First match

Before the knee surgery

***Obligatory Soccer Post Warning***

Tonight was the first match of tha season, a tournament game with a Division I (enrollment 3000+) team. The lovely and talented Casey’s team plays at Division III (1200-1500 students), and the game ended in a 0-0 tie. Another reason why soccer hasn’t reached mass acceptance here in the colonies.

Actually it was an excellent game with breakaways, spectacular saves (one by the opposing keeper on a penalty kick); exceedingly fast-paced and very physical. The L&TC got to experience the joys of playing forward (striker for you soccer snobs) for the first time in her career and, as you can tell by the score, came away with no assists or goals. It looks like her coach is stil experimenting with the team, trying to find a set that she likes. As usual there is a tremendous pool of talent as there is every year and she’s trying to find the right combination. Additionally two of their best players are currently in North Carolina playing with their club teams this week although I’m not sure they would have made a difference against a team like the one tonight.

One thing I want to point out is how big and competitive women’s soccer is in Southern California. Combine the club systems with year-round good weather and girls can (and do) play 52 weeks out of the year. When Casey was twelve she used to spend part of July playing in camps in Washington state against local girls as well as girls from Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. I’ll be the first to admit that Casey is a good player, but not a great player (she has her moments) but she was routinely moved up to play against players three to four years older than her. The difference was that she was on a field about 275 days a year. Practice five days a week, two to three games per weekend. Girls from here are not recruited by colleges from their high school teams, they are recruited while playing with their club teams in tournaments all around the country or at camps. Of the seven graduating players who left her school last year, four are playing D-I soccer in college, one is playing D-II, and one who didn’t want to play is a walk-on on her college crew team. This is serious stuff around here.

And a big part of me will be glad when it is all over. More on that and other things later.

Next game: Monday night against one of the best D-I programs in the county.

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Yeah. Like I would tell you....