Saturday was a great morning to play soccer under the warm sun and beautiful blue sky.
The U8 team 2 was facing the Naples Lions for the last time this season, looking to get some more points to rise in the ranking. We began with too much running forward and individual plays, which led to their goal in a counter attack leaving the goalie alone against their stricker right before the first water break. The players sat down together and reenergized to start the second quarter stronger as a unit. They played more compact and initialized great combination plays. Bennett made a run down the right side using his speed and technical skills to get rid of defenders, then unselfishly passed to his teammate Troy who made a nice run in front of the goal and scored the equalizer just before half time. In the second half, both teams created good chances, but the goal keepers always had the last touch on the ball making multiple saves to keep their team in the game. Everyone played hard until the final whistle, leaving the score 1-1.
The U8 team 1 played against the Knights, standing in the first position of the league. After a short delay due to a missing referee, the game finally started after a long warmup. The Dutch Lions began with good pressure and nice possession. The Knights also showed some great team work and created two good combination plays leading to back-to-back goals. The Dutch Lions did not quit fighting and managed to get three shots on goal, but the keeper made very nice saves. Then, one minute before half time, the Knights scored again to make it 3-0. During the break, the Dutch lions used to rest to regain energy and start the second half strong. A nice attack was created by Austin and finished by Colton with a great shot. The score remained the same for a while, with the Dutch Lions pressuring the opponent all the way to their goal. The hard work led to an opportunistic goal by Austin, which put the Lions back into the game. But the knights were not done fighting and built up well to create four more goals. The final score was 7-2.
The U12 Dutch Lions faced the Knights away for the last game of the day. The first minutes of the game were mostly equal, with both teams creating some attacks in the opponent’s half, but neither team was dangerous. After a strong start, Dutch Lions lost focus for five minutes and the Knights took advantage of it. Ten minutes into the game, the Knights scored the opening goal and the second one just a couple moments after. Then, right before halftime the Knights succeeded to score two more times, which made the score 4-0. Fortunately, half time woke up and revived the U12 Dutch Lions. They created really good chances, including Noah coming one against one with the goalkeeper twice but was not able to finish. The lions kept fighting and two minutes later the first goal was finally scored by the new player Pedro who beat his defender with a nice cut and then took a powerful shot in the goal. Following that goal, the Dutch Lions a second wind of energy and were able to conclude another good attack led by Lhegend who finished with his left foot a great pass in the space behind the defensive line. The Dutch Lions where back in the race at 4-2, but unfortunately for them, the Knights took a final sprint and scored two more goals to make the final score 6-2.