Gap Gators U14 Girls Soccer Team

News and reports on the 2012 season

Yeronga Olympic Pre-season Friendly (24 Mar 2012)

The 2012 U14 Girls soccer season started in fine style this weekend with a friendly away game against Olympic FC in Yeronga.  A strong and spirited first game performance from all the girls in the midday heat and humidity.

First half

Reserve: Gemma, Alannah, Rebekah, Charlotte

After leading an entertaining warm-up, captain Georgia took the team to the field and decided to continue to lead by example with a stirring run and shot towards goal, only to be denied by the Olympic goal keeper.  In a harbinger of future matchplay, we suddenly found the ball in our half with Olympic pressing hard, requiring some crafty defending from Taryn to take the heat off.  We were then able to turn it around and really put the pressure on – a pass forward from Alexa serving us well.  Ali joined the party from mid-field, with a neat pass to Rachel, who then set up the captain (ie Georgia) for an attempt at goal – unfortunately, while the direction was true, the power was not, so the score keeper was untroubled.  (The coaching staff were very pleased with the passing on display, especially considering this was the first game.)  Not wishing to be anti-social at the striker’s party camped out in Olympic’s half, Emily took a shot on goal but was denied by their keeper.  After a significant, sustained period occupying the Olympic 18-yard box, we were rudely re-acquainted to the defending part of the game with Olympic surging forward with some swift passing; luckily Maddie was there to take care of it with a solid clearance.  Not to be deterred so easily, Olympic attacked again, this time with an offside play that wasn’t picked up by the referee; luckily Lexi took care of it.  Again, they attacked … this time courageous Karlee (she volunteered for the goal keeper job – thanks Karlee!) saved us with a finger-tip save that just deflected the ball across the face of goal.  The resultant corner again had Karlee using all her skills to make the save.  Unfortunately, shortly thereafter we had a setback, with a strike from Olympic landing in the back of the net.

Play resumed and again they were challenging in our half.  Lexi and her defenders started getting the hang of the offside trap, helped in small part by some truly ostentatious offside goal attempts by the opposition, but still Olympic broke through and Karlee was called on to make the save. And again. And again.  This was a tense time as our defensive posture was under some strain – luckily Rebekah and Charlotte helped out tremendously in protecting our goal and to swing us back into offence.  Emily took up the challenge with a strong run at goal, just getting pipped near the penalty area.  Unfortunately she took a tumble and hurt her shoulder.  Taking cue from our distraction, Olympic attacked again and scored, so we were now down 0-2.   Alexa’s shoe decided it was all too stressful and fell apart at the seams.

We weren’t going to take this lying down (even though it was so hot that the girls wouldn’t have minded a little nap), and Ali (taking position from Emily on the left wing) neatly deposited the ball at Rachel’s feet in front of goal.  And she knew what to do … GOAL!!  Our season tally has just been opened in the 29th minute.  Score: Gap 1 – Olympic 2.

Again, Olympic were back in the hunt, but sent the ball wide.  Despite some pre-game coaching on the best way to take goal kicks, we sent the ball back straight to Olympic in front of our goal, but luckily they didn’t convert, and Georgia thought she’d make them pay with a long, dashing drive up the centre of the field, but their goalie had the measure of it. A corner to us..some more attacking by them..and with some solid defence from Maddie the half came to a close.

The half-time watermelon was devoured like a pre-sliced antelope on the African prairie in the heat of the midday sun.

Second half

Reserve: Taryn, Emily, Charlotte, Georgia (c)

For the second half, Alexa stepped up (albeit quite reluctantly, but aided by the state of her boot) to take over as goalkeeper from Karlee and she was immediately in the thick of the action.  A good catch and huge kick out showed us that there’s some serious potential there.  Jemma continued on with her strong defending from the first half with an awesome clearance that got Olympic out of our half and positioned us neatly for attack.  Rachel was doing the team thing and centring the ball to Karlee (who was happy to be attacking the Olympic goal, after defending ours in the first half) for a shot on goal, but unfortunately we couldn’t convert.  A fine save by Alexa after a brief sojourn by Olympic into our half, and again we had Gemma using her speed to get the ball forward.  Karlee had a go at goal, but couldn’t quite find the back of the net.  Some neat play in the midfield including a surprise header (we love a header), and then a controlled run out of defence and into an offensive posture by Taryn.  After getting caught by an offside trap, we regrouped and Ali presented Rachel with another of those nice ‘ball at your feet in front of goal’ moments, and Rachel knew how to deliver. GOAL!! We drew level.  Totally awesome!

It didn’t end there, we continued to mount the pressure – Alannah controlling the action from centre mid, and Georgia again pushing forward, Emily bravely returning to action, and pretty much immediately helping with the defence out of midfield.  Gemma was very busy with pressure on the left flank, getting us a corner and keeping the Olympic defence on their toes.  With the humidity, the heat and the elapsed game time now taking their toll on our girls, Olympic were fielding more excursions into our half.  Maddie’s defense continued to be strong, and helped keep them out, but as the minutes rolled on, Alexa was called upon to demonstrate her prowess in goal time and again.  However a moment of turmoil just before the end of the half caught us out and Olympic sneaked in a 3rd goal. Despite some more valiant attacking and great ball control in the midfield, we couldn’t peg it back.  The score stayed at 3-2 – a well fought victory to Olympic but equally a great performance by the Gap.  The fighting spirit is there, the teamwork is impressive for the first game, and happily the skills weren’t too rusty after the summer break.  Well done girls.

Special thanks to Charlotte, Alannah, Rebekah, and Ali for joining us for this game and providing such a valuable contribution.  I hope you enjoyed the game, as we certainly appreciated your commitment.

Also thanks to Assistant Coach ‘Fireman’ Sam and Manager Tanya for making the proceedings run smoothly.

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