainly the way I’d rather have things go). But it takes a special fortitude and determination to climb out of a deficit situation. And I really like the way you players kept your heads, got down to business and worked your way back into the match for this well-earned victory.

Great job girls. Keep up the hard work.

Monday, October 17
Grosse Pointe Blanked
RSSC Lightning 3 – GPSA Breakers 0

Mary Jo takes the shotOn a brisk and cool autumn afternoon, Lightning continued their team oriented play as five different players contributed to the three goals and two assists delivered this match.

Team communication continues to improve and use of support was much more in evidence today than at any point of the season thus far. In particular, it was very good to see us finally using the goalkeeper as an option to relieve pressure when facing our own goal. I have been waiting for weeks to finally start seeing this aspect of play. Nice job! The two traits that Lightning have consistently shown a great aptitude for, ball movement and player movement off the ball, continued to show up all over the field among all the players.

On top of excellent possession and a strong attacking game, Lightning were absolutely on form defensively. Shots and chances at goal were limited to precious few for the Breakers, and behind the strong goalkeeping of Bella and Kari, the team earned their second league shutout of the season.

Every match has shown growth and improvement, girls. It is a result of your hard work and dedication to training. Let’s keep focused. We play Breakers again this weekend, so you know they’ll be gunning for us. Let’s head on down to Grosse Pointe and take care of our game. The rest will take care of itself.

Well done, girls. I’m very proud of you.

Sunday, October 23
Troy Under Seige
RSSC Lightning 6 - TSC Blue 0

Carly plays the through passLightning have really had Troy’s number this season. And in our 3rd and final meeting this autumn, that pattern still held.

Lightning came out strong, focused and ready to play today and really dominated all facets of the match en route to a convincing 6-0 victory. All elements of the game looked good today. Passing choices and creating passing options continued to improve. The take-on skills and moves you’ve been working on were in evidence throughout the match.

And once again, goals and assists were spread out amongst the entire roster – the ultimate hallmark of teamwork. I love how all of you work so hard to do your part, but how you also rely on, and trust, and allow each other to do their part as well so that the TEAM can succeed as a whole.

It reminds me of one of my all time favorite quotes: "It is amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit." - Chuck McMann, Head Coach, McGill University.

I love that quote. And I love this team because this team embodies that quote.

Great job girls. Keep working hard. Keep working for each other.

Monday, October 10
Gator Raid
Sat: RSSC Lightning 2 – PSG Gators 1
Sun: RSSC Lightning 3 – PSG Gators 2

Shannon scored 2 goals SundayThis was the weekend both teams had circled on thier calendars. Both teams have been watching each other closely and have been impressed with the other. A late scheduling adjustment so that each team could attend the Global Tourny two weeks ago created a home & home weekend series for us and heightened the anticipation of the meeting that much more.

In two excruciatingly close games, Lightning edged out Gators by one goal each day. This was by far the most enjoyable and exciting soccer this team has been a part of so far this season. Both teams showed excellent skill, teamwork and determination.

There is no way to single out any given performance, because every player on the roster contributed mightily to the teams success this weekend. Team captain, Bella and Maria gamely stepped up to handle goalkeeper duties each day. Defense was solid as Carly & Emary were joined by Sydney, Kari and Maddie S. (who also contributed Saturday’s two goals by attacking out of the back) to keep Gators’ attacking chances to a minimum. Shannon (2 goals Sunday), Bella, Mary Jo (1 goal Sunday), Michelle and Maddie H., and also Bella, Maria & Kari in their turns up top all worked incredibly well to keep the ball moving and create excellent chances. The end result was 5 goals over the weekend against a very good defensive team that had only given up 2 goals the entire season! THAT is great team work.

Shannon & Mary Jo turn back this threatThis was just a magnificent job by all of you. Gators played great as well and the score line could easily have been reversed either day - and I would be just as proud of you if they had been. Because you played two great games this weekend. And the measure of your success is NOT if you win or lose the a given game, but HOW you played. When you play to your own highest potential, you are succeeding. When you bring the individual skills and team play to the game field that you work so hard at on the practice filed and on your own, you are succeeding. When each individual player contributes significantly to the team's overall performance the way all of you did this weekend, you are succeeding. And that is exactly what you did this weekend.

But on top of all that, this time ‘round at least, we also were fortunate enough to pick up the “W’s”. That is well. Because they were hard fought and excellent-well earned. So these wins ought to be extra special for you.

Keep up the hard work girls. The rewards for all you hard work is showing up in how you are playing the game. And let’s NOT lose our focus as the back half of the autumn season comes our way. You have worked hard to put yourselves into a good position. Let’s not waste that hard work by losing focus now.

Great job.

Sunday, October 2
Blue Day For Troy
RSSC Lightning 8 - TSC Blue 0

Maddie attacks up the wingLightning put it all together Sunday as they carried play the entire match through against Troy. All aspect of the game were clicking, including corner kick restarts which accounted for a lovely goal. After a squirrly first half yesterday, defense came out focused from the start and were rock solid the entire match.

Ball movement was very good, as was team communication. This was just an overall excellent outing for the Lightning girls.

Afterward, the team stayed to cheer on our sister team RSSC Thunder'97 who played Waterford Warriors to a very exciting 3-3 draw.

Great job everybody. Keep up your hard work. Next week we face a very talented and strong Gators team twice in a home & home weekend series. This will be a very big weekend for both teams. Keep working hard and keep your focus on improving yourself every day.

Saturday, October 1
Stars Fade
RSSC Lightning 5 - GSSC Star 3

Maddie wins the ballGenesee took advantage of early mistakes to take the lead twice in the 1st half on Saturday. But Lightning re-focused and minimized further mistakes and breakdowns in the second half and surged ahead 4-2. Star pressed hard as time was winding down and tallied one last goal to draw within one - but that would be all. A last second goal for Lightning was disallowed by the referee who blew his whistle while the ball was in the air and on the way into the net. But I don't care what that referee has to say about it. That is a goal by any reasonable measure. Final score 5-3.

A good strong come-from-behind win for Lightning. It is good to learn that we can play and come back under pressure. As with any situation, it is just a matter of focus. Just playing simple and fundamental soccer will get the job done. Good job, girls.

Monday, September 26
Global Trotters
Emary hangs tough on defenseLightning’97 bounced back this weekend with determination and energy to claim championship standing of the Global Invitational tournament.

Saturday, 24 Sept
RSSC Lightning 3 – Novi Jaguars Green 2

It was a very even match against Novi. Rochester were playing well, but so was Novi. The difference in this match was finishing our chances. And not allowing Novi to finish theirs – at least not as many. But it did come down to the wire, as Novi scored their second goal to get within one with about 7 minutes left. Lightning held on though, and came away with the 3-2 win.

RSSC Lightning 3 – Canton Quest 3
It was the tale of two halves. The 1st belonged to Canton. Quest showed very good skill and ball movement and broke us down several times early. With the forwards not dropping & tracking the opponent early or quickly enough, Quest took the early lead 3-1. At halftime we adjusted our playing style a little and for the first time this season we played with 3 in the back and 2 forwards. The adjustment was enough to slow down Canton’s attack, and then with that need taken care of, we were able find some attacking chances of our own. And so, scratching and clawing, we pulled our way to within one goal… and then found the equalizer to earn the draw. A tough and well earned tie (this was one of the good ones).

Sunday, 25 Sept
RSSC Lightning 3 – Ann Arbor Arsenal 0

Kari puts the moves onTo think back on last Sunday and then to look at this Sunday. It was like night and day. Last week we came out slow, unfocused and half-hearted. Today we exploded onto the field - and then only got stronger from there! Everything was clicking during this match. Ball movement was fantastic. We were making great use of support and switching the point of attack. The defense was stellar. Our starting defenders, Maddie H, Carly & Emary, were working the principles of defensive shape to perfection – one always stepping, the other tucking in and supporting. It was beautiful to watch. In the second half as Kari & Maddie S took their turns in the back, the quality of the defense remained rock solid.

Communication was active, passes were crisp and everybody was moving both on and off the ball for each other. This was truly a beautiful game to watch. Ann Arbor never were able to get anything going against us and in the end, Lightning walk off with a 3-0 victory.

RSSC Lightning ’97 – 2005 Global ChampsAnd with the victory, came championship standing, as Canton, who also entered their 3rd match 1-0-1, earned a tie against Novi, which put us top of the table outright, without having to resort to tie-breakers.

It’s been a fantastic start to the autumn for Rochester Lightning. 4 tournaments, 2 championship standings, 1 runner-up standing, a 9-3-1 start, and only one real stumble along the way – which we seem to have learned from. Great job girls. I’m very proud of you and all the hard work you’re putting in.

Keep up the great work.

Sunday, September 18
Star Struck
RSSC Lightning 3 - GSSC Star 3

AttackingLightning played Genesee Start to a disappointing 3-3 draw this afternoon. We came out less focused and less intense than has been usual and it showed. For, although we did carry play and control most of the match, the sense of urgency seemed to be lacking. The result was promising attacks sputtered out and quality chances that we failed to finish.

We do take a point away from the contest, so that’s a good thing. But there is no question, we did not play up to our potential today. As far as ties go, there are good ties and there are bad ties. This wasn’t one of the good ones. But that’s ok. We will take the lesson this match has to teach us, and use it to improve. We have another tournament coming up this weekend to put that improvement to work and get back on track.

Keep working hard Lightning.

Monday, September 12
Lightning Have An Autumn Blast In Petoskey
Lightning packed their bags and took their show on the road this weekend to the beautiful Michigan North. With great determination and heart, Lightning’97 fought and battled against their bigger, older opponents and in the process claimed runner-up standing in a talented u-10 pool.
Tunnel Vision
Round-Robin Play:
GRASA Magic'96 (Grand Rapids) 8 - RSSC Lightning'97 0

Lightning opened up at 7:30 Saturday morning against an incredibly strong team from Grand Rapids. Magic were to take the championship for the age group. They were a big strong and fast team. To play such a high quality u1-0 team was a very good experience for Lightning so as to see how much we can raise our own level in just the next year.

SCOR'96 (Rockford, MI) 2 - RSSC Lightning'97 4
Saturday evening, Lightning played a strong match against Soccer Club Of Rockford and walked off with a convincing 4-2 voctory.

Post-GameRSSC Lightning'97 5 - NSA'96 (Northville) 4
Heading into Sunday’s match against Northville both teams knew that this was a must win either team to advance to the finals. Northville came out strong and scored 2 early goals. This team, however, is learning very quickly all about character and determination. In the second half, Lightning scored 3 unanswered goals to take the lead. Down the stretch, the game was a nailbiter as Northville drew level once, and then again after we scored our 4th goal. Finally, with only about 2 minutes left, Lightning put home the game-winner and claimed a huge upset win against a u-10 Northville team that had assured the Grand Rapids coach that they would see them in the finals.

Autumn Blast Championship Game
GRASA Magic'96 10 - RSSC Lightning'97 0

Well, what can you say about playing an extremely good team? We walked into a buzz-saw for the Championship. Grand Rapids had only gotten better as the weekend went along, winning their other two round-robin matches 9-0 and 10-0. And they did not lose their focus against us in the least. Magic continued their strong play and rightly won the match.

But that is not the story. WE PLAYED GREAT! Against 3 older, bigger and stronger teams we played fantastic all weekend long – even those matches we lost. The Grand Rapids coach had wonderful things to say about you girls. And so do I. I love everything about this team so far. You are playing with great passion. You are putting your growing skills and knowledge to work. You are improving with each outing.

And for your efforts look what you’ve accomplished so far:
A semi-final showing at Dearborn, being eliminated by the eventual champion.
A first place showing at Troy. Even though Troy doesn’t hand out trophies at your age group, yours was still the best performance among 10 teams with a 4-0 record, and 22 goals-for and only 3 goals-against – that’s pretty amazing.
And a Runner-Up standing here at Petoskey to claim your first-ever piece of hardware (and outstandingly well-earned at that!).

2005 Petoskey Autumn Blast Runners-Up

I couldn’t be more proud of you, girls. And the reason I’m so happy for you about this weekend’s result is that you’ve truly earned it. Every player will get to keep the trophy at home for a week (taking a cue from the NHL). After that, we’ll have it placed in the RSSC trophy case.

So now we turn our focus to league play. We have Global tourney in two weeks, but before that we have league matches this weekend against Lobos and Star. The tournament have been fun. But let do remember what tournaments are for. They are tools we use to prepare us for the league season. So, yes, we’ve done well. But let’s make sure we put all that good work to use by putting it all together now when it matters.

Great job everybody. Let’s keep it up.

Saturday, September 17
Lightning open the leages season with road win
RSSC Lightning'97 6 - LOBOS 2

Sydney serves up a corner kickLightning opened up the league season on the road with a very strong showing against LOBOS. Constant pressure and take one skills produced a 6-2 result. Goals and assists came from all over the roster and Bella & Carly shared goalkeeper duties.

Monday, September 5
Lightning Strikes in Troy
Lightning strung four brilliant games together this weekend to claim top standing in their age group at the Troy City Classic. Rochester went 4-0 on the weekend with over half the roster contributing with goals, even more with assists, solid defensive play and great turns in goal taken by five different players.

RSSC Lightning 3 – Waza 2
Carly, Emary & SydneyThe first contest of the tournament would prove to be Lightning’s strongest. Play was pretty even in the first portion of the game. But as the first half progressed, the girls started hitting stride and tallied two goals. Waza answered with a goal of their own to make it a 2-1 game at halftime. In the second half, Lightning scored early to give themselves a cushion that would prove crucial as Waza scored one more and continued to press in search of the equalizer. But Lightning rose to the task, denying the equalizer and taking away a well-earned 3-2 victory.         

RSSC Lightning 10 – Bloomfield Force 1
The second match of the afternoon featured a game against our very dear friend Taylor Lambouris and her new team Bloomfield Force. This was an amazing performance because every five or ten minutes of the contest, Lightning seemed to push the level of their play up a notch higher. At the start, it was pretty even as both teams were moving well and working hard to win the ball and move the ball. But after the first goal, thing really seemed to pick up for Rochester and Force seemed to start playing a bit on their heels. Things just snowballed as the game went along and Lighting kept increasing the pressure more and more. As I said, it seemed that every few minutes, as the confidence and awareness of the players continued to grow, the level of play kept rising in kind.

Syd the KidIt was a masterful showing and very possibly an epiphany game – or what I often refer to as “bicycle moments”. That being the moment where the players make that leap from knowing in their head what can be done only because they seen it done or been told about how it can be done, to really understanding and internalizing the thing and making it a part of them. And just like learning to ride a bike, once learned, it there forever. Time will tell if this is true, but this could be the game I look back on at the end of the year and say “there is where it really started”.

RSSC Lightning 5 – Genesee Star 0
Sunday against Genesee Star, Lightning picked up where they left off Saturday offensively, and tightened up their game defensively to walk away from the day with no goals allowed. Five goals and another solid performance put Rochester one game away from a perfect weekend. Passing, individual ball skills, team communication, defensive responsibility – all of it was being put to good use. Lightning carried play the whole way through and the result was never in much doubt.

RSSC Lightning 5 – TSC Blue 0
TeamworkThe final match against Troy very much mirrored the previous match with all the same strong work ethic and skill being brought to the field by this special group of players. And as it should be when hard work and good skills are combined with full effort and focused attention, Lighting emerged from this match the winning team again, and with this victory, the top team in the age group.

After the tournament, Lightning all gathered at the Cerny home for a cookout and outside theater night. It was the perfect way to wrap up a perfect weekend.

Girls, you cannot imagine how pleased and proud I am of how you are coming along. I love the work you are giving at your training sessions. I love the effort you are putting in everyday at home. I love your attitudes and the way you are bringing the lessons from training onto the game-field. I hope you are seeing how much all your hard work pays off. It’s still very early, but keep putting in this sort of effort into everything you do, and I promise this will be an amazing year for you.

Great job EVERYBODY!!!

Next up – Petoskey.


Monday, August 29
Great Weekend at Dearborn Invitational
Lightning opened up their 2005-2006 season in strong fashion at the Dearborn Invitational. On deck for Saturday were 2 games.

Maddie S. scores one of our 10 goals this weekend

The first game of the year was against Saline Sting. From the very start Lightning carried play and never relinquished control of the game. Passing was crisp. Communication was great. Players were using take-on moves and ball skills and players were looking to all portions of the field for opportunities. Rochester scored two early goals to establish control before giving one up about halfway through the half. Lightning bounced right back with two additional goals before halftime and sealed the win in the second half with two more. Maria Zandi and Kari Lewis combined in goal for the 6-1 win.

Livonia United were next up in the afternoon. Lightning came out a little slow for this match and struggled with the crispness and speed of play displayed in the first match. We had difficulty clearing defensively and it cost us several times. But despite our troubles, we were able to craft some nice attacks in certain stretches of the game and tally 4 more goals to edge out United 4-3. Emary and Bella shared Goalkeeper duties this match.

Sunday’s match was exciting because both Lightning and Sunday’s opponent, Livonia Meteors, entered this last round-robin match with two wins and no losses, so we were fighting for the right to move on to the Championship Match later that day.

Rochester Heart! Rochester Pride!Lightning once again showed that speed and effort displayed in the first match and were matching Meteors step for step as the match progressed. But although we were playing well (and we were), this meteor team was a far strong opponent than we had yet faced… and they were playing well too. Late in the first half, Livonia got their break and broke the scoreless tie to give themselves a 1-0 halftime lead. The second half was just as hard working, just as sharp, and just as exciting as the first. We had our chances, but Livonia were up to the task and kept the scoresheet clean. Livonia popped in their second goal with about 7 minutes left. With five minutes left, coach ken decided to pull Maddie S. back onto the field from her goalkeeping turn in an effort to try to steal a quick goal or two late. During that changeover, Livonia pounced on the chance to score another last goal while we were still getting sorted. The third goal totally counts against the coach, not the team. Kari Lewis and Maddie Schupbach and, late in the match, Maria, each gave outstanding turns in goal.

Livonia would go on later that day to win the Championship game. So we lost to eventual champion – that’s not so bad. But even more importantly, we PLAYED very, very well against the eventual champion – and that’s GREAT. We had two brilliant games, and even in the one game we struggled, we found a way to get the job done.

Girls, I am so proud of you and the effort you put into this weekend. You’ve been working very hard for a month, and this weekend you put that hard work to use. This is a lot to build on. And if you keep working this hard, and if you keep bringing that work rate and effort to the game field, it is going to be a very special season indeed. Well done all of you.

Next weekend: Troy City Classic. Let’s get to work.

Wednesday, August 10
Good work this week everybody. Take the weekend off.

Coach K

it's all about TEAMTeam camp is right around the corner and with it, the beginning of another great season. Team camp is a special event on many levels. It helps establish a tone of work ethic and effort. It is a magnificent team bonding opportunity – we are not 12 players just showing up to play the game, we are one team. And, of course, there is the obvious benefit of improving technical and tactical skills as we learn from two of the coaches (Joe Carolan & Gordon Gardiner) I trust the most.

Our camp will run 9:00am to 11:30am, Aug 1st-5th at HART MIDDLE SCHOOL, 6500 Sheldon Road. Hart is located on the west off Sheldon just north of Tienken.

Regular team training sessions will begin Monday, 8 Aug.
The practice schedule has been updated for your reference. Note also, we have been assigned this autumn to train at Hart Middle school. Map & Directions are now in the Location page.

Game Schedule Change
Game Time for 16 May vs. SCSC Crush at Delia Park has been changed back to 6:00pm (5:15 field time).

Tryouts for the 1990 age group (next year's u-15) will be Saturday, 19 June & Sunday, 20 June 2004. 2:00-4:00 both days. Tryouts will be held at Borden Park.

Thunders' April Birthdays
Thank you, Coach Gordon!
Merideth    (Apr 1)
Christina T. (Apr 10)
Lisa          (Apr 10)

Happy Birthday girls. We love you!!!

Saturday, December 20
Special Christmas Greetings
Merry Christmas! Thunder wish you all a very Merry Christmas. And very special holiday wishes to Sgt. Dave Wandoff and all our troops serving away from home.

Dave is one of my fellow coaches at Adams High School, head coach of the varsity swim team. He was called to active duty in January last year right in the middle of his swim season and has been serving since last February in Iraq with his unit, the 79th MP Co. who’s two-fold mission is combat support and humanitarian aid.

Dave is a good man and a great friend, guided by duty and serving with honor. Our prayers and good wishes go out to you, buddy. We miss you and we're proud of you. Be safe and know that a warm welcome is waiting for you here back home.

from the 2003 Thunder training shirt

INDOOR SCHEDULE - updated for 3rd session
Oakland Yard

Monday, November 3
DRAGONSLAYERS!; Thunder Roll to Undefeated Season
RSSC Thunder 3 – Grosse Pointe Dragons 0
Goal Celebration
It rained, and drizzled and misted and sprinkled all day long… and this team has always LOVED rainy, drizzly, misty, sprinkly days for playing soccer. Last week’s match was a great example of that. So was yesterday.

Thunder capped off a brilliant season yesterday with their 6th season shutout on a wet, muddy, puddle-stewn field against GPSA Dragons. The victory improved Thunder’s record to 6-0-2 in league play and sealed second place standing, just 2 points behind Clawson Strikers, also undefeated (7-0-1). Both teams are assured of promotion to the 1st division for Spring 2004.

Thunder carried play from the beginning and throughout the match creating numerous scoring opportunities through the first half. But we were just not able to out the finishing touch on during the 1st half, and at halftime the score remained tied 0-0.
wet field
But Thunder were just getting started. The 2nd half would find us attacking on the “fun side” of the field as Alyssa called it. And fun it was. Again, Thunder carried play and set the pace and tone of play. Running through puddles with total abandon and glee, the team looked like they were having more fun the 2nd half of this match than they had all season long. But having fun did not mean losing focus on what they wanted to do. And it didn’t take long for that focus to pay off. 4 minutes into the 2nd half, Olivia gained control of a bounding ball, and then lofted a lovely rainbow chip over the goalkeeper into the side netting of the far post.

5 minutes later, Meredith and Olivia combined beautifully for another certain scoring opportunity when Olivia got fouled just 2 yards outside the penalty area. Hillary calmly stepped up to take the direct kick, and after having the referee back the wall up to the full 10 yards, very coolly bent a gorgeous ball into the left upper-90.

Thunder continued to press and pressure and cross and play in the attacking 3rd of the match, all the while the ball would alternately stop dead if it hit a puddle or skip wildly off the slick grass. Water was flying with every kick and every player was soaked through and through and their faces spotted with mud. And if they didn’t have mud on their faces, they put it there themselves – or each others’.

Scoring was capped with about 8 minutes left as the ball played in from the right wing was being pinged back & forth in the goal area. Finally Jennifer Switzer saw her chance and alertly poked it past the scrambling keeper.

nobody gets throughDefense, as has been the case all year was flawless and Emily Liles in goal for Thunder logged 3 saves on the day and yet another shutout (with 5 minutes of help from Hillary at the end) to cap off this amazing season.

And it HAS been an amazing season. You girls have worked so hard and with so much commitment. All year long you have taken your training to heart and put it to practice on the game-field. All year long I’ve asked you to play to the point where you can honestly say “I held nothing back! I gave everything it was possible for me to give.” And you have done just that, day in and day out, game in and game out.

And, to repeat what I wrote you heading into this last match: You have built something quite special and incredible this autumn. And now it is something you will ALWAYS have. No “could-have-been’s” or “I-wish-I-had’s”. You made your choice and followed through. And look at what you built for youselves. You are playing excellent soccer. You yielded only 2 goals all season. 6 shutouts. You are undefeated. You’ve earned promotion. And you are in every good and positive sense of the word, A TEAM. I love this team and everything about it. I love your determination. I love your focus. I love how hard every single player on this team works. I love how you play for each other. I love how you care for each other. I love the personality of this team – and the personalities on this team.

And I love how you chose for yourselves to commit to your season. You made that choice. And you have created your own success because of it. And it impresses me. And it heartens me. And it makes me very, very proud to be your coach.

Great job, Thunder. Well done, well earned and well deserved.
Another Goal Celebration

Our match against GPSA Dragons that was called last week because of the field conditions has been rescheduled to Sunday, 2 Nov 2003, 4:00pm at Borden Park, field #3. The opponent refused to play Saturday because some of them wanted to go to a football game, so this is our last shot to get the match in. MYSL requires that all play be complete by the end of this weekend. If city officials close the park again, we will relocate to Adams High School to play the match.

Saturday, October 25
SABRES RATTLED; Thunder are sharp in decisive win
RSSC Thunder 5 - St. Clair Shores Sabres 0

ROCHESTER PRIDEThe nearly 18 hours of rain stopped just 20 minutes before kickoff. And on a wet, muddy, slippery field, Thunder played their most dominant outing of the season. The 1st goal came early on a brilliant 24 yard strike by Lisa Zelenak. The keeper got a hand to the ball but between the pace of the shot coupled with the wet ball was unable to handle it. Early goal - and that set the tone for the match.

But today, we finished the chances we created, a point heavily addressed in training through the week. Alyssa Zarski followed up in short order with a goal. Then Hillary Finet, converting a PK and Olivia Kramer closing out the 1st half with her 4th goal on the season. Kelly Noren capped the scoring with a goal late in the 2nd half.

There is SO much about this match to praise, and if I find time, I will set it to words and amend this account. But certainly, you will be hearing it from me personally. This match, as evidenced by the fact that 5 goals were scored by 5 different players, was a brilliant full-team effort and full team performance. Every facet of the game was strong today, and THIS is that sort of match you DREAM for as a coach or a player.


Halloween party tonight. Dress scary!

Sunday, October 19
Flint Steelers Hurricanes 0 - RSSC Thunder 1

Ten minutes into the match Beth McBride played the ball out wide to Meredith James who crossed the ball across the goal area where Olivia Halloween funKramer sent it hom with a decicive 1-timer. Although it turned out to be the only goal of the match, Thunder continued to create scoring chances through out and carried play the full match.

more to follow.

Thank you to the Cooks!!!
Thunder'90 Team Banner
A big thank you to Dan & Marie Cook for your generous donation of our gorgeous new sideline banner. (somebody remind me to get a picture next match!)

The Cooks are the owners & proprietors of Cook’s Signs Plus, 46711 Van Dyke Ave, Shelby Township, MI 48317 (just south of 21 Mile Rd.). Dan can be reached during business hours at 586-254-7000, or at Lightning’93 have already made inquiries into having a new banner made for their team – and we encourage all of you to do the same!

Thanks again, Dan & Marie.
Call (586) 254-7000

Saturday, October 18
TOUGH MATCH, TOUGH BREAK; Thunder - Fireballs tie in rematch
North Macomb Fireballs 0 - RSSC Thunder 0

Thursday, October 16
Road Warriors
Thunder, here are maps to our matches this weekend.

SATURDAY:NMSC Crystal Fields
Saturday we travel to Crystal Fields in Romeo. Crystal Fields are on the north side of 33 Mile Rd. about a mile east of M-53. Laura Zarski has given us a heads-up regarding construction. 33 Mile Rd. is closed at Van Dyke. Take 32 Mile Rd. past Van Dyke and M-53 Bypass to Powell Rd. Then left at Powell, go to 33 Mile Rd., then left again. The fields are about ¼ mile west of Powell. Field time is 1:15, match time is 2:00.
PLEASE NOTE: this is a different location than we played Fireballs last year! If you just rely on you memory of last years match, you'll find yourself 10 miles off course.
And we'd miss you.

Sunday we will play at Flint Carman-Ainsworth High School, 1300 North Linden Road, Flint, Michigan. Take I-75 north to the M-21/ CORUNNA RD. exit- exit #118- toward OWOSSO; Turn RIGHT onto CORUNNA RD./ MI-21 and go about 1½ mile; Turn right on LINDEN RD. go about 1½ mile; Carman-Ainsworth H.S. will be on your right.
Field time is 11:15; Match time is 12:00 noon. Carmen-Ainsworth is about 45 miles from Adams, and an estimated 55 minute drive. Please plan accordingly.
The Finet's will be arriving around 10:45-11:00 and setting up a tailgate like they did at the Global Tournament. Coffee, juice, bagels, doughnuts, etc. (no brats or stuff like that - after all, it's not a Bears game) EVEREYBODY IS WELCOME!!! Team parents, siblings, grandmas, grandpas, supporters, fans... everybody. So come early and relax a bit, have a refreshment & visit with each other. The company is great and the coffee is hot. It's a much nicer way to make the trip than just rushing to barely get there on time, run straight to the field and then just turn around & hit the road afterwards. Check your e-mail for details.
route to Carman-Ainsworth H.S


Monday, October 13
BLUE WATER’S STILLED; Thunder defeat Lakers
RSSC Thunder 1 – Blue Water Lakers 0
Alyssa with her game face on
Thunder are on a roll. Sunday Thunder’90 played to a 1-0 victory over Blue Water Lakers out of Marine City. In contrast to Saturdays very tight match, today’s match featured more wide open play, more ball movement and more opportunities at goal (also more counter-attacks... yikes!).

The one that counted though, came in the 13th minute when Olivia Kramer got a step on her defender from the right flank, took the ball in to goal and sent a strong shot toward far post. The shot glanced off a defenders leg in a failed attempt to clear, and with the keeper now leaning to the far post area, the ball deflected to near post and in for goal.

More excellent scoring opportunities were created over the course of the match, but none converted. Meanwhile, Jessica Munson and Emily Liles were both called upon to come up with big saves in their turn, and combined for the shutout.
Christina Tipner playing into the dusk
By the end of the match, the sun had set and a full moon had climbed up over the tree-line. Thunder fought to the very end and in the end, came up with a well earned victory.

This capped an excellent weekend of soccer for the Thunder’90 team. Two excellent showings against two quality opponents and, happily, two very nice results to show for the effort. Next weekend we hit the road to face North Macomb Fireballs on Saturday and Flint Steelers Hurricanes on Sunday.

This week we train hard to prepare. Show up ready to work.

Well done Thunder. Keep up the great work and keep your focus.

Saturday, October 11
THUNDER STRIKE BACK; 2nd half equalizer earns Thunder a draw
RSSC Thunder 1 - Clawson Strikers 1
Olivia Kramer 1v1 to beat her mark
In a very tight, very physical match against an excellent Clawson Strikers (5-0-1) team, Thunder earned a hard fought draw, as Hillary Finet coolly converted a 2nd half PK.

Lots of bumps and bruises out of this match. The girls were showing them off and comparing them at training Monday and weraring them like badges of honor. This was just an outstanding outing Thunder! I couldn't be more proud of you for the way you played this match and the way you kept your head about you and didn't allow outside influences to distract you from your game. This is the sort of fight and focus that will garner you the most rewarding season possible for yourselves.

More details & pics to follow.

Thursday, October 9
031008 - meredith & lisa crash goal
Meredith (8) & Lisa crash the gaol
River Detroit Poyas 1 – RSSC Thunder 2

Thunder logged a convincing win over River Detroit Poyas Wednesday in convincing fashion. Two early goals were scored early to set the tone for the match and carried play throughout. Meredith James opened up the scoring in the 20th minute with a heads up finish from a scum in the 6 yard box. Olivia Kramer followed up 3 minutes later with a 1-touch finish a she and Meredith were both crashing to finish a cross.

Poyas scored late in the match on a quick counter-attack to draw within one, but Thunder tightened it up for the last five minutes and never gave them another opportunity.


Monday, October 6
BATTLE-TESTED; Thunder Open Season with 1-0 Victory
RSSC Thunder 1 - Bay Area Battle 0
goal celebration
Thunder’90 finally stepped onto the field for their long awaited league opener Saturday on a cold and overcast afternoon. All the pre-season preparation paid off as Thunder chalked up a well earned 1-0 win against an undefeated Bay Area Battle (New Baltimore).

The 1st ten minutes were very much a feeling out process for both teams. Thunder soon found it’s rhythm and twice threatened to take the early lead. First in the 13th minute when Danielle Cook struck a shot that beat the keeper but caromed off the back post; then again 3 minutes later When Alyssa Zarski took excellent initiative, volleying a lovely cross from Hillary Finet straight out of the air, not allowing the bounce – and therefore not allowing the defense a chance to close her down. The shot went wide, but I’ll take that effort 10 times out of ten!

Meanwhile, the defense was rock solid allowing no shots on goal for Jessica Munson to handle. The back three simply dominated and the wide mids were exemplary in their workrate tracking back and never ignoring their defensive responsibilities when the situation required, and then getting up and wide when the chances presented themselves. The first half ended scoreless.
great communication

Play opened up a bit more in the second half and Thunder continued to carry play logging eight shots and a half-dozen quality crosses, as well as some very attractive buildup sequences. The center mids were key during the 2nd half especially, establishing control of the center of the park and making great choices to advance our attack. Three times during the 2nd half Thunder crafted shots at goal after a buildup of six or more passing movements that started from the defensive third of the field and moved through the midfielders before ending with quality scoring chances.

Finally, in the 67th minute, Hillary won a goalkick in the attacking third, moved to the left wing and let go a shot from 20 yards out. The ball arched over the reaching keeper and found it’s way home into the side netting of the back post for the first and only goal of the match.

Battle (3-1-0) did not go quietly, threatening with two very dangerous breakaway opportunities in the last ten minutes. Emily Liles, now in net, was every bit up to the task. Once she recognized the threat, she was very decisive & quickly off her line to close down the angle. Both threats ended with textbook examples of how a breakaway save is executed, as Emily absolutely stoned the attackers.

Excellent job, girls. You came out focused, sharp, disciplined and organized. And your victory today was very well deserved. It’s a nice start. Let’s get back to work in training this week and use this match as a building block for the next match.

global tourny
Thursday, October 2
030929 - meredith - approach
Meredith sets up the goal
(late submission)

Another outstanding effort and strong showing from this Thunder’90 team during the Global Tournament last week. Friday nights game matched us against Novi Jaguars. Out of the 3 matches this weekend, this was the one we’d like back. Novi were on us quick and scored twice before we really began to hit stride. Once we did settle into the match we did a nice job of staying with them but still had trouble creating much for ourselves. . . that is until the 2nd half, when Emily stepped onto the field. Emily stepped onto the pitch with purpose and fire and determination and came one foot away from scoring a goal 30 seconds after she stepped on. She really lit a fire under the team and the intensity and level of play increased dramatically for the remainder of the match – and Novi knew they were in a game. Unfortunately, it was just a bit too late. 2-0 Novi, which is not a bad result against this quality premier team. But it just feels like one we could have taken... not should have, necessarily – but could have. It felt like one that got away. We need to find that fire in the 1st minute of play, not the 45th.

Saturday, we seemed to learn our lesson and came out strong against North Macomb Fireballs from the start. And while we carried play for the 1st half, the match remained scoreless into the half. During the 2nd half, we were able to pick it up a notch. The opening goal started with a brilliant piece of individual hustle by Meredith to save a ball that would have been a throw-in for the opponent. Then to Kelly, then to DC who took it down the length of the field, beat her defender and crossed the ball. Hillary got the ball at the back post area, but without a shot available to her put it back across the face of the goal again, where DC got on the end of it and tucked it away.
The second goal began back at our own 18-yd area. Kelly won a 50-50 ball and played it wide to Hannah on the left. Hannah then played a great weak side ball over Olivia, Hillary and DC into space on the right. Meredith stepped up to take the ball and carried it down the length of the field and put her cross perfectly into the red zone. Meanwhile, Hillary, Hannah, DC and Olivia were busy making runs and had the goal perfectly framed just as Meredith’s cross was arriving. Olivia put the 1-timer on for the finish. An excellent match by everybody.

Sunday, came another strong test in the form of Canton Quest. Quest is another premier team and we knew that we must be perfect defensively and pick our spots for counter attacks because if we got lazy or unfocused even for a second, Quest is one of those teams who will take advantage of those sorts of mistakes quickly and make us pay. Canton pressured hard all match long, as we knew they would. We had a few decent chances of our own but weren’t able to capitalize. It was a tense, hard fought, well played match the whole way through and Thunder’90 were every bit up to the task! We were focused and alert and hard working and sharp. And Jessica and Emily were stellar in each of their halves as goalkeeper. Christina, Kelly and Hannah were brilliant in the back. All the mids did GREAT work getting back and not allowing any unmarked players to run through. The result was a scoreless draw and a simply outstanding showing against a very high quality opponent!

Thunder, you have passed all test this weekend with flying colors! Now, we stay focused, pick it up even more and get ready to step into the league-season in top form. You look fantastic right now. Think of everything you’ve put into your season so far. Let’s not let all that work go to waste by taking our eye off the ball just as we’re about to begin the most important part of the year.

3½ weeks to go. 8 games in those 3½ weeks. You’ve worked SO hard to get to this point. Do not let up, girls. Not for one day. Not for one minute. Not for another 3½ weeks.

Thursday, October 2
Road Trippers
030928 - world cup match1
Christina, Sandi, Hillary and 22,825 other people
Christina, Sandi & Hillary really really really wanted to see the U.S Womens World Cup match against North Korea in Columbus. So they got together some change of clothes, 6 Alan Lomax CD’s, 3 sony walkmans, a map of Ohio, a Johnny Quest Deluxe Pocket Compass, 16 peanut butter sandwiches & a flashlight. They wrapped it all on up in a diaper n' hang ‘em on a stick over their back; took 4 days off of school; and started walking... south.

After originally missing their turn and ending up in Dayton, they back tracked and finally found the beautiful Columbus Crew Stadium, the nation’s first major stadium built specifically for soccer.

Happily they got there in time for the match and got to see our US Women win 3-0 in a great match among capcity crowd of 22,828 and advance to the quarter finals. It's a good thing they got there in time because otherwise the crowd would not have been full capacity and that would have been a shame.

We're glad they had fun and we wish we could have been there to... but the walk back home must have been tough. They all had holes in the bottoms of their shoes when they showd up to practice the next week.

Monday, September 15
Thunder’90 Pitch In To Help Keep Rochester Beautiful
030914 - paint creek cleanup
Notice how clean and beautiful the river is. That's because of these girls!
The Clinton Clean-Up campaign was launched on a beautiful November day in 2001. Now in its third year, the clean-up day has expanded to thirteen events across the watershed which ranges from Lapeer & St. Clair Counties down to Detroit and from as far west as Springfield & White Lake Townships all the way to where Clinton River empties into Lake St. Clair.

This year Thunder’90 volunteered to spend their Saturday at the Paint Creek Clean-Up at Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve to police & pick up trash & litter all throughout the nature preserve and all along the Paint Creek Trailway up to Teinken Road. The great part about it is beyond the value & benefits to the community for the excellent efforts of the team, the day was just plain fun! More information on future events and the overall Conservancy efforts can be found at

Pictured: (back row) Beth McBride, Alyssa Zarski, Kierston Dill, Christina Tipner, Olivia Kramer, Lisa Zelenak, Kelly Noren, Christine Winkler, Hillory Finet, (front) Merideth James, Hanna Botkin

GREAT JOB GIRLS!!! The river thanks you, the birds & animals thank you, and your town thanks you!

Monday, August 11
Great Day At The Car Wash
030810 - carwash1
click for more pics
Great job everybody! Thank you Karen Finet & Sandy James getting everybody organized. Thank you Steve Switzer for lunch. Thank you Dan & Marie Cook for the great signs. And you girls and other helpers for all your hard work - because of you, the town is beautiful with sparkly shiny cars everywhere! This was a really fun day. Click here for more pics.

See you tonight at practice.

Saturday, August 9
2003 Team Camp
front (l-r); another camper, DC (light blue shirt), Hillary, Kelly, Lisa, Olivia, Christina, & others. Emily is in middle of the back row just to the left of the girl with the black t-shirt.
Great job this week girls. I think we're off to a good start for the season and I'm very much looking forward to the beginning of team training sessions. We have 3 training session before our first scrimmage match a week from Sunday. Lets keep up the hard work.

Thursday, July 24
Oakland Unversity Soccer Camp - Aug 21-25, 2003
Thunder teammates taking a break at Oakland University Soccer Camp

We're looking forward to another exciting and rewarding year! Listed below are some of the events already set on the calendar for the autumn.

SATURDAY MORNING KICKAROUNDS: Every Saturday 11:00 to whenever (usually an hour or so) Adams High School upper fields.
You asked for them, so I'm happy to oblige. We started this a year or 2 ago in the off season and it looks like you like the idea. The idea was that since there were enough of you that wanted to get some kind of play in during the summer when there is nothing else really going on, that we just pick a time and place and do it. These aren't practices. They’re basically just pickup games totally focused on just playing and having fun – not coaching. For players (and any friends you’d like to invite) who want a chance to get out and play.

TEAM CAMP: Aug 4-8: 1:00-4:00pm daily, Adams High School

TEAM CAR WASH Sunday, Aug 10, 11:00-2:00
at the Shell Gas Station on the northeast corner of Adams & University.

PRE-SEASON SCRIMMAGE vs. THUNDER'89: Sun, 17 Aug, 2:00 at Adams High School

PRE-SEASON SCRIMMAGE vs. LAPEER BANDITS: Fri, 22 Aug, 6:30 at Lapeer East H.S., 933 S Saginaw St, Lapeer, MI. (click here for map),

PRE-SEASON SCRIMMAGE vs. SAN MARINO: Wed, 27 Aug, 6:30; at Firefighters Park #2, north off Square Lake Rd. between Crooks & Coolidge.


PAINT CREEK CLEAN-UP: Sat, 13 September, 8:00-3:00. Details to follow.

GLOBAL TOURNAMENT: September 19, 20, 21, Oakland University

OAKLAND UNIVERSITY WOMEN'S SOCCER: Sunday, Oct 5, 2:00, Oakland University.
Your OU Golden Grizzlies vs. the Univ. of Cincinnati Bearcats.

PRACTICE SCHEDULE, as it currently stands is also posted. Please keep in mind, things may change depending on weather and other circumstances. We have drawn a funny schedule with very few matches in September. Be prepeared for some Friday or Saturday training sessions and another few scrimmages to be added to our schedule during September so that we can stay sharp.

Sunday, June 8
San Marino Edge Out Thunder
Thunder 1 - San Marino 2

For the second time this spring, Thunder and San Marino played a very strong and entertaining match. Unfortunately from our perspective, the San Marino team edged us out by one goal for the 2nd time on the season, making them the only team in the league to win twice against us.

For the 1st 20 minutes of play, Thunder actually carried a great deal of the play and looked very well poised to be the ones to pull ahead. But then on a counter attack, SM did well to recognize and then take advantage of a numbers-up situation and then make a very nice shot that Emily had no chance on - it was just too well placed and too well paced (hey, that was pretty good!).

Later in the half SM again found a crack in the armor when a marking error left 2 players unchallenged and they collected a goal kick, and then found and buried their opportunity.

In the second half, Thunder again came out playing well, just as they had in the 1st half, but tightened up on the little details and, in the end, played a better half than San Marino. Thunder drew within one when Olivia, starting from an perfect wide position, was played a ball from the middle of the field and was able to run onto the ball and bury it in the far post side of the goal. It was a magnificent goal.

We created several other very good chances, including a few excellent opportunities off of restarts, but were just not able to come up with the equalizer. But this was a very good showing, girls, and I am extremely pleased with this outing. With this level of play and quality of effort, you will have an excellent match Thursday as we play out last match for the season. I am very much looking forward to it!

Great job, girls. Keep up the hard work.

Monday, June 2
Thunder Reign In Mustangs
Thunder 1 - GPSA Mustangs 0

Another quality showing for Thunder’90. The team carried play for most of the afternoon and created excellent opportunities throughout the match. I like how we are doing a better job of switching the point of attack and looking for the target players and trying to get that ball played to them once it's on. We had several chances that way. Keep working it that way, girls, and the payoff will be there. I guarantee it.

Even so, Mustangs were able to hold us off the scoreboard for the 1st half. The game winner came about 15 minutes into the second half when Hillary collected a half-cleared ball from about 15 yards out, then took a calm prep-touch and scored the lone goal with a lovely strike (right footed, I might add) up and over the keeper and into the upper-ninety on the back post. Emily and Jessica combined for the shutout, each providing a solid turn in the goal and out on the field. Jessica has been punting the ball so hard and far that I am surprised the ball doesn’t bust!

Please note: Saturday’s match agaainst San Marino has been bumped back two hours to start at 6:00pm (5:15 field time) at Firefighter's Park, Field #5. Also, the 31 May match against Mustangs that was postponed due to weather has now been been set for Thursday, 12 June @ 7:00pm (6:15 field time). Location is the same (Barnes Fields in Grosse Pointe).

ALSO – today is Tenealle’s birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TENEALLE!

Great job team. 2 games left and you are looking better and better with each outing. Keep up the great work.

Monday, May 26
Round Robin Play:
RSSC Thunder '90 1 - 0 SCOR Girls
RSSC Thunder '90 1 - 0 BC United
RSSC Thunder '90 1 - 2 FC Emerald

Championship Match:
RSSC Thunder '90 2 - 0 FC Emerald

Brilliant Weekend! I'm still too tired and scatter-brained to give a worthwhile account of the games and weekend in whole... except to say that I am proud beyond words of you girls for your style, your determination, your manner on and off the field, and the quality of your play.

Highlights that just jump out off the top of my head:
> Alyssa Zarski with the most impressive goal of the season so far
> a spitball fight
> taking a nap at the movie theater
> Olivia Kramer earning yet another PK for her determined play
> a foggy foggy early early morning
> breakfast at Bob Evans... no no, too crowded. let's make it Big Boy
> Coach Gordon making everybody at the dinner table laugh... A LOT.
> you players taking charge of your own destiny and calling a players'-only meeting before championship match.
> lots of bumps & bruises - and getting right back up and to it every single time
> my fancy new paint job on my car
> Emily Liles with 3 very impressive shutouts
> How the most important thing on everybody's mind when trophies were being handed out was everybody wishing Monica was there.
> "dust getting in my eyes" when I was handing out trophies
> how nobody on the team would let me sing happy birthday to Gillie... (i don't get it)
> getting drenched

What a great weekend and a great showing. Excellent well done!
p.s. I wasn't crying... the wind kept blowing dust right into my eyes. I love you guys.

more Detials & Pics to follow.

Remember to pray today for our nations servicemen/women & veterans - especially all who have died in the service of our country, and for our sailors, marines, soldiers & airmen who are serving this very moment out in the field and all over the world, safeguarding and protecting the freedoms we are privileged to enjoy here at home.

We are only able to know and experience so much of the blessings & joys life has to offer, such as those we shared this weekend, because of the vigilance and deeds of those who have served and those who serve today.

Canton Cup Champs

Monday, May 5
Thunder Fall Short In This Back & Forth Match
San Marino 1 – Thunder 0

A beautiful sunny afternoon at Bordon Park. Visiting San Marino played a high pressure style game and were able to limit Thunder’s possession game. 1st half ended in a scoreless tie and with neither team holding a clear edge over the other.

2nd half played out largely the same way with one decisive exception. San Marino having been awarded a free kick to the right of goal, played a ball in on the ground and a communication breakdown resulted in a very fluky goal, as the ball dribbled in over the goal line looking for all the world like it was being pushed by a caterpillar.

Well, those are the breaks sometimes. The remainder of the match continued it’s back & forth character with good chances being created by both sides. Goalkeeper Jessica Munson came up with 3 big saves to keeper her team in the match. And several shots on the San Marino goal just barely missed or stayed out – including one exciting goal line scrum that saw the ball ON but never over San Marino’s goal line.

Tough loss, but not a bad showing. There are areas we can work on and improve, certainly (of course, that’s always true). But the effort was there and we were in the match the whole way. Good effort, Thunder. Let’s keep up the good work.

Monday, April 28
Thunder Open the Season Home & Home vs. North Macomb
Thunder Open The Season Strong - And Then Get Stronger.

On 2 picture perfect days, Thunder opened their season up with a home & home weekend against North Macomb Fireballs.

[Saturday, 26 April – Bordon Park]
Saturdays match presented it’s own unique challenges. Opening our season on the heels of the Easter Break may have been a schedule error on my part. With players still vacationing, we played the match with only eleven players. Yet, from the first Thunder looked strong and did a nice job of moving the ball and looking for each other. Things got even tougher when, in the 12th minute, Sara got hurt and Had to sub out for the remainder of the half. Adjusting to a 2 forward front and playing 10 v 11 for the rest of the first half, Thunder did a nice job of limiting the Fireballs’ opportunities. On two or three chances that were allowed, goalkeeper Emily Liles proved rock solid and made truly excellent saves look simple.

During the second half, back to our full compliment of 11 players, Thunder adjusted a bit and began doing a better job of looking for chances to play the ball through or behind defense resulting in several outstanding scoring chances. In particular, Hillary after neatly winning a 1v1 on the left flank, took a few more touches toward goal and then served a lovely ball across the face of the net for an onrushing Alyssa. The scoring touch was only missed by mere inches. 10 minutes later, a nearly identical setup was created by Sandi and again just barely missed by Alyssa, who is beginning to show a great sense of how and when to crash onto the goal.

Finally, as the last 15 minutes of the match descended, the fatigue factor began to kick in and proved to be too much to overcome. Yet, for all their fatigue, the team never allowed any major errors and, in fact, allow even fewer and lesser quality scoring chances to the opponent than they had in the 1st half.

They game was very well played and the result a highly satisfying draw. One left the field with the distinct feeling that with just 2 or 3 extra players to keep the team fresh, the results could have been very different. Well, happily, that theory was able to be put to the test the very next afternoon, when…

[Sunday, 26 April – Washington Fields]

Squaring off for the 2nd time in two days, Thunder came to the field better focused, more settled, and more complete as 3 more players having now returned from spring vacation were dress for play.

Play look sharper from the onset and in only the 6th minute Thunder capitalized on that effort with Sandi D’Alimonte scoring from about 16 yards out after a fancy bit of dribbling through traffic. Much to the credit of Olivia, Hillary & Alyssa in support, who kept sliding wide, wide, wide as Sandi began her run, drawing defenders and creating space for Sandi to pick her way through. And as a result what may have looked like a singular effort, was truly the best sort of example of team play. It was a very heartening sight and I’m proud to see how you girls are gaining such a nice understanding of the big picture.

Play continued to go our way for most of the half. But just when it seemed as though we would take a lead into halftime, one little error in not using support correctly, resulted in Fireball pressure and finally a goal for them in the last minute of the half.

With no need for panic, and every reason to feel good about the match thus far, Thunder came out determined to clean up the little mistakes and keep up the same style of play as the 1st half. In short order, a flurry of activity and pressure resulted in Sandi scoring her 2nd of the day 10 minutes into the 2nd half. The bulk of play continued to center in the attacking half, and it must be noted that defenders Kelly Noren, Tenealle Tenwolde, & Christina Winkler were magnificent in keeping the ball contained for Great stretches of time, and denying the opponent any true quality chances at goal when they were able to work their way into our defensive third.

Thunder’s 3rd goal came off the foot of Chelsea McGee. At the near corner of the six-yard box, Chelsea got on the end of a corner kick, got her body sideways on to redirect the serve, and finished most picturesque full volley one-timer you can imagine. It was a thing of beauty and especially nice for Chelsea to score against her old team.

Finally, with about 4 minutes remaining, Sandi was taken down hard in the penalty area on a run that after beating that last defender would have bee a clean breakaway. Shaken a bit from the hard fall – but not rattled in the least from her focus or determination, Sandi finished the PK neatly and closed the scoring for the afternoon.

It was a very good showing for Thunder all in all. We have some very nice things happening for us that we will be able to build on, and yet, there is plenty for us to work on so we may once again make this a season of great growth and improvement.

I am extremely proud of you all. Let’s use this as the springboard to a great season of hard work and the rewards that are gained by that hard work.

Wednesday, October 2
Thunder Roar Back Strong, fall just short in 3-2 thriller
In a hard fought and well contested match Wednesday night, Thunder scored 2 goals in the last 15 minutes of the match to draw within one goal of 1st-place GPSA Mustangs. Pressure was building and the attack was furious. The goalkeeper made what can only be decribed as a sensational extention save on a gorgeous shot by Sandi to prevent the tying goal in the last minute or two. And one gets the sense that only the clock prevented the inevitable equalizer.

Well, so be it. The loss is in the books. BUT THE FIGHTING THUNDER ARE BACK!

And THAT is what is exciting and noteworthy to me. We got down early and scrambled a bit in the 1st half and yielded 2 unnecessary goals. But halftime adjustments and refocus on finding target players, marking to prevent turns and driving hard to the net paid off. The first goal came from exactly that effort. The ball was keenly played from the center of the field behind the defense for target player Sara out on the right wing to run onto. From there it was a breakaway situation and Sara pulled the ol’ knuckleball change-up shot out of there bag of tricks finishing into the far post side netting. A lovely piece of full-team effort & work. Straight off the chalkboard and onto the field. Very nicely done.

Then 3-4 minutes later, in an inspired bit of individual effort, Tenealle picked her spot and made a ¾ field attacking run, beating opponents like they were orange cones, and finished with a decisive strike to the far post. It was a beautiful thing to watch.

As I mentioned, one gets the feeling that the equalizer or even the game winner were mere moments away. But today, it didn’t quite happen. But is not as important to me as what I saw on the field tonight. I saw very very good things tonight. Last weekend I was bothered and disappointed by the loss because of the poor overall play of the entire team which led to it. I have no such reservations today. Tonight, even though we lost, I am extremely happy & pleased with the showing you made tonight. Especially the fight you showed all the way up to the end. That is something that was missing last weekend. But tonight you showed that it is not something that is gone.

Congratulations Sara Driscoll & Tenealle Tenwolde on your first goals of the season. Congratulation all of you for a very good showing and a magnificent finishing effort.

Saturday, September 28
Thunder starts strong, finishes flat. 3-1 loss to Lakers.
After a promising start and a very strong first half, Thunder surrendered a goal with 5 seconds left in the half and never seemed to recover. The entire second half was spend ball chasing and showed very little of the control & communication that is normally demonstrated by this team. Opponents were being left unmarked in our defensive third of the field and we were not doing a good job at all of switching the field and moving the ball. We will work on those things this week.

On the bright side, Olivia Kramer scored her first goal of the season on a lovely job of framing the goal. Great job Olivia.

This was early in the match (19th min) and look as if it could have been the start of a rout. That did not happen but we must learn to take advantage of such opportunities, team. The bit that surprises & puzzles me the most here it that all season long it has been a strong character trait of this team that we never stop, never quit, and never give up. Yet, today for the first time this season, even with the lead, that trait didn’t shine through. It’s not the loss that bothers me. It’s the manner of play which led to the loss. For now, I’ll choose to chalk it up to a bump in the road and expect that it won’t happen again.

Next match is another night match at the World Cup Field at Bordon. Let’s work hard this week and show up with the determination of the REAL Thunder ’90.

Monday, September 23
Thunder Ties Aurora in 1st Road Match
After a very sluggish 1st half, Pride pulled it together to fashion quite a lovely goal 2 minutes into the second half to equalize the score.

Unforunatly, despite a better second half and, in paricular, excellent pressure in the last 8-10 minutes, we were unable to put it away.

Clearly, a good deal of work needs to be done on use of support, switching the point of attack, and general execution in good passes and good receiving.

That we can be so exposed and yet draw a tied result is a bonus that we should be happy to take. Pride, let us not dismiss the warning and waste this opportunity to learn these lessons at so cheap a price. Let's work hard a diligently this week to fix what needs fixing and prepare to improve with our next performance.

Goalkeeper: Melissa Anderson
Goals:      Sandi D'Alimonte (Chelsea McGee)

Taps is sounded in acknowledgement of 9/11
Wednesday, September 11
Last Second Trick Make Magic’s Lead Disappear; 1-1 Final
A cool crisp picture perfect evening on a most somber day. This was the setting for tonight’s match vs. Magic. To mark the occasion of the one year passing of the September 11th attacks on America, both teams joined in prayer and then the field fell silent for a minute – maybe two, as two buglers on hand for the occasion made their way to the center of the pitch and sounded a stirring rendering of Taps.

With that the game proceeded. A more detailed account shall follow once I have had time to review the game tape entirely. But for now, just my initial impressions and reactions.

The biggest and most important factor of the contest came early after yielding a goal about 10 minutes in. This was, to me the point where we would either lose the game or dig down and refuse to let this setback break us. Pride, you never cease to impress and amaze me with your work ethic and determination. Step for step and every inch of the way you kept yourselves in this match. Every player on the side had significant contributions, and it became clear once again – this team will never quit, never yield, never stop working till the day is done.

And so…

5 minutes left: The attacking pressure picked up to an even higher level. Players were penetrating deep in the attacking zone, nice balls were being served, shots were being taken, and the feel of the game changed. And that change was for the good. They seemed to panic and rattle; you got stronger, more self-assured. I could see it from our bench. I could hear it in the chatter. I could see the opponent becoming more & more unsettled as they kept trying to work the clock, substituting at every opportunity – twice leaving a 12th player on the field, further wasting the clock.

2 minutes left: The opponent asks for yet another substitution. Referee says no. That’s it for the rest of the game. You step it up yet another notch. Pressure is building and you are looking stronger than you have at any point in the match. Sandi cracks a 40 yard shot over the crossbar. Goalkick.

30 seconds left: Jessica takes a throw-in from about half field. This is our final opportunity for goal. The ball pings about a few moments and then is finally played to Sandi’s feet. Sandi turns makes about 15 yards and is taken down hard – advantage, no call, Lisa wins the ball…

10 seconds left: Sandi bounces up unaffected by the foul and makes a blindside run on the midfielder attemting to double team Lisa. Lisa plays to Sandi’s feet and she moves toward the center of field across the face of the net.

7 seconds left: One player to beat. A touch to space and acceleration creates the half step needed…

5 seconds left: Top of the “D” – 22 yard from goal. Planting foot turned back to far post. A full-on instep strike. Momentum carries the shooter off her feet and she lands back on her striking foot - a perfectly executed instep drive. Keeper's leaning left. Ball is bending right…


1-1 tie. Every time, Thunder, I think I could not possibly be any more proud of you – you find a way to make me more proud of you.

This was an exemplary effort, team. Excellent well done.

Game Saver

Saturday, September 7
Pride Shines Against Aurora In League Opener ; Win 1-0
After a strong showing in last weeks Peachfest tournament, Thunder played a dominant match in thier leauge opener. Sustained pressure in the attacking third and shots at goal were the order for the day.

Despite carrying play most of the evening, Aurora nearly stole the match late in the second half with an opportune breakeaway. But the ball-carrier was tracked down hard and finally caught at about 12 yards out and just to the left of goal by Olivia Kramer who then made a top-notch game-saving tackle to win and clear the ball. It was Genessee's best opportunity of the day, and it was thwarted by an examplary show of effort and grit.

It remained a scoreless tie until the were only about 4 minutes left in the match When Chelsea McGee tallied the game-winner with the day's 29th shot. The work ethic and no-quit attitude of this team can be credited for this victory. Well done team. This vicory was well earned.

Game details to follow.

Goalkeeper: Melissa Anderson
Goals:      Chelsea McGee (assists TBD)

Wednesday, September 4
Great Promise Shown At Romeo Peachfest Tournament
In their inaugural foray into the ranks of select soccer, Thunder accomplished everything I hoped they would do all weekend long:
[1] To learn what it was to play high caliber competition.
[2] To use the tournament to acclimate to a new level and style of play
[3] To continually improve as the weekend progressed.

These points were achieved over the weekend – and the 3rd point, to continually improve as the weekend progressed, was achieved to a degree far beyond my greatest hopes.

The 1st game came Friday evening against Shelby USL was the rude awakening that one might have predicted. Not only was this our first select match, but in addition they were older, bigger, and well established. As we discovered, we would spend the weekend playing 3 opponents not only a year older, but also all 3 opponent were from the state’s premier division. Unsurprisingly, USL dominated that match and won handily 5-0. It was important not to focus on the loss, but to use the match to identify items for improvement, and then put those points for improvement to work.

For the next match against Windsor United Saturday morning, we met early and discussed areas where we could improve. Out of the suggestions the girls came up with, we decided to narrow the focus to 2 main points: marking/tracking and defensive organization. Over the course of the match, the defensive backs appeared more confident playing against the generally bigger & stronger u14 opponents than they did the evening before and the midfield (both wide and central) did a far better job of dropping back to aid in the defensive needs of the team than they did Friday. The high work-rate of the collapse-expand nature of the wide midfield assignment could gradually be seen to be taking hold among the players. And, although, in the end the 5-0 scoreline mirrored the previous match – the effort and quality of play far exceeded the previous day’s standard. There was vast and marked improvement in Thunder’s game and we were definitely headed in the right direction.

The afternoon match would pit us against GSPA Breakers from Grosse Pointe, coached by a friend of mine, Dan Kelly. This would be an important test because Breakers had earlier in the day manhandled the Shelby team that only the day before had manhandled us. Once again, looking to adjust and improve on 2-3 focus points for this game, Thunder made strides forward that were both obvious and significant. The defensive organization continued to improve. And overall, the team played much in unison with each other; in short - more as a team. And despite the 2-0 loss, the day was an unquestionable success by every standard I am looking for.

Thunder, we played 3 teams that are a year older, that have been playing together many years and that compete at the highest level the state has to offer. These teams should have beaten us this weekend – and they did. That’s fine. I care very little about the final scores. What I saw happen this weekend was far more important than any scores. I saw excellent attitudes. I saw the ability to respond & adapt to match situations. I saw steady improvement. I saw forethought and insight. I saw everybody work very very hard. And even more impressively, I saw everybody continue to fight and work hard, even toward the ends of matches that we were clearly going to lose. 2 different coaches (USL & Breakers) actually came up to me privately to compliment you girls on your play, and especially on this no-quit spirit you displayed. That sort of spirit and work ethic speaks volumes of the character of this team and the players on it. It tells me that Coach Joe & I made the right choices when we selected you for a place on this team.

And we improved markedly every half of soccer that we played throughout the whole weekend. Like I told you at the team party Saturday – I don’t much care what the scores were, I care about what I see happening on the field. And what I see on the field are a hard working group of players, hungry to play, willing to work, and able adapt and improve very quickly and very effectively.

Let’s make this weekend the tone-setter for this season. I am very serious about that. Because with this work-ethic, this determination, this capacity for quick adjustment and improvement, we have exactly what we need for an amazing and successful season. Concentrate on those things, and the results will take care of themselves. Because of this weekend, I am more excited about this autumn and our prospects this season than I have been ever since tryouts.

Great job girls. Very well done.

Some things change; Some things remain
logo Thunder small
This year, we move to the select side of the club. Rochester Select Soccer Club (RSSC) generally carries 2-3 teams within any given boys or girls age group. But they are always designated Lightning, Thunder, and Storm.

We are designated the Thunder '90 team ('90 representing the age group of the players). And so we are. All official reference to the team (roster submissions, banking matters, league business, etc.) will, from now on, carry the Thunder ’90 designation.

We will, however, carry over our long-standing moniker of “Pride” and use that as our own nickname. There are several reasons for this. First, a full two-thirds of this team are, in fact, previous Pride players from the old recreational team. Over the last two years Pride have created for themselves an excellent atmosphere team-first thinking, full effort in training, sportsmanship on the field, and a manner of class and dignity in conduct and bearing. These are highly admirable characteristics. To create such a positive, energetic and pro-active environment is not an easy thing to do. Many players never have the good fortune to ever be a part of such an atmosphere and I think this team will be better served by considering itself as a continuation of that fine tradition and embracing what they have built in the last two years rather than discarding it.

Also, there is nothing novel or unprecedented about a team having a separate nickname. D.C. United also call themselves the Eagles; Manchester United also are call the Red Devils; Arsenal are called the Gunners. This is the same thing.

And finally, and from a more practical standpoint, the prospect shelling out the money to create a new website, not to mention spending countless hours to put it together, only to end up with essentially the same material and information that exists here seems pointless and silly to me, and holds no appeal. Beyond that, a great many people visit our site based on coaching forums and discussion groups I have participated on for years and know where to find us. Over 4,000 visitors have found us at our “rochesterpride” address. Many return regularly to watch our progress throughout the season. Many have and expressed thanks for information we have been able to share with them. I don’t wish to throw that away either.

And so, Thunder we are – Pride we remain. From here on out you can expect that I will refer to either interchangeably both here on the website and out on the field.

Monday, June 10
CHAMPIONS! Pride Finish Red Hot, Win 4-0 over Burn
championship win1
11-0 Pride Celebrate Their Spring Championship
After an intense match in the heat of the day 4 hours earlier, the cooling of the evening was a welcome visitor to the field. Pride were tired, warm-up was sluggish, but the team that stepped onto the game field for the opening whistle were the same Pride that, all season long, had made a growing habit and eventually a signature hallmark of quality passing, communication, individual skills, team cohesion, stingy defense and relentless attack. And for this one last game, they delivered… again.

The first goal came in the 4th minute on a picture-perfect cross from Lindita on the left wing into the far-post channel. It was finished in spectacular fashion by Chelsea with a one time strike whilst still in full stride. It could not have been a prettier goal. Knowing not to rest on laurels, Pride continued their constant and consistent pressure, crafting yet another 15+ shot half and coming off at halftime with a 3-0 lead after 2 lovely goals by Lindita.

For the second half, it was clear that this team was determined to finish in the fine style they have made their own this year. Quality play continued all the way to the final whistle capped by Lindita’s 3rd goal of the match for a natural hat-trick.

The post match celebration was a joyous romp. The sideline spectators, armed with air horns, mad it sound like Joe Louis Arena after an Yzerman game winning goal. The happy shrieks of the girls running off the field nearly drowned out the air horns, I got drowned in ice water and everything about the moment was sheer happiness. I was very gratified to see Aly Vogt come out to the Sunday matches because, although she played for her school this spring, having played with us the last 2 years before that, she is to me, as much a part of Rochester Pride as anybody and I was happy she could be there to share the day with us.

I’ve said it a hundred times over the last two years. But I only say it because it is so true. I am so very proud of each and every one of you girls:
Amanda Swann
Alison Vogt
Kelly Noren
Alyssa Zarski
Jessica Munson
Chelsea McGee
Karen Alexander
Rebecca Heck
Mallory Parker-Zibel
Brittany Sparks
Sandi D'Alimonte
Megan Stevens
Kandyse Fee
Sara Driscoll
Julia Musialowski
Kelsey Van Maele
Milissa Anderson
Tenealle Tenwolde
Lindita Ivezaj
Lisa Zelenak

You girls are the reason it is such a joy for me to coach this game. And it is not the winning as to what makes me proud of you. It is the effort you put into the endeavor and the manner in which you carry yourselves. You ARE a very good team – because you have WORKED HARD to become a very good team. Your accomplishments could have, conceivably, lead you to have swollen heads and inflated egos – but they have not. You are a confident lot, but very much a well-grounded and good-natured group; sweet, fun, funny and eager. We have many very good players, but you are a great team. This is evidenced by the fact that on a roster of 19 players, 15 different players have scored goals – and nearly everybody contributed with assists. We don’t have one “go to” player – we have a team full of them. Your accomplishments on the year have been impressive – but your attitudes have been exemplary. You have always conducted yourselves with the class, grace and sportsmanship I would ask of anybody associated with me. The manner with which you carry yourselves speak well of you and reflect most positively on your teammates and families.

You are good players but that’s not what makes me so proud of you. You are GREAT kids – and THAT is what makes me so very proud of you, and what I will always remember when I think about 2001-2002 Rochester Pride.

Congratulations girls, this has been a job excellent well done.

Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Lindita Ivesaj
Goals (assists tbd):            
                      Chelsea McGee (1st half)
                      Lindita Ivesaj (1st half)
                      Lindita Ivesaj (1st half)      
                      Lindita Ivesaj (2nd half)
Shots recorded:    24
Corner Kicks:       8
Crosses:                tbd

Rochester Pride - Spring 2002

Monday, June 10
TOURNAMENT SEMI-FINALS: Revolution Thwarted; Pride win 3-0
The tournament semi-final set us against long-time rival, Revolution. From the beginning of the match, Pride took full control of the field and applied the attacking style they have demonstrated all year. The 1st goal came early as Julia continued the torrid pace and scored her fifth goal in 6 games. She’s been just amazing – and all the more so considering she barely comes up to the waist on many players on the field and weighs only half as much.

Two more goals came soon after and frustration began to mount for the opponent. The 2nd came on a sure strike from Sandi on the right wing. And the 3rd on brilliant thru ball by Lindita to Rebecca making an excellent run and then Rebecca demonstrating a very polished piece of finishing slotting the ball on the deck, two feet to the left of the keeper - textbook perfect in form.

By the 20th minute with a 3 goal lead, the affair began to take a bit of a nasty turn. The opponent, in their frustration became increasingly more physical in an effort to neutralize the efficiency of the Pride attack, and noticeably more vocal in an effort to rattle the team off their focus. Chops to ankles and an elbow to the back sent Pride’s top goal scorer off the field in tears – but only for a few minutes. It was getting ugly, but Pride would not be deterred and continued to carry play until the halftime whistle.

With the game in control and the championship match yet to be played later that evening, the objective became 2-3 touch possession with long passes, quick switches and open spacious play so as to minimize the risk of injury from play in tight quarters. That objective was met and the game finished 3-0.

Having now faced and beaten what I consider the 2 most difficult teams in the tournament, Pride were in good form, but had to rise to the occasion one more time. 4 hours to rest. And then….

Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Jessica Munson
Goals (assists tbd):            
                      Julia Musialowski (1st half)                     
                      Sandi D'Alimonte (1st half)
                      Rebecca Heck (1st half)
Shots recorded:    17
Corner Kicks:       6
Crosses:                tbd

Sunday, June 9
ROUND 1: Pride Stand Fast Against Clash; 3-0 Pride victory
In a 1st round match against our toughest opponent of the season, Pride started fast to score in the 4th minute of the match. For most of the rest of the match, it was tension and drama on the field. Pride carried most of the play but after the first goal were unable to beat the outstanding play of the Clash goalkeeper who made 15 saves after the 4th minute – often of the spectacular variety.

Meanwhile, Clash would occasionally find the seams of the defense look for their quick counter-attack to provide the equalizer. All year long Clash have demonstrated an excellent quick counter. Highest praise to captain Mallory Parker-Zibel who was assigned the unceremonious job of man-marking Clash’s best offensive threat. Mallory did the job to perfection, denying her the ball, time and space all morning long. And without #11 available to be highly involved, Clash were ultimately unable to compensate.

Nonetheless, the affair was not truly decided until with 4 minutes left to play, the insurance goal was finally scored. Two minutes later, Pride’s 3rd goal capped the affair. Hats off and congratulations to Coach Norberto Lesczuk and a quality team in the Clash.

Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Jessica Munson
Goals (assists tbd):            
                      Sandi D’Alimonte (1st half)                     
                      Lindita Ivesaj (2nd half)
                      Sandi D’Alimonte (2nd half)
Shots recorded:    30
Corner Kicks:       5
Crosses:                tbd

Sunday, June 2
Action, Reaction, Combination & Energy: Pride 7 - Fusion 1
Pride turned in a rock solid effort in their final regular season match to earn a 7-1 victory. Six different players scored and but for some excellent goalkeeping by the opposing keeper, several others would have added to the tally. Use of field width and diagonal play continue to improve as does team communication, field vision, and combination play. First touch has improved markedly on this team and the use (and success) of take-on moves demonstrates an assuredness and confidence which can only come about with hard individual work I have asked each team member to commit to.

Now I am going to ask that very same hard work of you one more week. Spring Tournament is next weekend. Your challenge is to re-focus and put every energy into honing your very best skills this coming week. The take on-moves you do well – practice them at home ‘till you do them great. The pass you may give half-heartedly and shank at practice – make a decision to give full concentration to each pass and deliver each with pinpoint precision. The player who is trying to attack - refuse to allow her goalside of you. Focus and take pride in your first touch. Focus and take pride in making the extra effort to run down a ball. Focus and take pride in making certain your get your body square behind a ball for a skilled trap rather than trying to cherry pick it. Focus and take pride in the fact that you work hard not only for yourself – but for your teammates as well. Focus and take pride in the fact that your attention to these tiniest little details all add up to make the 18 teammates around you just a little bit better.

I’ve asked this all year of you and you have responded. Now I’m going to ask to you do it do it for one more week; to do it with even more intensity, focus, resolve, dedication, and determination than any week so far this year.

If I’ve earned your trust at all during this season, then trust me now when I tell you: Do this for one more week and you will never regret the effort.

Let’s go train harder!

Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Jessica Munson
Goals (assists tbd):            
                      Sandi D’Alimonte (1st half)
                      Lisa Zelenak (1st half)
                      Kelsey Van Maele (1st half)
                      Sara Driscoll (1st half)
                      Julia Musialowski (2nd half)
                      Julia Musialowski (2nd half)
                      Lindita Ivesaj (2nd half)
Shots recorded:    32
Corner Kicks:       7
Crosses:                tbd

Saturday, June 1
Burning It Up; Pride take 6-2 victory over Burn
In trademark fashion the attack was constant, well spread out and highly balanced. 31 shots yeilded six goals, which (also in tradmark fashion) were spread among 5 different players.

Congratulations and hats off to Jessica Munson who tallied her 1st official goal ever in league play. Today's other scorers include Sara Driscoll, Sandi D'Alimonte(2), captain Lisa Zelenak, and Kelly Noren.

Goalkeepers Melissa Anderson and Alyssa Zarski shared the win.

More game details to follow.

Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Jessica Munson
Goals (assists tbd):            
                      Sandi D’Alimonte (1st half)
                      Sara Driscoll (1st half)
                      Lisa Zelenak (2nd half)
                      Sandi D’Alimonte (2nd half)
                      Jessica Munson (2nd half)
                      Kelly Noren (2nd half)
Shots recorded:    31
Corner Kicks:       6
Crosses:                tbd

Monday, May 20
Inter-Squad Scrimmage Fun, Functional and Wholly Successful
As we learned last week, the originally scheduled game for 18 May, which we had rescheduled and played 5 May, was never rebooked to another team. So we had a park and a referee crew available to us. Having been unable to find and opponent, we chose to use the opportunity to play a full-on 9v9 inter-squad scrimmage. Referee, linesmen, 35 minute halves. Crazy coach on the sideline. The whole sha-bang. A real match in every respect.

This turned into one of the most entertaining matches of the season. The match struck a fantastic balance between a good-natured friendly exuding ultimate goodwill, and full-on determination & serious competition. Each side clearly was playing to win. And each side’s determination brought out the best in the other. I made a choice not to keep stats or film this match, but the quality of play was quite high and conspicuous on both sides.
Good passing, combination work and attacking play were strong both ways. I didn’t count shots, but certainly keepers for both sides (Melissa Anderson, Jessica Munson & Alyssa Zarski) all faced more shots in this scrimmage than in any of our previous matches. Wide play and good crossing anchored excellent attacking play both ways.

As it turns out, I am almost more pleased we had the opportunity to play this inter-squad match than if we had found another team to play. Certainly, every player got the same work and competition that as any other match could have provided. On top of that, this scrimmage showed me a lot about the work ethic and character of this team. It would have been very easy for this whole morning to degenerate into a silly exercise of kicking the ball around just because you decided it wasn’t a “real game”. I believe that with many teams that is exactly what would have happened. But instead, you approached it with every bit of seriousness and fighting spirit as any other match I have watched you play. It is a demonstration of the reasons you are having a successful season. We have our fun to be sure. But you balance that fun with real work and take full advantage of your opportunities to learn and develop. Rochester Pride, you do great justice to your team motto “We Train Harder!”

Also I’d like to take a moment to thank Jordan McAdory from coach Norberto’s Clash team who generously accepted my invite to play the inter-squad scrimmage as a guest. Jordan played a fine game demonstrating excellent individual skills and a good sense of field vision and team play as well. She earned the praise and respect of the full team - as expressed by team captain, Tenealle Tenwolde, who said to me after the game, “coach, we decided she should stay with us the rest of the season. She belongs here for sure.” As for me, I have been impressed with her the last 2 years she has played against us. And I am furthermore impressed by the way she settled in and blended so quickly and so well with the team. And she has certainly earned my thanks and respect as well. Thanks Jordan!

OK, girls. 2 weeks until our next match now. We will work a bit on marking & tracking and continue to try to polish our set pieces and restarts. Also, I think we will dedicate 1 or 2 sessions exclusively to 1v1 & 2v2 work to put some focus back onto the “small battles” that make up the “big game”. Great job this weekend.

Monday, May 13
Pride Applies The Heat; Power Their Way Past Fusion 7-0
Pride put it together beautifully this weekend. The first came on an absolutely gorgeous morning Saturday. As the team began to arrive, the grass was still silver with morning dew, the sky was blue, the air was brisk and clean, and the only other sound besides us were the morning songs of the birds. An hour later the serenity of this picture perfect tranquility gave way to a picture perfect performance. Insightful passing, constant communication, use of the full field and unyeilding pressure on the goal all combined for a thoroughly impressive show.The seven goals were spread out among 6 different players including the 1st tallies of the year for Julia Musialowski and Kelsey Van Maele. Also nearly notching her first goal was Jessica Munson who provided two brilliant finishes in the 52nd and 57th minutes but was called offside (one highly questionable) both times. Don’t worry, Jess. You keep making great plays like that, the results will take care of themselves.

Well done everybody.

Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Alyssa Zarski
Goals:             Julia Musialowski 3rd min (Megan Stevens)
                      Sandi D'Alimonte, 21st min
                      Sara Driscoll, 24th min (Lindita Ivezaj, Kelly Noren)
                      Sandi D'Alimonte, 26th min (Lisa Zelenak)
                      Karen Anderson, 34th min (Kelly Noren, Lindita Ivezaj)
                      Kelsey Van Maele, 39th min
                      Chelsea McGee, 60th min (Tenealle Tenwolde, Lisa Zelenak)
Shots recorded:    36
Corner Kicks:       2

Monday, May 13
Pride Forge Ahead – Win 6-0 Over Rapids
#7 mud can be fashionable
gray, wet, rainy, drizzly, muddy, messy & slippery is fun
The setting for our Sunday match was exactly the opposite of Saturday. Gray, wet, rainy, drizzly, muddy, messy, slippery. But here’s the thing: [1] it was Mother’s Day (can't disappoint mom); and [2] we LOVE gray, wet, rainy, drizzly, muddy, messy, slippery. That is when we have the most fun playing this game.
And so, despite opposite conditions to Saturday, the results remained the same. Once again displaying the quality passing, communication, individual skills, team cohesion, stingy defense and relentless attack this team is making it’s trademark, Pride fashioned a 38 shot performance en route to a 6-0 victory. Brilliant crossing account for the recent increase in the scoring. This makes sense as quality crosses will provide your teammate with quality finishing opportunities – which is proving to be the case.
And, also becoming a clear Pride trait, the wealth was very evenly spread amongst the entire team. Five different players scored today’s six goals. And for the second consecutive match, the 1st goal of the game was scored by that players’ 1st goal of the season. Yesterday Julia accomplished this feat. Today is was Rebecca Heck finishing a quality serve from Alyssa Zarski. Also scoring her 1st goal of the season was Tenealle Tenwolde.

All in all, a brilliant weekend. Quality stuff Pride. We now have a bit of a break before our next match. As you know, the Warren Youth Soccer Tournament has been cancelled this year so not only do we have Memorial Day weekend off, but we now also have next weekend off. (I have been trying to schedule an interim match, but no success yet and it's looking less and less likely to come off). So lets re-engage our efforts to quality training and commit to ourselves and each other not to become lazy, cocky, or complacent because of past performances. There is no such thing as standing still - there is only forward and backward. Either we are moving forward and getting better, or we are sliding backward and losing our edge. Lets move forward – together!

Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Jessica Munson
Goals:             Rebecca Heck 5th min (Alyssa Zarski, Tenealle Tenwolde)
                      Julia Musialowski, 8th min (Tenealle Tenwolde)
                      Tenealle Tenwolde, 37th min (Brittany Sparks)
                      Lindita Ivezaj, 39th min (Chelsea McGee)
                      Lindita Ivezaj, 45th min
                      Sandi D'Alimonte, 52nd min (direct free kick)
Shots recorded:    38
Corner Kicks:       13

Monday, May 6
Pride Make Best Use Of Time & Space; 2-0 victory over Galaxy
Anchored by their trademark defense, Pride once again put together a dominant performance Sunday afternoon at Spencer Park. Picking up where they left off yesterday, the Screaming Egyptians continued with excellent team communication and passing for possession – and then, improving on themselves, made much better use of wide play and switching the point of attack. Also improving on all matches to date were the number and quality of crossed balls – all of which led to a 35 shot performance. The match ended 2-0, but the Galaxy goalkeeper had an outstanding day and prevented many other high quality scoring opportunities from finishing.

As throughout the season, this win was once again an entire team effort. Through our first 4 games, no one player has scored more than once in a game, and 8 different players account for our 12 total goals with yet another 4 (minimum) recording significant assists on those goals. This makes me very proud of the whole team. Some teams get by having just one or two players they rely on to carry the team and their whole game plan is “get the ball to so & so”. As borne out in the diverse scoring statistics, Pride are basing their game on sound soccer skills, good on-field decision making, and quality execution. This, by far, is a much better way to go. It provides for a far more attractive game, and helps to make better players of everybody.

Excellent well done, girls. Good job this weekend, now let’s get back to it and prepare for 2 tough matches next weekend. This week we will focus on improving our restarts, and sharpening our finishing skills on scoring opportunities.

Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Jessica Munson
                      Kandyse Fee - 1st half (Julia Musialowski)
                      Lisa Zelenak - 2nd half
Shots recorded:    35
Corner Kicks:       3
Crosses:                tbd

Monday, May 6
Revolution Stopped Before It Begins; Pride win 4-0
Pride came out ready to play and showed extremely well Saturday, scoring 3 times in the first half (once with each change of substitutions), and once more after halftime. Once again, Pride’s sustained pressure on the opponent was ensured by the flawless containment of the ball in the attacking half of the field by our defense. Team communication and effective passing & possession were also key to today’s win. Today’s 4 goals were scored by 4 different players.
Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Jessica Munson
Goals (assists tbd):            
                      Lindita (1st half)
                      Sandi (1st half)
                      Lisa (1st half)
                      Brittany (2nd half)
Shots recorded:    tbd
Corner Kicks:       tbd
Crosses:                tbd

Monday, May 6
My (home) computer crashed on me this week, so I must ask you to bear with me for a while. Until I get it fixed, I will be unable to analyze the matches as thoroughly as usual and I will be entirely unable to provide pics from the matches. I hope it will not be too long before repairs are made – but for now, we’ll have to do without.

Saturday, April 27
Clash of the Titans – Pride Win A Very Close Contest 2-1
The morning featured a goal in the 1st 3 minutes on the match and the last 3 minutes on the match – with a very close and exciting game against an excellent opponent sandwiched in between. Detailed game summary and GAME PHOTOS to follow.

Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Alyssa Zarski
Goals:             Lisa Zelenak 3rd min
                      Mallory Parker-Zibel, 68th min
Shots recorded:    tbd
Corner Kicks:       tbd
Crosses:                tbd

Sunday, April 21
Fast Start; Pride Tame Rapids 4-1
2k2#1-Sara Lindita & Tenealle haircheck
Sure its fun to play - but your hair has to look good too. (CLICK PIC)
(click headline or accomanying picture for 20 more game pictures)

A quality performance to begin the season.

The weather was perfect for a game and the team put every bit of pre-season preparation to good use in our first outing of the season. In a match chocked full of positive points, the first thing which must be noted was the stellar job done by the defensive efforts of the team. Anchored by team captain, Tenealle, the “wall”, Jessica, Karen, Kelly, Melissa and Sandi all sharing the defensive back duties in their turn, lived up to their assignment in fine fashion, jealously guarding the defensive third of the field to near perfection. The opponent were only allow 3 forays into our penalty area the entire match.

Other facets of the match particularly well done include good use of wide play, good use of support (particularly between Kandyse & Jessica and again between Kandyse & Karen), switching the point of attack, and general passing, possession and communication.

Scoring opened up early when in the 5th minute Kelly from the left touchline played the ball back to Lindita in support who then switched the ball deep to the right corner for Chelsea. Under double and triple team pressure, Chelsea kept possession of the ball over 30 seconds before finally finding support from Lindita who had now moved over to the right to help. Lindita then served a strong 1-time ball to the front of the net. Sandi collected & controlled the ball out of the air with her first touch and then finished strongly with the next touch. A very lovely sequence to score.

Next, in the 24th minute Kelsey passed to Julia from a wide position on the left and Julia began a run toward near post. She got clipped in the ankles and taken down about 4 yards out but was back up in an instant and played the ball across the face of the net where Sara was crashing and put the ball home with a 1-touch finish.

The next tally came 8 minutes later. Sandi won a goal kick on the left flank, then served a strong cross to the far post channel. Lindita flicked the ball on to Chelsea who finished with yet another 1-time shot on net.

In the second half, Pride continued to carry the play and maintained pressure throughout the half. 55 minutes in, Alyssa won a clearance attempt, settled the ball nicely and then played a fantastic cross into space right on the 18 yard-line where an on-running Lindita was able to strike the ball full-on and in full stride, sending it authoritatively into the left side netting.

With 7 minutes remaining in the game, the opponent were awarded a penalty kick. Jessica made a fantastic initial save, but opponents were allowed to crash in unmarked and with Jessica down on the ground from the first dive, played the ball unchallenged into the net.

If there is anything I would like to really see improvement on, based on this showing, it is [1] stronger crosses and shots across the face of the net (too many shots & crosses did not make it in front of the net but only barely to the near post) and [2] players from behind overlapping and getting involved in the attack when the play is “on”. But, truly, this was a marvelous outing and outstanding effort by every player on the team.

Well done, Pride. Now we shift out focus to the next match.

Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Jessica Munson
Goals:             Sandi D’Alimonte (Lindita Ivezaj, Chelsea McGee) 5th min
                      Sara Driscoll, (Julia Musialowski, Kelsey Van Maele) 26th min
                      Chelsea McGee, (Lindita Ivezaj, Sandi D’Alimonte) 34th min
                      Lindita Ivezaj, (Alyssa Zarski) 55th min
Shots recorded:    21
Corner Kicks:       5
Crosses:                6

TEAM PICTURES: Saturday, April 20 2002 10:00am
Team Pictures will be taken prior to out 1st match Saturday morning 10:00am, 20 April 2002 at Ruether Middle School. (Auburn Rd. between Rochester Rd. & John R.)

Sorry for the short notice! That's pretty much my fault. But please lets all try to be present as team pictures are a fantastic momento of the team experience.

Wednesday, April 17
New Season Right Around The Corner.
captains & keepers 1
First practice of the preseason had to be cancelled because it was 25 degrees outside. Yesterday we had our last preseason training session as a 90 degree day settled into evening.

It’s been rather a hit and miss affair this entire pre-season. But I must say, I am extremely proud of the effort and dedication this team has shown so far. One of the hardest things in the world to do is to maintain that dedication and enthusiasm for 6 weeks and still never have yet played 1 game! These girls have done just that. In the midst of cold cold days, last minute cancellations for weather, soggy, sloppy, muddy field conditions, and a newly introduced nemesis (the HILL), this team has shown more team spirit, even BEFORE a game has been played, than I see many teams display over the course of an entire season. They are working hard, and they are working well. That is everything I ask and hope for. Now comes the fun part – matches!

Pride are ready. I am looking forward to a terrific spring season.

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Monday, October 15
Sunday, Muddy Sunday; Pride Win 1-0
#7 mud can be fashionable
Mud can be very fashionable, you know.
Detailed summary to follow.

Goalkeepers: Melissa Anderson, Jessica Munson
Goals:          Chelsea McGee (Lisa Zelenak) 19th minute

Saturday, October 13
Pride Forge On Sure & Steady; Win 2-1 Over Rapids
#6high five
Detailed summary to follow.

Goalkeepers: Melissa Anderson, Alyssa Zarski
Goals:            Lisa Zelenak (Mallory Parker-Zibel) 19th min
                  Brittany Sparks (Mallory Parker-Zibel, Ali Vogt) 59th min

Sunday, October 7
Pride Turn On The Pressure But Rev's Manage A 0-0 Result

Sunday, October 7
Everything But The Goal
#5lisa collects
Lisa calmly collects the ball, and then sends us right back onto the attack.
It was one of those days. The Screaming Egyptians dominated play in every aspect this afternoon. Possession, passing, use of space, corner kicks, shots. But in the end, with the opposing coach on the far sideline spending the last 3 minutes screaming and imploring the referee to call it a game, time finally did run out, and the opponent were able to manage a 0-0 tie.

A little disappointing, perhaps – but not overly so. We had spent this past week extremely focused on using the full width of the field and switching from one side to the other when play got bogged down. We very clearly brought those lessons to the field today. The passing was exemplary. Pride made very good use of width and space.

The result:
we spent 52 minutes in the attacking half of the field vs. 18 in the defensive half
14 corner kicks earned; 1 corner kick conceded
16 crosses
10 significant serves into the red zone
11 shots vs. 4 against

So why the scoreless result? One word: SHOTS. There were a number of shot opportunities passed up today. There were other shot opportunities missed because great serves and crosses went wasted because nobody got on the end of them. And rather than the 30+ shots that we strive for as a team goal, and generally achieve, we ended up taking just 11. That’s OK. We will make the adjustments and improve next week – just as we have every week thus far.

And I want to make it clear the I am NOT disappointed in this result or this performance. On the contrary – I thought this was a stellar performance by you Screaming Egyptians.

Why? Because that which we focused our training efforts on this past week (possession, width, switching) is what you brought to the match! EXCELLENT JOB! It’s just that in our days’ focus to look for the good passes from center, and to look for switches from one side to the other, we diverted our attention away from actually attacking goal when the opportunity presented itself. There were occasions when given and almost equal choice for a wide pass or goal, we chose the pass. Now all we need to do is balance that with other points of focus that we have brought to matches on other days. So, so may ask, why is it so hard to bring ALL points of focus to every game?

Well, this is how development and growth work. We learn something new - then we apply it. Then we learn something else new – then we apply it. And so on. Eventually, given enough time, practice and experience, we learn the best times to apply one bit of knowledge rather than the other bits - which skill to use, which tactic to use, which choice to make.

As I have taught you all season long - there are often several GOOD or acceptable choice (rarely in this game is anything perfectly right or perfectly wrong). The trick gets to be finding the BEST of those good choices and executing. The more we go along, the better choice we are able to make as to what to do at what point in time.

At this stage of your development – you girls are still WAY into the learning HOW TO stage… still are learning the different things TO do (skills, tactics). And you still have and awful lot more to learn. So while so much of your time and energy are devoted and required to acquiring these new skills a tactics, most of the where, when and how to use these thing are still mostly down the road.

As I say, this does not distress me at all. My job is to ensure your growth and development and THAT is being achieved. Anybody who watched this match can clearly see that. Last autumn and last spring, we worked very hard on applying principles of direct play. And you girls learned those principles quite well. At the beginning of this season I promised that I would strive to build on that foundation and strive to introduce a more mature style of play. This involves ball possession and ball handling. Not for it’s own sake but in order to wait for/create the opening so as to more efficiently attack with the force and effectiveness of direct play principles.

The first step of that goal is being realized. You are getting better and better by the week in possession play this season. We have already seen that you can soundly execute direct play principles. Now comes the time to marry the two. We will strive to learn to recognize the openings and then exploit them. This is a process which requires time, experience and lots of play – both on the training field as well as the game field. As I say, most of the where, when and how to use each new skill and tactic are still mostly down the road.
But, you girls have shown that you can find your way down that road pretty well!

I have no doubt as to the ability of this team to find the balance. Why? Because every week, whatever we have worked on – Pride have brought to the game field. In the pre-season we stressed touch and passing, and all season long our hallmark has been possession and ball control. The week we emphasised and rehearsed set peices, we scored 2 goals off the corner kick. This past week we focused on maximizing the benefit of our ball control by using the entire width of the field, and so we did. In the same manner, I am sure we will continue this excellent pace of development.

Pride, I am extremely proud of you for all that you have put into this season thus far. At one of the 1st practices of the season, you may recall, I spoke with you about the difference between “fun” and “fulfillment”. How they are both good and desirable things but how they are very different things – and how fulfillment doesn’t just come and go on the whim of a funny comment or playful antics like "fun" does but is something deeper and ultimately more gratifying that is built slowly and steadily through hard work and dedication. I promised you that if you gave yourselves the chance, you would come to know the difference by the end of the season. Well, right about now, you should be beginning to feel what I was talking about back then. Happily we’ve been having a lot of out right “fun” along the way as well – that’s because all you girls are such a blast and so full of personality, wit and mischief :). But take a look at where you are today from where you were 2 months ago. Think of what you’ve learned and how well you’ve applied that learning. Think of what a joy it is to realize that these thing you have learned are now always going to be a part of you – a part of thing you know how to do. Think of the confidence you've been able to walk onto the game field with because you KNOW what you are able to do together.

That is confidence you have the right to feel… because it is confidence you have earned. It is the difference between (1) saying “you’re every bit as good as the next team” just because that’s what a coach is expected to say even if both you and he know that you have never really worked hard or learned much over the season or (2) me saying to you “you have everything you need to win this match” because you and I both know the work and practice you have put into making that statement true. That is what I’m talking about when I talk to you about fulfillment.

But we are not done yet. There is plenty left to learn and accomplish. So let’s take stock of where we are now, look at where we can go down this last stretch of the season, and re-commit ourselves to get there together.

Let’s show everybody who’s seen us so far that “they ain’t seen nothin’ yet”.

Saturday, September 29
Pride Are On Fire; win 2-0 over Burn
m#4 saras goal
Sara (center) with Kelsey & Julia. That's Sara's shot in the back of the net.
Melissa Anderson & Jessica Munson combined for their 4th shutout in as many games.

Goals scored by Cheslae McGee and Sara Driscoll.

Pride wasted no time putting the previous weeks work on corner kicks to good use. The second minute, Lindita and Aly combined for another fine short-corner restart, laid the ball neatly across the net where Chelsea finished strongly with a decisive 1-timer.

Again, the Screaming Egyptians demonstrated their trademark attack oriented style (35 shots on the day) playing the great majority of the match in the opponents half and allowing only 3 shots against. Again, highest praise is due to the Pride defense, captains Tenealle & Lisa and also Jessica and Mallory, for being a wall in the back and keeping the ball contained to the attacking half.

The second goal came in the 57th minute after a partially cleared corner kick. Tenealle on the outside frame served the ball back in strongly across the face of the net a the 6 yard line. After a short scrum, Megan seeing the opportunity step in from her wide position to send the ball back across where Sara finished with her team-leading 4th goal of the season (along with Lindita who also has 4).

Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Jessica Munson
Goals:             Chelsae MacGee (Lindita Ivezaj, Ali Vogt) 2nd min
                      Sara Driscoll, (Megan Stevens, Tenealle Tenwolde) 57th min
Shots recorded:    35
Corner Kicks:   9
Crosses:          tbd

Pride Put A Spell On The Wizards; Win 3-0
In what is developing into a characteristic manner for this team, Pride dominated play winning possession, controlling the play with good use of space and good passing, and relentless pressure on the attack. The effort yielded 29 shots and a 3-0 victory.

Once again, Pride’s defense set the tone for victory allowing only one shot the entire game and keeping the ball contained to the attacking portion of the field.

Congratulation go out to Kandyse Fee and Kelsey Van Maele for picking up their first assists of the season on Lindita’s goal. Kelsey mad a great serve to red zone from a wide position on the right wing and then Kandyse one timed that serve across the face of the net where Lindita was able to finish.

Also, congratulations to Ali for her 1st goal of the season on a perfectly placed penalty kick. Very focused. Very disciplined. And a lovely shot.

Despite the excellent showing there are several point of play upon which we must improve. While it is true we are making good use of width and continue to gat better at it, I am noticing that we tend to use the width only to one side of the field for long stretches of time. I would like for us to improve totally switching the point of attack from left to right then back again as the play area becomes congested. We largely ignored the left side of the field today and there were many opportunities available there. Also, we were less disciplined about getting the ball across the face of the net once we were in the red zone today than we were yesterday. We started to revert back to those tiny little meaningless 2-3 yard passes just a little bit – not horribly and not throughout the game, but in a few little stretches. We just need to refocus on finding the strong service in the red zone.

But there is one major problem on this team that must be put to a stop right now. And that is the persistent lack of attention and confusion on substituting. Such mistakes are entirely unacceptable because they have nothing to do with skill or lack of skill, they have nothing to do with the opponent forcing us into this situation. These problems are nothing less than just not paying attention and not thinking or understanding your assignment. They make the entire team look very, very bad – not to mention they put the entire team in jeopardy. There is absolutely no excuse for not calling off your substitute. And there is absolutely no excuse for not understanding what position you are being asked to play… and it WILL come to an end this week.

Finally, congratulations to our goalkeepers Jessica & Melissa for their 3rd shutout.

Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Jessica Munson
Goals:             Ali Vogt (PK) 23rd min
                      Lindita Ivezaj, (Kandyse Fee, Kelsey Van Maele) 32nd min
                      Lindita Ivezaj, (unassisted) 62nd min
Shots recorded:    29
Corner Kicks:   16
Crosses:          14

Saturday, September 22
Out Of This World - Pride defeat Galaxy 7-0
After a two week layoff Pride demonstrated that they have put those two weeks of practice to good use. Scoring 4 goals in the 1st 20 minutes, Pride continued thier dominant style of play to finish with a 7-0 scoreline.

Of particular note, our "little eeek", Sara Drisccol, scored her first ever hat trick today.

The goalkeeping tandum of Melissa Anderson & Jessica Munson combined for their 2nd shutout of the season.

A more detailed game summary will follow after the weekend.

Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Jessica Munson
Goals:             Sara Driscol, (Chelsae McGee, Lindita Ivezaj, Tenealle Tenwolde) 8th min
                      Sara Driscol, (Chelsae McGee, Lindita Ivezaj) 13th min
                      Lindita Ivezaj, (Ali Vogt) 16th min
                      Lindita Ivezaj, (Lisa Zelenak) 18th min
                      Lisa Zelenak, (Alyssa Zarski, Lindita Ivezaj, Mallory Parker-Zibel) 41st min
                      Sara Driscol, (Lindita Ivezaj, Brittany Sparks) 48th min
                      Chelsae McGee, (Julia Musialowski, Ali Vogt)

Shots recorded:    35
Corner Kicks:   4
Crosses:          13

Sunday, September 9
Team field trip: Oakland University defeats IPFW 6-0

Saturday, September 8
Pride Start Strong; Win 2-0 in 1st Clash Of The Season
With the exceptions of shaky starts to both halves, the Screaming Egyptians hit stride early and dominated play throughout the match. A superb defensive display anchored by co-captains Tenealle Tenwolde, Lisa Zelinak along with Jessica Munson and Rebecca Heck kept the ball contained to the attacking portion of the field for most of the match and allowed the rest of the team to concentrate on how to break the opponents’ defense.

In a scoreless first half, the Egyptians allowed zero shots while taking 11 of their own – in addition to 8 strong crosses and 8 corner kicks. Chelsea McGee and Lindita Ivezaj hooked up for several beautiful combinations at the right wing, the defensive wall kept tracking down and pounding the ball back into the penalty area (including a 35 yard shot by Lisa that went just a bit high over the goal), and the entire team concentrated on pushing the ball from center to wide positions and then back in again. With Pride forcing play in the attacking portion of the field 30 minutes out of the 35 minute half, it seemed like only a matter of time before the effort being put forth on the field would yield results.

In the 2nd half the results came. After shaking off another poor start to the half (something we must address and correct before the next match) The Egyptians again found their groove and after the initial 5 minutes lull only allowed the opponent into our defensive end for a total of 2 minutes 30 seconds.

Lisa opened up the seasons scoring ten minutes into the half with a one-time goal from a crossed ball engineered Ally Vogt and Lindita on a short-corner play from the left. The second goal came ten minutes later, also a one-timer scored by Kelly Noren on yet another cross, this one from Lindita on the right wing. The rest of the match remained a Pride-dominated affair. The opponent did get 2 shots in the 2nd half, one on-net handily managed by Jessica for the only save require for the day. Jessica and first-half goalkeeper, Melissa Anderson, combined for their 1st shutout on the season.

Pride, as high as my expectations are when it comes to your performance, this match exceeded even my expectations. I am very proud of how hard you have worked all pre-season and very pleased to see how well you have taken everything we have been working so hard on and bringing it to the game-field. You won today because you earned it – not during the 70 minutes of the match, but in the 4 weeks leading up to it.

Your challenge is now to keep challenging yourselves. We did not win today because we are better than the opponent. We won today because we applied all that we have been working on, on the game-field. We have 2 weeks and 4/6 practice sessions before our next match. Despite a good start, we have many many things to work on and improve upon. Today you saw the results of hard work and honest effort. Lets all work together to see that these traits become a habit and our trademark rather than a one-time demonstration.

Goalkeepers:   Melissa Anderson, Jessica Munson
Goals:             Lisa Zelenak, (Lindita Ivezaj, Ally Vogt) 45th min
                      Kelly Noren, (Lindita Ivezaj) 55th min
Shots:             20
Corner Kicks:   14
Crosses:          13

FREE PLAY FRIDAYS - begin 14 Sept at Hart Middle School
Free Play Fridays is back.

RYSL/RSSC coaching director, Mark Hamilton, is once again commiting his friday evenings to this outstanding initiative and great opportunity for our league players.

Free Play Fridays is based on the idea of street soccer, and the concept is that the game is the greatest teacher. Players will be able to play in a free form environment allowing them to be creative and solve soccer problems within the game on their own. No interruptions from adults. No coaching from the sidelines. No calling "freeze" to illustrate a point. Just the players playing for fun.

A few adults, Mark Hamilton and myself included, will be present to supervise and aid as needed, but this is THE PLAYERS' EVENING. Again, there will be no coaching.

If numbers necessitate, team sizes may vary from the 4v4 form depending on the number of players each evening. In any case, the numbers will be kept small to maximize time and touch on the ball thus maximizing the fun AND development value of the free play.

Girls, I would really like to see you take advangatge of this opportunity. My goal would be to see at least half the team there each week. This is a great opportunity to just get out there and play and have fun and meet new friends from other teams in the club. Feel free to bring along a friend or two who may also enjoy playing with you.

The more you play, the better your going to get. Get better you get, the more fun you'll be having with this beautiful game.

Tell your friends. Encourage your teammates. Please come out and play.

Coach K

Friday, August 17
PARENTS MEETING - Thursday, 30 Aug, right after practice

I am very much looking forward to this season and getting to know those of you new to the team, and see all of you returning to the team again. Every time I take on a new team it is quite a challenge and sometimes a little overwhelming. For a roster of 20 players, that generally means 60 new people for me to meet, get to know, names to learn, faces to recognize - plus siblings, best friends & sometimes grandparents, aunts & uncles.

That also means 60 or more people to get to know me as well. And among so many people it can be very easy for questions, answers, ideas, and messages to get lost, misinterpreted, or misunderstood in the crowd.

In an effort to minimize any miscommunication and to expediate the "getting to know you" process, I would ask that after practice Thursday 30 Aug, rather than wait in the car for your player that day, please take a few minutes and come meet with us at the equipment area immediately following practice.

This year I am pleased to see a number of familiar faces so the transition may be a bit more smoothly than in other years. Nonetheless, in order to make full welcome our new team families, as well as review some important and basic items, I still feel that a short meeting is a great way to get off to a good start.

Basically, I'll just cover what I hope to accomplish with the team and give you an idea as to my approach to the game, my goals, and my expectations. I will answer any and all questions you may have. This will also be a good opportunity for you to meet the other parents of the team and get to know each other as well - which is always a nice way to start out the season. It is not my intention to make this a long drawn out affair, maybe 15-20 minutes or however much longer you decide.

A couple of things I will be asking which I'd like you to please consider:
1 - A volunteer to put together a refreshment schedule.
2 – Volunteers for a “phone tree” – to pass along information to the full team if needed. Usually this would have to do with weather related cancellations of practice
3 - One or several volunteers to keep stats from the team bench during matches. This is often an enjoyable activity for a sibling as well as a parent. There is much for me to analyze and this information is crucial to effectively help me assess the team's performance & development and aids me in determining upcoming training needs.
4 - (this is a big one & #1 on my wish list) - A volunteer with a video camera to tape our matches from beginning to end so that I can analyze the matches at home. This will greatly assist my efforts to plan practice sessions and aid the team's progress. The big trick with this favor is to really focus on the match play with the camera rather than just your daughter. This is a lot to ask but highly, highly appreciated.

Anything else you wish to cover or ask is entirely encouraged. That is precisely why I want us to all get together like this.

So if you can, please take a few minutes Thursday. I am certain that it will be pleasant and beneficial for everybody.

Thank you all in advance.
- Coach K

WHEN:        Thursday, August 30th
TIME:        7:00 pm - just after practice for 15 - 20 minutes or so
WHERE:        Brooklands Elementary Soccer Field - by the goal with all the equipment on the practice field.


Friday, May 11
Rochester H.S. vs Adams H.S. Field Trip

5 May 2001 - Match Cancelled - Pride Play Intersquad
Game summaries can now be found under the Schedules menu to the left of your screen.

6 May 2001 - Pride Win 6-0; Well Balanced Attack Key
Game summaries can now be found under the Schedules menu to the left of your screen.

28 April 2001 - Scoreless Tie to Open Season
Game summaries can now be found under the Schedules menu to the left of your screen.

29 April 2001 - Pride Lose Close One 1-2
Game summaries can now be found under the Schedules menu to the left of your screen.

Try Some Varsity Soccer!
Listed below are game schedules for Rochester High School and Avondale High School JV & Varsity Soccer teams. I would highly encourage you to attend several matches over the season to get a first-hand look at some high quality teenage-level soccer. In particular, games involving Rochester Adams (1999 State Champion / 1998 runner-up), Troy Athens (2000 State Champion) and Troy High (2000 Semi-Finalist) would be of particular interest since these are 3 of the best teams in the state.

ROCHESTER H.S. games schedule
5 Apr        at Troy Athens        5:00/7:00
7 Apr        at Saginaw Heritage        10:00/12:00
10 Apr        home vs. Troy H.S.        5:30/7:00
11 Apr        at Lake Orion        5:30/7:00
24 Apr        home vs. Roch. Adams        5:30/7:00
26 Apr        at Seaholm        5:30/7:00
1 May        at Lahser        5:30/7:00
3 May        home vs. Troy Athens        5:30/7:00
8 May        at Troy H.S.        5:30/7:00
10 May        at Roch. Adams        5:30/7:00
15 May        home vs. Seaholm        5:30/7:00
18 May        home vs. Livonia Churchill        5:30/7:00
22 May        playoff position round        TBA

AVONDALE H.S. games schedule
10 Apr        home vs. Clarkston        5:30 / 7:00
11 Apr        at Waterford Mott        5:30 / 7:00
24 Apr        home vs. Groves        5:30 / 7:00
26 Apr        home vs. West Bloomfield        5:30 / 7:00
28 Apr        home vs. Bishop Foley        11:00a / 1:00p
1 May        at Lake Orion        5:30 / 7:00
3 May        at Royal Oak Kimball        5:30 / 7:00
8 May        at Clarkston        5:30 / 7:00
10 May        at Groves        5:30 / 7:00
12 May        at Andover        10:00a / 12:00 noon
15 May        at West Bloomfield        5:30 / 7:00
22 May        TBD - (position round)        TBD
24 May        home vs. Stevenson        5:30 / 7:00
29 May        District Playoffs        TBD

From Last Season - New Team Photo Coming Soon!!
This picture taken just after United's championship victory. Pictured (roughly l-r) Jordan Shepherd, Melissa Anderson (goalkeeper), Rebecca Heck (behind M.A.), Coach Carlee Smith, Tenealle Tenwolde (waving), Mallory Parker-Zibel, Aly Vogt (bottom of pile), Sara Driscoll, Dayna Heinrich (pointing #1), Lisa Zelenak, Megan Lapanowsk (back), Jessica Munson, Kristen Mannino (obscurred by J.M.), Allison Bohne (sipping water), Kristen "Dutch" Dutcher, Coach Knut, Jenna Hanna & Julia Simon. Amber Dippold and Karen Armstrong were off chasing a butterfly I think and missed the shot.

29 Oct 2000 - Championship Victory
The Thrill of Victory
After a scoreless 1st half, United once again drew on their now trademark resolve and shut down a stubborn opponent throught the 2nd half and carried the play.

Tri-captain Kristen Mannino gave the opposition fits (as she has done all season long) up and down the right flank with her "damn the torpedoes, full steam ahead" approach to attack. Time after time beating her opponent and serving the ball into red zone, Kristen even drew accusations from the opposition the she was not even a legitimate member of this team but a ringer brought in from the select side or a higher age bracket. Of course, those accusations were silly and easily proven nothing more than sour grapes.

Once again, Rebecca Heck and Melissa Anderson were rock solid in the goal when called upon to earn the teams amazing 7th shutout in the 10 game run to the Championship.

This is an amazing team - not because of their wins and losses, but because they have worked exteremely hard from the very 1st week of practice, improved their technical and tactical knowledge and execution with every game, refused to succumb to pressure when in the midst of a strong challenge from opponents, and because they continually applied that work ethic and resolve, achieved the end result.

goals scored by:
not yet certain

CONGRATULATIONS TEAM on a brilliant season of fun and learning. This has been a job extremely WELL DONE!!!

21 Oct 2000 - United Win; Finish Regular Season 7-1

After a well played and hard fought 1st half, United once again dominated the 2nd half of the match.

Julia Simon scored 45 seconds into the half from 25 yards out. Wizards tied it up about 4 minutes later after I had foolishly pulled my central midfielder to the side in an effort to accomodate a substitution. This goal against is the coach's fault - not the team's.

Undaunted, United continued to dominate carrying the play, playing mostly in the attacking 3rd of the field and logging shot after shot. In the end, Wizards were unable to stave off the attack allowing 2 more goals and unable to mount any attack.

Also scoring today with her 1st ever career goal was Jordan Shepard from a brilliantly crossed ball from the left side of the field (will follow up with name) and a clever dummy run from Dayna Heinrich for the assists.

With this win, United finishes the regular season with the league's best record at 7-1.

Next week is the Autumn Tournament. United have a 1st round by and will advance directly into the Semi-Final Match.

goals scored by:
Julia Simon
Jordan Shepard
one goal unaccounted for (cannot see player on gametape)

Special Thank You's
I would like to extend my sincere thanks to all the parent & families of the players for your exemplary support and sportsmanship all season long and for your gracious support in volunteering to help me in ways that aid the team in a very big way. In particular I'd like to mention:

Nick Dippold for keeping game stats for me all season.
Debbie Driscoll and Chris Vogt for taping all of the games
Rich & Kim Anderson for putting together the indoor team and securing practice space for the girls.
And thank you to those arranging snack schedules, taking & sharing photogaphs, etc. and finding a way to carpool to get the girls where they need to be when they need to be there.

Your contributions to the team are significant and highly appreciated by everybody.

30 Sep 2000 - Last minute goal give United victory
With the game winning goal from Julia Simon, United have now defeated every team in the division for an unblemished 5-0 record.

The winning sequence began at the middle of the field with only 3 minutes remaining to play where Sara Driscole layed a perfect ball wide into space for team captain Kristin Mannino making the run. Beating her opponent and turning the corner, Kristen played the ball full across the face of the net where Julia was able to one-time the ball home.

Melissa Anderson and Rebecka Heck, each playing a half in goal, combined for the team's 4th shutout in 5 outings.

Goals scored by:
Julian Simon

14 Oct 2000 - United Bounce Back with Solid Showing
Included in this match was the first goal ever scored by Amber Dippold who followed up with a second goal on the day with less than 5 minutes left. Also scoring today were Allison Bohne, Ali Vogt & Kristen Mannino

Goals scored by:
Amber Dippold - 2
Allison Bohne
Ali Vogt
Kristen Mannino
1 goal unaccounted for (cannot determine on gametape)

7 Oct 2000 - United suffer 1st loss on the season

The opposition was very good and outplayed us today.

Of significance from a team standpoint, with Jenna Hanna out with injury today, Allison Bohne has been named the teams 3rd captain and will retain the role as "tri-captain" for the remainder of the season along with Jenna and Kristen Mannino.

All season long Allison has proven to possess a strong sense for the goal and a magnificent finishing touch. But she is not being named captain just because she scores alot. Allison's contribution and value as a team leader are further displayed by how unassumingly yet with the same determination to quality effort and play she accepts the defensive roles I'll put her in after scoring early and often. I know she'd like to stay up front and score more. But she understands what I'm doing and never complains, never pouts, and continues to play excellent soccer. This allows other players to gain valuable experience up front and allows for the overall development of everbody on the team. Allison has certainly proven herself worthy to be named captain.

28 Oct 2000 - United Earn Championship Birth
Tri-captain Allison Bohne scores her 12th & 13th goals of the season to lead her team to the Championship match.

Conspicuous during this match was the incredible defensive wall which I have not praised nearly enough this season. Anchored by Tenealle Tenewold and rounded out by Lisa Zelenak, Jessica Munson & Kristen (Dutch) Dutcher, the 4 of these players have truly gelled and combined all year to come as close to impenetrable as could ever be expected.

Also rounding out the defensive efforts of these players and so very often initiating quick and strong counter-attacks with exceptional field vision and pin-point accuracy on served ball is team captain Jenna Hanna. Jenna is invaluable to this team because of several reasons: (1) she does not lose 50/50 balls, (2) she gives tireless effort every moment she is on the field, (3) she is always in the right position at the right time, (4) she is unselfish, (5) she works very hard at her skills both during practices and (i'm certain) off the field at home.

This was an excellent performance, team. Let's go get 'em one more time!

Goals scored by:
Allison Bohne - 2

24 Sept 2000 - Winning streak extends to 4
After allowing our 1st goal against on the season, United came roaring back to put the game out of reach before the opponent finally scored a late 2nd goal which had little significance.

This match revealed a fantastic resolve in and the ability to Really turn it on when it counts.

Goals Scored by:
Ali Vogt - 2
Sara Driscoll
Kristen Mannino
Allison Bohne

23 Sep 2000 - Another Excellent Team Effort
5 goals spread among 4 players show that not only is this team talented, but unselfish and playing for each other rather than concentrating on selfish motives and individual glory.

It is a proud reflection on the entire roster.

Goals scored by:
Ali Vogt
Kristen Mannino
Allison Bohne - 2
Rebecca Heck

9 Sep 2000 - Season starts off strong
A very good start to the season. The girls did a wonderful job of applying what little we've had a chance to cover in practice and apply to the game field.

Goals scored by:
Ally Vogt - 2
Jenna Hanna
Allison Bohne

10 Sep 2000 - Strong Finish to Opening Weekend
A dominant showing hilighted by Allison Bohne's 4 goal performance. Aside from Allison, 5 other players scored this match showing a strong balance to the team and not having to rely on just one or two players to win games. That is the most exciting revelation of this match from my point of view.

Well done girls!

Goals scored by:
Mallory Parker-Zibell - 2
Dayna Heinrich
Tenealle Tenewolde
Allison Bohne - 4
Karen Alexandre
1 goal unaccounted for (not visable on game tape)

US Women's Team Greet Rochester United
Thanks to a winning essay by United Goalkeeper, Milissa Anderson, the team was treated to a very special meeting with members of the '96 Olympic and reigning World Cup Champion US Womens National Team.

This was a very special thrill for everybody on the team - including the coaches! Thank you, Melissa, from your entire team.

Pictured (l-r) Coach Knut, Coach Carlee, Jordan Shepherd, Tiffeny Milbrett, Karen "Nails" Armstrong, Kristen "Dutch" Dutcher, Sarah Whalen, Amber Dippold, Allison Bohne, Rebecca Heck, Shannon MacMillan, Sara Driscoll, Lisa Zelenak, Mallory Parker-Zibel, Kristen Mannino, Melissa Anderson, Megan Lapanowski, Mia Hamm, Jessica Munson, Tenealle Tenwolde, Ali Vogt, Julie Foudy.

US Womens Team & Rochester United

Friday, June 3

Rochester Pride - RSC Lightning '96
Rochester Pride - RSC Lightning '96
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