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SG Soccer White: Sitting Pretty at SIT

By Erik Van Dyke
Musings, observations and the occasional insight from our finalist plaque finish at our very own Stanstead Invitational (aka Dyke ‘n’ Friends) Tournament this past weekend.
There were a lot of things we wanted to improve upon at this tournament, but at the top of the list was our team shape, specifically the positioning of our defensive midfielders. That’s why I was SOOO happy after our opening 1-0 victory over Galt, because Mariana and Player Of The Game Charlotte Dubé figured it out and played it better than we had all year. When you’re positioned that well, it just seems like the ball finds you, doesn’t it?
The Theory Of Relativity Award goes to Gloria’s game-winning goal in this game, which took so long to loop over the Piper keeper that time itself seemed to slow down.
Perfect weather AGAIN for this tourney. As the LCC coach said to me upon arriving, “It always feels like Pleasantville when I come down here!” (Pleasantville is a movie…look it up!)
The Highlight Of The Tournament also happens to be one of the prettiest goals I’ve seen in years from a Spartans team, i.e. critical Game #2 vs Sacred Heart, tied 1-1, ball up to Camryn, out to Gloria, back to Camryn, up to Bernie, back out to Gloria, back to Bernie, then finally back up to Camryn, who hammers it under the crossbar for the 2-1 lead! Or something like that. Whatever it was, it was TIC-TAC-TIC-TAC-TIC-TAC-TOE and it was bee-yoo-tiful. I think this Gloria-Camryn-Bernie triangle could be a thing going forward.
How good was Maddie in goal this weekend? I heard from four fans, three visiting coaches, two refs and a partridge in a pear tree that her game-stealing Player Of The Game performance vs Sacred Heart (final score 3-1) was the best goalkeeper performance they’d seen this season. High praise indeed.
The Patience Is A Virtue Award goes to the entire team for how they handled ECS playing with so many defenders behind the ball. Despite the score being 0-0 at half, no one got frustrated, we kept doing the right things on offense, until we finally got rewarded in the 2nd half with Bernie’s and Camryn’s eerily similar goals, i.e. slick move in the box followed by a rocket blasted over the keeper.
Valentine (vs SH) and Siena & Daphne (vs ECS) all played their most aggressive games of the year, while Avah against ECS was the Player Of The Game at central defense. In her own words “I just trust my teammates so much now.”
How good was that LCC team in The Finals? I haven’t watched that much ball-chasing since playing with Mr. Spirk’s dogs…final score 0-5…ouch.
Although we’ve been very lucky to avoid a major injury (knock on wood!), the aches and pains are starting to add up: Avah’s foot, Mariana’s and Gloria’s shin splints, Camryn’s ankle, Charlotte Hughes’ foot, Jimena still out, a knee here, another foot there, heck, Sara even got stung by a bee!
Things that transferred directly over from Friday’s practice? Outside midfield shape and attacking rebounds. Things that did NOT transfer? Throw-in coverage and corner kicks.  
The back line of Sara, Avah and Krystine – the “S.A.K. Line” –  improved every single
game, be it supporting each other, communicating, or boldly knifing forward to keep the offensive
pressure on. You can just feel their confidence growing.

So an impressive runner-up finish (sorry Charlotte Hughes, no actual silver medals),
with some very good things done by many different players.
Most importantly, we learned a lot, and hopefully just in time, because on Tuesday we play
a must-win game vs Massey-Vanier, and if we win that, then we have
another must-win game vs Galt on Friday.
If we want to win the coveted ETIAC regular season banner, it starts Tuesday @ MVR.
Last time we tied them 1-1. Have we improved more than they have?
I think we have. Let’s prove it.
- Coach Van Dyke and Kirby
The year so far….
6 wins 1 loss 1 tie     
ETIAC Record:  3-0-1
Goals for: 17   Goals against: 8
S.I.T. Silver Medalists