Boys U11 C3
State Qualifier vs Hastings
16 July by Coach
On a hot Sunday night, after the original game was called and needed be rescheduled, the Strikers travelled to Hastings to replay their disappointing last game of the season.
With temps touching 90 degrees, and a 5:00 PM kickoff, it was set to be a blistering hot affair. After the rainout on Thursday night, the field had some wet, muddy patches, and it looked as if it needed to be mowed badly.
In the final match of the regular season, Hastings came to Chippewa Falls and rocked the Strikers 6-1. Starting from the kickoff, the Strikers looked determined not to see a repeat of that result.
The boys effectively got the ball into the Hastings half in the first few minutes, but the ball seemed to stick on their feet as they could not muster a good chance at goal. The defense did a nice job of clearing the ball from the danger area, and improvement from the previous game.
However, in the 9th minute, in an attempt to clear a ball from just in front of goal, Jackson W (playing up from the U9 team) struck the ball well, but a Hastings player happened to be directly in the path of the clearance. The Hastings player knew nothing about it, but the ball riccocheted perfectly off of him, directly into the back of the net, putting Hastings up 1-0.
With the temps being so high, the referees paused for a hydration break after 15 minutes.
Conrad was playing well in goal, pouncing on several balls into the box, and even booting a dangerous ball out of danger. The Strikers tried to get forward with a few teasing balls toward Gaige, but they could not get the finishing touch.
The Strikers had a few fine corners, but the boys could not steer the ball into the net. Defensively, Peyton, Owen and Mitch were helping keep the balls away from the goal effectively, and trying to get the ball into attack.
The score was 1-0 at the break.
Coming out after the break, the Strikers switched off for just a minute, allowing a wide player from Hastings to pass the ball into the box. The Hastings forward connected with the pass, not hitting it cleanly, but producing a high looping ball that curved into the top of the net with Mitch left with nothing to do but watch.
After going down 2-0, the Strikers could have packed it in, but continued to scrap it out in the heat. In the 42nd minute, Miles pushed a ball to Gaige and he jinked and juked his way into the box and fired a high, hard ball that forced the Hastings keeper into an incredible leaping save that just pushed the ball over the top of the goal.
The ensuing corner led to another chance, with the Nathan and Gaige just not able to convert the opportunity with so many Hastings players in the penalty area defending.
Only a few minutes later, Miles raced down the left side, cut back inside, and appeared to be fouled just outside the box, but no call was made.
Seth continued to work extremely hard down the right, harrassing the Hastings wing and creating some turnovers that allowed the Strikers to keep pushing forward. Nathan attempted two left footed shots, showing willingness and creativity to try, but just lacking the power to trouble the keeper.
Jackson S. worked hard on the left, getting a ball into the Hastings half, and in the 55th minute, he found Miles, who dribbled right and fired from just outside the box, finding the upper corner of the net and getting the Strikers within a goal.
With time running out, the Strikers decided to go with only two defenders at the back, pushing everyone else into attack. Hastings was trying to hit long balls and run out the clock. Jackson W. chased down one of these and was caught in possession, and the Hastings player fired into net from close range, as Mitch could not get there in time to make a save.
With only a few seconds left, the Strikers gave one final push, but could not get any closer. The final match of the season ended in a 3-1 score, but the Hastings coaches commented on what a tight game it was, and how fair the boys played the game.
The boys should hold their heads high, as they gave all they had and came up just short.
Strikers BU11 vs Hastings
12 July by Coach
After a series of reschedules, the Strikers finally hosted the Hastings squad for the final match of the regular season.
Completing a busy week for the Strikers, it was their third game in four days and some of the boys had been attending a soccer camp as well.
Jackson jumped back into goal to start the game, and made a tremendous save in the early play as the Hasting team went right to work.
The Strikers seemed tired and did not get into the attack much, as Hastings had much of the ball with the Strikers running around in playing tired in defense. In the 10th minute, Hastings was rewarded with a nice goal and took the 1-0 lead.
Hastings continued to play well as the Strikers were spending a lot of energy just trying to get the ball out of their own half of the field. In the 22nd minute, Hastings once again scored, increasing their lead to 2-0.
The Strikers finally built up some momentum as Miles drove the left hand side and whipped a cross into Gaige who hammered home to give the Strikers a goal and reduce the lead to 2-1 in the 26th minute.
After some further scrambling on the defensive side with Mitch and Owen working hard to clear the ball, Miles was able to pour it on down the sideline and cut into the middle only to shoot over the cross bar at the halftime whistle.
Hastings came out with a vengance in the second half as the Strikers seemed to used up their energy reserves. They scored early on only three minutes into the second half and kept the pressure on after that.
The constant barrage seemed to wear on the boys as the goal was breached again in the 42, 48 and 53 minute. It seemed all the boys could do was just try to get the ball cleared as tired legs and loss of discipline were evident.
At the final whistle the Strikers were on the short end of a 6-1 scoreline.
Strikers BU11 vs River Falls
27 June by Coach
After winning on Monday night, the Strikers hit the road to travel to River Falls in a rematch of an earlier match that River Falls won 6-2.
The boys did not start the game on the right foot, and River Falls seemed to take advantage of some lethargic play, bossing the ball and keeping it in the Strikers side for the early part of the game. Mitch made a number of saves to keep the Strikers level.
Jackson and Gaige made a few passes up the field but the Strikers struggled to get anything much down the field other than a few deep passes from dead balls.
In the 19th minute the ref blew a foul just outside the area and River Falls executed a flawless set piece, with a rocket into the back that Mitch had no chance to save.
The Strikers finally hit paydirt in the 21st minute when Miles picked his head up from center defense and played a long ball that split the defense and Zander ran onto it with two touches and slotted home to knot the score at 1-1.
The scoreline of 1-1 did not last long as River Falls was able to split the defense again, scoring another goal in the 23rd minute, making the score 2-1 for River Falls. That was the score at the break.
The second half started a bit like the first for the Strikers. They were not able to string anything together early on. Jackson moved into goal for the first time this season, and made a few saves right out of the gate on strong counters from River Falls.
The entire Strikers team was caught out and River Falls scored their 3rd goal only three minutes into the second half.
After this, the Strikers seemed a bit more determined and had a few good attacks, but nothing happened until the 38th minute when Miles chipped a ball up in the box and a River Falls defender accidentally reached out to stop it with his hand. A penalty was awarded and Miles stepped up and hit a screamer into the lower left corner leaving the keeper with no chance at saving it, and getting the Strikers back within a goal at 3-2.
Again, River Falls immediately came back and scored only two minutes later, making the score 4-2.
After this, the Strikers put a number of good attacks together, with Gaige and Miles both narrowly missing multiple shots, and the River Falls keeper making a number of very good saves. Jackson, in the Strikers goal even commented on how amazing one save was from the other end of the pitch!
With the Strikers putting everything foward, River Falls forced the Strikers to work hard with good clearances and timely substitutions. The Strikers ran out of gas a bit and River Falls put an exclamatino point on the game with only seconds left to play, making the final 5-2.
Strikers BU11 vs Somerset
25 June by Coach
A special Monday night game brought Somerset to Chippewa Falls in a replay of an earlier game where the Strikers travelled to Somerset and were on the short end of the scoreboard.
The Strikers started the game brightly, possessing the ball and keeping it in the Somerset half for much of the first few minutes. In the 8th minute, the Strikers were rewarded as Gaige slammed home a cross Miles swung in from the left sideline.
The Strikers continued to push forward and the defense was able to stay quite high up the field, pushing cleared balls back into the danger areas. In the 23rd minute, Gaige popped up again, snagging a loose ball from Somerset and scoring again, extending the lead to 2-0.
Only a few minutes later, Miles pushed down the left hand side, almost to the touch line before firing another left footed cross into the six yard box that Gaige was able to control and paste into the right hand side of the net, completing his hat trick in the first half and leaving the Strikers up 3-0.
With some changes, the second half was quite different as Somerset controlled the ball and had the Strikers penned in their half. There were a few chances for the Strikers as Brody tried to chase down a few balls, and Gaige played some great balls in, but to no avail.
In the 57th minute, Somerset finally got rewarded, as a ball was played into the box and Strikers defense was caught out, making the score 3-1.
The Strikers stormed down the field and a Gaige played a ball into the area, it was blocked by a defender, Brody got his foot to it, and suddenly it played to the top of the box where Nathan was ready to pounce and place a picture perfect shot into the left side netting, with less than a minute to play. This was the final goal, as the Strikers won 4-1, marking their 3rd win in a row.
Strikers BU11 vs Hudson
21 June by Coach
On a beautiful Wednesday night at Casper Park, the Strikers hosted Hudson.
The game started off quickly as the Strikers took the kick off and worked the ball for just over a minute before Miles darted in from the left wing and ripped a ball into the back of the net.
The Strikers continued to work the ball and keep possession well, and in the 9th minute from a corner, Gaige played a beautiful ball to Miles at the top of the box, and Miles struck a half volley into the net for a 2-0 lead.
The game continued to get better for the Strikers as in the 19th minute Miles returned the favor, splitting the defense with Gaige running in behind and striking the net, making the score 3-0.
Just before the halftime whistle, Nate intercepted a pass and played a wonderful ball behind the defense and Gaige again making a great run anticipating the pass, and again finishing a nice Strikers move. The whistle blew with the Strikers up 4-0.
The Strikers started the second half a little slowly with only a few chances, and Hudson attempting to sieze the momentum. Mitchell was sound in goal, gobbling up many corners and shots that Hudson attempted.
Owen and Conrad were in the right places to help clear the ball when needed.
Brody burst down the field a few times and was close on a shot, and Caleb also had a shot saved.
In the 49th minute, Miles came from deep midfield and surged forward, and with tired legs the defense did not stop him as he pushed directly into the middle of the box, scoring the only goal of the second half and making the final score 5-0.
This was the first shut out for the team, and all the players played well.