Every player counts when it comes to Calgary Minor Soccer victories
By April Cruz
Yesterday at 1:15 p.m., with the sun directly overhead in a cloudless sky and the shells of sunflower seeds scattered along the sidelines at Ernest Manning, the under 18 girls of NSD Bordeaux faced the Villains Infinity 18 in Calgary Minor Soccer action.
Bordeaux coach, Dean Drozdiak came prepared with a ten by ten sun cover for the team to stay cool before and during the game. Nice touch on his part.
Both teams had just enough players to make this game happen. A common challenge during summer league in Calgary minor soccer. Between family holidays, injuries, and jobs, at times a coach is left with minimal players to practice and compete with. One player missing can make the difference between a win or a lose.
Bordeaux was effective at keeping the ball in the Villains end from the first whistle.
Coach Drozdiak acknowledged proudly from the sidelines how the girls were applying techniques focused on in practice on the pitch.
“In practice we work on touches all the time, so trying to play two touch soccer; keeping the ball in possession; not just kicking it away, so having someone on the end of a pass all the time,” he said. “(Today) our first touches were better which allowed us to make passes and link plays. That’s the sort of thing we work on a lot.”
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During the first half, Bordeaux’s goalie made a key save on a penalty kick. The score was 1 – nil for Bordeaux at the time and Drozdiak believed that save to be a turning point for the girls.
Bordeaux won the game 3 to 0.
A game strategy, and one that works well for this team, is to utilize a strong front line as consistently as possible.
“We went with two strikers primarily today, and both are very capable of scoring goals. They did a great job of controlling the ball up front and putting pressure on the other team,” shared Coach Drozdiak. “We’ve gone primarily with four (strikers) all season and that’s really where our attack kinda comes from. It’s rare for us to score other than from the strike position so the girls that are there are very good at what they do. We focus on trying to get balls to their feet.”
The Villains battled hard but had difficulty keeping it out of their end.
Their coach, Mike Breen was also contending with a short bench and last minute changes.
“We’re getting to be quite short on players at this time of year. We’re playing our game with half the squad being U16′s, call ups from other teams and a call up goal keeper. Our regular team basically wasn’t with us today. It was a challenge,” Breen said.
Despite the challenges, Coach Breen still believed the girls worked the ball really hard and the effort was good.
As the game progressed, so did the frustration level. Villains player # 14 received a yellow card for foul play. In fact, the referee named the offence ‘persistent foul play’.
The Villains have one more game this Thursday and found out yesterday that another player from their team will be missing.
“So we’re making a call out to anyone who wants to play,” said Coach Breen while laughing and half joking. Note the ‘half’.
For more about the final stretch of games happening for the outdoor Calgary minor soccer season, visit the CMSA website.
Calgary Minor Soccer Goals Scored:
# 4 – 2