Saturday was our final matches for both the U6 and U8 teams. It marked the end of our season for the fall.
U6 Match Report
We were at full strength for the final match of the season – all six of the boys were in attendance.
Our time schedule flip-flopped this week – and our U6 team played first, with a 9 AM match time. At game time, we had four of six players present with the last two arriving in the first quarter.
I shifted some of the game rules in the last few weeks of the season. More of the teams we’ve been playing have been using a “kick in” versus a “New Ball” rule for restarting play, so I’ve adopted a “Dribble or Pass” instruction to my players. The players are about 50/50 on what they choose to do – and I think giving the “Dribble or Pass” instruction reinforces thoughtful action instead of “kicking” the ball away.
Evan had a solid performance – he had several nice cutbacks with the ball and managed the ball well when he was in the game.
I’m expecting we will probably return all six players for the spring season, although a couple of players might try Baseball in the spring. I’m hoping to continue building the players towards the U7 game rules – moving from Dribble or Pass restarts to Pass ins, and teaching kick-offs. We’ll also play more 2v2 in practice and build on working with a single teammate on the offensive and defensive ends of the field.
U8 Match Report
We had seven players for our U8 match – one of only a few times this fall we’ve had a full crew. I was happy everyone was there for our last match.
By 10:15, it had warmed up substantially and it was sunny. Warm weather – and about half of the kids were in shorts and jerseys only! Great weather for it being the second weekend of November.
We started fairly well – the kids did a good job of containing the ball on defense and slowing down their opponent but again we had trouble holding possession of the ball in the offensive half of the field.
The second quarter we let in several goals and our Goalkeeper (for that quarter) was fairly down at halftime so I tried to remind them that the game restarts after the first half, and I want them to win a half, win a quarter, win a restart. Start at the small part of the game, and move towards the bigger parts.
In the second half, Aidan added two more goals to his season total – both scoring from the right side of the goal near the corner. The first was shot across the face of the goal and somehow hooked in; the second was a similar shot but was deflected off of a defender.
Two more of the kids came close to scoring – one had a shot that went wide of the post after a good breakaway, and the other had the shot blocked.
I’m not sure how many players we will get back in the spring. One of the boys usually plays Baseball. There’s a solid four that will come back – the other three, I’m not sure about. I think our goals will be to continue to work on the basics (improving skill levels) and continue to work in 2v2 and 3v3 situations to find ways to work together coherently as a team.