Wasn’t exactly ‘Saintly’ Calgary Minor Soccer
By April Cruz
When the under 16, Tier 1 girls of NSD Saints 96 took on the SWU Saints in Calgary Minor Soccer action Wednesday night, there were no halos involved. The girls meant serious soccer business.
From the first whistle, Saints 96 took charge and scored an early goal. Shortly following, lines of taking charge and being aggressive became blurry for a couple of Saints 96 players. Yellow cards were given to #3 and # 7.
The SWU Saints were not exempt. A yellow card was given to # 8 on the team for ‘unsporting behaviour’.
As a result, Saints 96 coach, Jamie Pollock was forced to make some play adjustments.
“The SWU Saints competed very hard and then there were a couple of little conflicts. The ref decided to give out two yellow cards and they both went to the same person over the course of about ten minutes,” Pollock said.
Receiving two yellow cards equals a red card, an automatic send off of the field and a one game suspension.
This left the Saints 96 to play shorthanded for the rest of the game. The girls seemed to deal with it fairly well.
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The final score was 4 to 1 for the Saints 96.
SWU Saints coach, Collin Loewen, shared his thoughts on the game.
“The difference tonight was generally the skill level between the two teams. That team is renowned for their very technical skill. We’re just a couple of notches below,” he said.
“We’re really proud of the effort our girls put in tonight. We didn’t give up, we didn’t back down,” added Loewen.
He agreed the game was played aggressively but wasn’t convinced the red card should have been given. This did, however, provide SWU with an opportunity.
“It gave us a bit of an advantage through the rest of the game. We tried to take advantage of it and couldn’t quite get the results we wanted,” Loewen said.
The Saints 96 did outplay SWU but one of the reasons for this was history. The core group of girls on the team have been playing together for several years. This was viewed by both coaches as a valuable difference.
“They can almost read each other’s minds after a while so they play a very good team game,” said Loewen.
Coach Pollock believes that after playing together for a while, their ability to trust each other makes an impact on the field.
“The (level of) trust is the really big thing. When things start to go badly, if you know what your team mates can do and you trust in them, you’re usually able to fight your way through stuff,” he said. “When you don’t trust them, that’s when you start to do things outside the game plan and people get a little individualistic.”
Wise words. In life, as in soccer, this kind of trust can make an impact with all relationships.
Thankfully, these U16 girls are learning young.