U14 United falter at home

Steven Mah
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2013 U14 United

The Swift Current United Soccer Club Under-14 Girls found out the hard way just how difficult life in the Saskatchewan Premier Soccer League can be.

They hosted Saskatoon’s Lakewood Storm on Sunday but suffered a humiliating 4-0 loss as their playoff hopes were dealt a blow.

The host United girls made life tough on themselves after a comedy of errors left them trailing 1-0 in the opening minute and they were never able to recover.

Head coach Dale Perry said that everything went wrong on Sunday.

“You name it and it went wrong. We got poor goaltending, poor defense, no play in the middle, and our strikers barely touched the ball. You can’t score if you are not putting the ball on our strikers feet.”

Brooke Vallee is one of three co-captains this season.

“I don’t know, things just weren’t clicking today,” she said. “Our communication wasn’t very good, especially in the defensive area, there wasn’t a lot of talking. I think we were panicking a lot and just kicking balls away instead of just taking a second to think. I think we needed to support each other some more and maybe let each other know what is going on because I just think even the communication we were having wasn’t working for us.”

Perry said things went sideways right from the opening whistle.

“To have a sloppy goal go in was as bad a start as you could imagine. Actually, to be truthfully honest with you, after the first goal went in I thought we responded pretty well and we played five to 10 minutes of pretty decent soccer and I thought we would be able to come back from it.”

When they couldn’t capitalize with their early surge, Swift Current somehow let the momentum slip away and never recaptured it.

“It didn’t even take a goal to give it up. We just played poorly from that point on and we didn’t really regroup. We were slightly better in the second half but nothing compared to where we usually performed in the past,” said Perry.

“This is probably the first time we have had two bad halves. We have had poor first halves and poor second halves and mediocre ones or somewhere in between. But this is the first one where we played bad virtually right through the entire game,” he added.

Perry hoped that his team would be able to bounce back for a crucial game two days later when Regina’s Unidad was scheduled to visit Riverside Field on July 10.

“At least the team we play next we didn’t beat, we tied them. I think that somehow is a bit of a factor in how we go into the game mentally. Maybe we are trying to tell ourselves it is not a factor but I think sometimes when it is against a team that we think we should win, we don’t necessarily come out as hard,” said Perry.

“We have to stick together as a team and we have to keep practicing. We have to play the game that we can play and talk about what went wrong,” added Vallee.

Perry feels that his team sometimes takes its opposition too lightly, especially after they got a result against them in a previous meeting.

“There has to be some explanation as to why everybody doesn’t play well in games like that. That is the only thing I can come up with is that they have a preconceived idea that this should be an easier game to win so then nobody puts in the effort.”

Perry hoped that Sunday’s loss would make his team realize just how tough the competition in the PSL is.

“I hope they are because I am. We are not the most skilled team in the league. We need everybody playing as well as they can play at every position in order to keep ourselves competitive. That is what we said at the beginning of the season is that we would be in games that would be close. We would win by one, lose by one, tie and stuff like that, but we would be competitive. Today, this was the first time we weren’t competitive at all.”

Vallee sounded as if her coach’s message had been received on her end. “I think coming into this league we didn’t really know what to expect. Some of us probably thought we were going to do really good. Some of us thought we were being fed to lions. But if you are not on top of your game you are in trouble in this league, you can’t get away with that very easily.”

The United U14 Girls will be back on the road next Saturday for their final road game of the regular season when they visit the Saskatoon Eastside Force.

Organizations: Saskatchewan Premier Soccer League, PSL, Swift Current United Soccer Club

Geographic location: Saskatoon, Brooke Vallee, Swift Current Riverside Field

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