After a hard-fought, high-quality ETIAC final on Wednesday where we outplayed a tough opponent but came up short in an overtime shootout (which happens all the time in soccer), and after the last practice of the season where we got our arts and crafts and milkshakes on, I just want to say thank you.
Thank you for that amazing second half and overtime. Against a team with strong midfielders, exceptional defenders and an all-world goaltender, and with time winding down and the pressure mounting, that is usually when a team will abandon passing and possession and just start panic-kicking the ball forward. But not you guys. The poise you played with, the commitment to winning the ball and doing something purposeful with it was unbelievable. That was real soccer. When you take the level of competition – MVR is big, strong, fast and disciplined – and the moment (OMG The Finals!) into account, maybe the best we’ve played all year. You won and kept and passed the ball and kept the pressure on so well that you reduced a very good team to kicking/punting the ball out of their end and just hoping for a mistake that would give them a breakaway. That’s all they had left. They could not construct anything after halftime, because you guys locked in and were JUST THAT GOOD.
Thank you for that final “Whose house? Our house!” after the game, preceded by Camryn’s and Sofia’s and Maddie’s heartfelt (for some, tearful) season-ending words to the team. One of my favourite moments of the year.
Thank you to all of you who played through injuries, the ones I knew about AND the ones you lied to me about. You’re one of the toughest teams I’ve coached. No complaining. No excuses. Just quietly finding a way to give your all, despite sprained ankles, groin pulls, shin splints, torn ACLs(!) and whatever else you guys had but wouldn’t tell me about.
Thank you for no drama. Whatever issues you had amongst yourselves, you kept it off the field and always put the team first.
Related to the “no drama” point above, thank you for making the season work with 22 players (the most we’ve ever kept) but only 18 starting spots per game. You have no idea how much I appreciated the maturity with which you accepted not being on that day’s game roster. And when you would still want to come to the game, even if you weren’t playing, to support your teammates? Made me proud to be a coach at this school.
Thank you to Nya and Natalia who, without any prompting from the coaches, had cards made up and signed for their teammates. So thoughtful!
Thank you to everyone for making the effort to write meaningful messages for Avah, Camryn, Carolyn, Gloria, Jana, Lana, Maddie, and Vivianne. It took some time, but trust me, when the seniors happen upon those hearts a couple years from now, your words will mean so much to them and bring back sweet memories.
And a final thank you to each and every one of you. You all got together for the first time at tryouts, back on
September 8, that Friday, the first real day of school. You didn’t know anybody’s names, just your friends. Who knew where this would lead? Then for the next seven weeks, you fully committed to a whirlwind, punishing, rainy(!) season where you played 18 games vs only 12(!) practices. You became a team, and most importantly you became teammates. You accomplished things on the soccer field you could never accomplish alone, you were part of something bigger than yourself, and you shared experiences that will always keep you connected.
Sincerely, THANK YOU. And see you at Athletic Assembly!
- Coaches VD & K
11 wins 1 tie 6 losses ETIAC Record: 8-0-2
Goals for: 49 Goals against: 16
ETIAC Regular Season Champions