Tuesday, May 13, 2014


A few short notes. 

No, I obviously haven't written anything up about the last couple of games. There were a couple of noteworthy things about them, however. 

1. Varsity lost at Hunter 1 to 2. Carlos Herrera scored from 23 out.
2. Junior Varsity tied. 5 to 5--they were behind most of the game. Cade and Nate each had a brace, while Tenzin lit it up one from 30. 
2.5. Hunter's field and stadium felt like the stadium from Longest Yard and that we playing prisoners or something. 
3. It rained a lot. A lot. Like, really...a lot. 
4. Varsity lost at Taylorsville 2 - 5. Goals from Chris Carden and Calum Yule on PK. Ryan went out with a red card for a professional foul to prevent a goal.
5. JV won. Goal from Cade and Jorge. 
6. It didn't rain at all during the game. 

I'll attach a few pictures after this short message.

Banquet. May 30th. 5:30. Here, in the cafeteria. Please contact Connie Means (I can point you in the right direction if you lost the flyer she made) to RSVP, so we know how many people are coming. $11 for parents or girlfriends or aunts or uncles at the door.

Jared and Kristine and I would very much like to see each of you play with your club team. Why? Because we care, and because we love watching you play. So, to that end, please email me, or text me when you have a tournament you're attending...and we'll make an effort to come say hi and watch a little soccer.

This game is more than about wins and loses. It's more than about technique and tactics. At the high school level (well, perhaps every level), it's meant to be about learning life-lessons though competition and teamwork, though effort, though dedication, and through struggles. Can we, as players and coaches and parents, overcome those struggles and trials? Can we rise above the fray and conquer our challenges? I believe that we can. I hope you believe we can as well.

Next year will come and we'll be dealt similar circumstances. I think, however, we'll manage them better. I think we'll be more successful. I hope you think so as well.

Tryouts next year are on March 4th and 5th, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM on the soccer field. 

If, you're a player and would like to discuss things that we, as coaches, think you need to work on--please stop in. Please ask. It can improve your game, and it could improve your chances of making the team next year.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Team Poster

The original is in my room. Please stop by and take a peek. I'll have it at the banquet on the 30th too.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Game Twelve & Thirteen

Let's start at the start. 

Last Friday we played Taylorsville. 

JV started at 5:15, and won. It wasn't quite that simple. One goal, then another, then theirs, then they had another and then another and then we scored and then we scored again. 

Follow that? Me either. 

Taylorsville 3, Hillcrest 4

Back and forth, that's really all we need to know. Why? They were pretty decent. Our boys, however, were better. 

Side note here: the wind howled for three hours, and it rained dirt. Really. Dirt.

Farhoud (No. 18 in the pictures above) started the scoring. Luca (No. 19) had a brace (2 goals), and...Cade (No. 23) finished the scoring out [actually, he scored the third goal I think]. 

What's remarkable about their performance (besides controlling the weather--we'd chosen the 20 know wind at our backs for the first half, and at half-time it switched direction and remained at our back), was that they refused to give up. They fought back after Taylorsville scored. Several nice through balls and some very nice shots resulted in a nice win. Structure kept things tight when they were pressured, and a possession game from Farhoud and Tenzin (No. 34) kept things predominately ours. Shout out too to Andrew (No. 27) and Nick (No. 32) in midfield. Defense was tested and pushed, yet Eric (No. 30) and Hunter (No. 31) held it all together. Let's not forget Omid at #29, and our keepers Case and Jake (from State Farm).

Varsity against Taylorsville resulted in a 2 - nil loss. A PK from a yellow yielded the coffin's final nail. A second yellow to the same player saw us down to 10 men, but play tough and produce good chances. Unable to score, and calls clearly not in our favor, saw us lose a second player with 4 minutes remaining. Down to 9, we fought on. 

Let's move on to Tuesday's game against West. Region leaders came and we all got it on. 

JV playing with a new formation against a tough defense saw a draw for most of the game. They scored 70 minutes in and it remained that way at the final whistle. I think the boys liked the style: high pressure up top, and possession in the middle that looks first and foremost for passing lanes and though balls. Again Farhoud was phenomenal, and controlled the flow of the game. Andrew was excellent in the middle and we played well as a team. 

Varsity. Remember we're playing without two starters, from the previous game's red cards. 

Here are our seniors. 

Here are our starters. Nate #20, Mathew #5, Bodie #7, Caden #17, Chris #22, John Guldner #8, John Goodman #4, Ryan #15, Eric #21, Jorge #0, and Marshall #2.

Straight up 4-2-3-1 brought instant pressure, and Caden (plus two others) were in the box in seconds. Two solid chances inside of four minutes. 

High pressure and terrific play from Samuel and Carlos and Jose, and all the forwards went well. They scored off of a nice penetrating pass and a nice finish. I believe they scored next leaving us down 2 - nil. Until a perfectly weighted ball from Marshall found a streaking attacking midfielder Chris Carden, and from 28 yards out 25 yards wide of center Chris crushed the ball. It found the top right 90 and no one could have stopped the shot. Half time 2 - 1. 

It's a long story, and it produced a lengthy email from me in an effort to address refereeing in not only this game, but all high school soccer. John Guldner (below) blew out a knee. Bad. It didn't happen because of bad refereeing, but because of a turf field and his heroic effort to not plow into a keeper, after a full sprint (if you've ever seen John sprint, you'll know that he's super fast...and super big...and he'd killed the keeper). the lengthy letter was because Chris was elbowed in the back of the head, and then ten minutes later Jose Gonzalez got his tooth knocked out (actually broken in half) by a kid's elbow. Neither saw a warning from the referee, nor a yellow, nor a red (elbows should be straight red). In fact, both Chris and Jose were called for the fouls. 

Second half. Ugh. West scored and we didn't come out with the same degree of energy. We didn't press. We didn't challenge. We got beat. We pushed Ryan higher up the pitch, to holding midfielder with license to move up. He did. And from 19 out, after dribbling through 4 West defenders (actually two prior to that)...so, SIX PLAYERS (HALF THEIR TEAM), Ryan crushed a ball to his left. the keep even got his hands on it. It skimmed the bottom of the crossbar, and found the back of the net. It left us as 2 - 5.

Analytically, we played well the first 40 minutes, and at that technical level, and tactical pressure, we could have beat them. When we didn't pressure, and when we didn't play with energy for 20 minutes in the second half we got beat. The last 10 to 15 minutes, however, were back to Hillcrest possession and pressure. And from there we played level. 

At the end of the match a West player taunted Mathew in front of the center referee. Mathew said something he shouldn't have said and received a red-card. The West player, however, received nothing. Nothing. And it's that injustice and lopsided officiating, in part, that prompted that lengthy letter. Will it go anywhere? I doubt it. I wrote it out of concern for the safety and well being of our student athletes. 

Here's John. 

Three games remain--all away games. Granger, Hunter, and then Taylorsville. All winnable games [heck, they all have been].