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Tie 1-1 The simple stats...... Shots Eagles - 17 Grimsby - 6 Corner Kicks Eagles - 12 (ouch) Grimsby - 0 Time in Grimsby's end of the field 1st half - 32/45 min - 70% 2nd half - 32/45 min - 70% Total connected passes 1st half - 16 (ouch) 2nd half - 20 (ouch) Most of the individual stats are posted on the web site. A sense of deja vu (last season) with our season opening with a tie that never should have been. Overall we played a dominant, less than glamorous game, but failed to get the ball in the net when needed. We watched Grimsby's game change drastically downhill when we finally put one behind them. Next time we must score early to improve the dominance and keep them on their heels. Brittany Kadwell (9) scored on us from the left wing. (power shot) - for the record. Some observations.... A slow start out of the gate......everyone has to be there from the opening whistle to the end. Some obvious energy lacking in some players - fitness? - game prep? We had 12 corner kicks - says something good about our offensive pressure. With the exception of Tonya coming up as the target player, I did not see either of our corner kick set ups put in play. Corners are high quality opportunities to score - player placement and strategic pressure on the defenders is essential - we missed 12 opportunities as we stood around waiting for something to happen. 17 shots - 1 goal....we need more hunger in front of the net......we were far too polite in many cases. The biggest weakness in the game was our ball control. 36 connected passes (and that included balls to the corner) is absolutely unacceptable. This shows that we were scrapping out 1 v 1's from Grimsby rather than controlling the play of the game, supporting the ball and managing our energy better. First touches and errant passes must improve. First to the ball - sometimes.....needs to get to 90%. Opening day jitters are over - you survived for one point, but two precious points got away. I am grateful to the walking wounded, especially Tonya, who suffered through the game with foot trouble to produce the result.
The news today continues to emphasize the probable need for a passport to enter the United States. We currently don't have any US travel in our schedule but that doesn't mean that we won't consider something down the road. Our schedule is impacted by two primary date points. The first is April 16 when the OSA "draw from a hat" to determine who plays where for the first round of Ontario Cup. We may need to travel, we may not. The second is May 13 when South Region publishes our league game schedule. The combination of these two dates affect a large number of potential game dates that have to be kept open as long as we progress in our winning in Ontario Cup and League Cup. The chronic, general shortage of fields across our league geography will drive some regular league game play into weekends as well as mid-week nights. We certainly experienced this last year in rescheduled games that were rained out. Our focus on our league competition must remain the number one priority. Ontario Cup runs a very close second priority. Everything else we do around these priorities is directed at training, preparation, and of course some social fun to reward everyone's hard work. Our first tournament warm-up competition will be the COVI (City of Vaughan) event on May 27-29. Our last tournament of the season will be the Eagle Cup, our own, on September 24-25. We may involve ourselves in a couple more tournaments depending how our calendar fills out in May. Back to passports..... I encourage all players (and parents/family members who plan to travel with the team) to have a valid passport in hand as soon as possible. This suits both your personal travel needs at the family level, allowing you to leave "on the next plane" as well as the team needs if we decide to head into the States on short notice. There may be call-up opportunities for players to travel with teams going into the US. We may get invited by a US based team. Certainly any player who intends to qualify for the "Tour of America" trip next spring will need a passport. We'll be asking everyone shortly whether you have a passport in hand or not - just so we know where we stand. Have fun. BT
A brief summary of what we covered in our team meeting on Sunday afternoon. In small groups the team created presentations on "Leadership" and how each individual can contribute their personal leadership to the team success. The team crossed shark infested waters using limited rafts (you had to be there). In groups again, the team spent two minutes asking each other about things they didn't know already and shared the new revelations around the room. In groups, each player had an opportunity to listen quietly while their team mates poured praise on them for two minutes. We discussed the personal impact of positive talk vs negative stuff. Everyone got to ask the coach some questions they wanted to know about their coach. We touched briefly on the difference between being an "Intimidating" team vs a team that does the job with "Skill and Class". Everyone agreed that we will succeed with our Class and our Skill. In closing, everyone had a chance to provide some input into the 2006 uniform, tracksuit and bag styles, fabrics and colours. We are blessed with a real "team" that understands how to look after each other, inspire and push. The time spent on Sunday was to help everyone understand the hard work that is required to keep our team relationships, and those in their daily lives, under control. Off the field discussions like this will continue as part of our overall program in personal development. Have fun.
Game result 3-1 for North Miss. They control first place for the winter season. We still have to win next weekend against Woodbridge to secure second place. A respectable off-season. I was pleased with the focus and attitude that everyone brought to this game. The pre-game locker room environment was full of confidence. We went into this game with one clear objective - to play a quality game - win or lose. Overall the performance was pretty good in spite of some uncharacteristic misses in our net. It happens. Unfortunately we continued to struggle in the offensive zone with only 3 shots on the net plus two attempts that missed. Corner pressure play continues to be virtually non-existent. I yield to the outdoor season. North Miss had 5 shots on our net and 6 quality attempts that missed the target. I would like us to be more conscious of where opponent runners are going rather than where they are. Ball support was often non-existent in the second half. Completed passes in the game..... 1st half - 50 (acceptable) 2nd half - 35 (not in control) Our last game recorded 106 completed passes in a game we controlled from start to finish. 1 v 1 performance 1st half - 95 opportunities (58% won) 2nd half - 56 opportunities (62% won) Winning percentage is expected to improve. We cannot go into the summer getting knocked off the ball as often as we did today. This, combined with our passes completed, clearly illustrates that overall, we let North Miss have the second half and their winning result. I will make the detailed per player stats available tomorrow. They will be visible to all. It is intended to help me measure where improvement is needed and where our strength lies. I fully expect this to become a competition among the most focussed players. Each player must recognize their personal contribution on the field and where they succeed and where they need to improve. ! v 1 stats tell me more than just who won more than they lost. I also see who is actively in the play and who is not. These stats do not include those situations where a player intercepted a pass (stepped up and avoided a 1 v 1). Our next stats will reflect that as a win. I want everyone to understand that statistics of any kind are not anyone's enemy, nor are they the complete answer to any game situation. Stats do however bring the basics of the game into the limelight so each of you have a variety of personal challenges to develop your skills and contribute in the most effective way to your team. Thanks to our "red shirts" on the bench who compiled today's stats. The US universities call their injured roster "red shirts" because that is what they wear on the bench while inactive during competition. They wear a red shirt obviously..... I am always open to suggestions and comments. Bring on the real game...It starts April 10 at Iceland.
A quality result and 3 points to the good. We tracked the number of completed passes in this game and recorded 106. This suggests that we were controlling the game fairly well. Scoring goals continues to be our challenge. While we only had one serious challenge on our own net, we only put 4 balls on the Markham net. Fortunately one went in. This still stems from our failure to work the corners all of the time, split out the defenders and look for trailing attackers. Fitness among a few players is still lacking. Playing time will go those who provide the energy on the field, get to the right place at the right time and win their 1 v 1’s. Next week’s game will require your finest performance of the winter season when we will be setting the tone for our summer ventures against North Miss. Get your sleep, eat properly and load up on the water all week in preparation. If you wait until the day before….you are too late. One last point, before the game I asked everyone how we did against Markham in the previous two games. Only a handful had given it a thought. Everyone is expected to review previous games reports so that you understand what we did right and where we needed to improve. You must prepare yourselves mentally before each and every competition using all of the resources available to you. Be assured that North Miss is absolutely worried about you as a team and you deserve to show them they ought to worry. Coach Steve will be running practice on Wednesday. I have one last supplier session with the 2006 uniform suppliers. We are shifting into Phase 3 of our summer training program which accelerates fitness training in our practice schedule. Be prepared and come well hydrated. On Sunday I have scheduled a player team meeting from 3 pm to 6 pm at the clubhouse. Count on a 5 k run as part of that session so come prepared. There will be a similar meeting the following Sunday. Remember you are elite athletes with a strong commitment to your team – and hard work goes with the responsibility. BT