Labor Day weekend found Pipeline 2007 Girls Black team competing in the Keystone Cup 2018 tournament.
Last week the team played in the 2018 Spirit United Kickoff Classic. They finished the weekend losing two games and tying one.
This weekend, the team finished with two losses and a tied game. The results are similar on the surface but much different. Last weekend the team played in the third division.
This weekend the 2007 Girls played in the Keystone Cup’s top division. Pipeline lost to two highly ranked teams from the Pennsylvania East Region. The third game was against a team highly ranked in Virginia. That team was a semi-finalist in the Virginia State Championship. Note, though, the competition at Spirit was fierce, but the opposition teams ranked in GotSoccer below the teams played at Keystone.
What to take from the two weekend tournaments?
The first weekend was against quality talent, but it was the 2007 Girls first competition together. The team was in every game, losing 2-3, 1-2, and tying 1-1.
This weekend the team learned what it meant to play club’s first teams. Pipeline’s second team in the age group needs more time together to develop their team dynamics. As girls settle in their role with the team, ball movement will improve and yield quality attacking opportunities. The team put up four goals in the tied game indicating they can score against quality teams.
This weekend, the girls learned how important it is to be able to play with intensity over 5, 10, and 15+ minutes. There were limited substitutes available, but rotation from the pitch to bench left some girls playing long minutes. Improving fitness is something the girls can focus on outside training sessions.
The girls need to improve their technical skills. The teams that beat the 2007 Girls had girls with very good technical skills. They controlled the ball better, winning most 1v1 situations against Pipeline, and made smart, strong passes. None of these are beyond Pipeline but must be cultivated and learned.
The last takeaway from this weekend is Pipeline improved from the first weekend. Playing strong competition is the way to find areas for improvement. This weekend highlighted things the team and girls, individually, can work to improve.
I look forward to seeing the girls in the coming league play as preparation for the Columbus Day tournament.
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