Girls in-house intermediate soccer
Those of you older than 35 may remember a time when the kids in the neighborhood would get on their bikes and go to the park to play baseball, soccer, basketball, and football, without a “grown-up” to be seen. This provided a setting to develop skills, get great exercise, and build relationships with friends of all sporting abilities. I have fond memories of growing up playing soccer in England with my friends. The only rule was to be home by dinner time!
Sadly, those days are over. This is especially true for the kids that are not as athletically gifted at an early age compared to others, or who are busy with other hobbies and cannot dedicate a lot of time to one sport. This gave me the idea to provide an environment for kids of all abilities to get together and play soccer by arranging a time and place to meet on a Saturday morning. The Coginchaug Soccer Club was very supportive of the idea and provided a sign-up sheet on their website and some equipment. This year we invited girls from 3rd through 5th grade to meet up at Peckham Park to do some drills and then play a game amongst themselves. We typically got about 14 girls each week from a roster of 20 or so. We did some basic drills in passing, dribbling and shooting, learned about sportsmanship and the rules of the game, and then played a game. Everyone had a lot of fun and parents were very supportive. I hope that we can build on this type of activity next year and give kids of all abilities and age groups the opportunity to get together with their friends in a non-competitive setting and play a sport that they love….and build memories.
(Submitted by Director Neil Burford) [NOTE from the club: The intermediate soccer level is being offered in the Fall as well]
Another good end to a season for the Coginchaug U-10 Girls: After defeating H-K the previous weekend, the girls tied Wallingford 3-3 in a high-level last game. Coach DiBernardo's comments: "Thanks to all the people who helped to make this season run well. Fall 2012 should be a lot of fun (Submitted by Coach Larry DiBernardo)
GIRLS U14 REC
The U-14 Girls Rec team finished the spring season with a 9 wins 3 ties & 2 loss record. It was a very fun and productive season. All the girls worked hard and it showed with great play on the field. Our last weekend of play led us to an exciting victory as Joseph Conte Tournament Champions! I am very proud our entire team, and look forward to even more success in the fall when our team goes into the Comp Division. GO BLUE!!!!! (Submitted by Coach Rocco Christiana)
GIRLS U14 COMP
Although our record doesn’t paint a pretty picture, the GU14 Comp had an excellent season when measured with a different ruler.
Part of the mission of the club is to “…promote the development of coaching and individual player skills to enhance team play and the overall soccer experience.” With season ending injuries to key players and a few hard fought losses in league games early in the season, the team focus remained on playing hard, but less on winning every match. With the division out of hand, it gave the team to flexibility to push forward with tactics and skill building without worrying about it’s effect on the final score. Ball handling, possession and executing tactical maneuvers became the teaching points – with excellent results.
Two games at the end of the season tell our story best. In early June, on a 90 degree humid day, the girls traveled to Milford to take on the eventual undefeated division winners. We had exactly 11 players; no substitutes. The game plan was to institute an aggressive offsides trap, then build an attack from the resulting turnover. We were even at 1-1 at halftime, and the plan was working. Heat and exhaustion eventually set in for a 3-1 loss, but Milford’s coach was absolutely beside himself with the number of times we pulled them offsides. (Conservatively, 15+ times.) The second phase of the plan was working well, but their keeper played an outstanding game turning away our every attempt. This game plan led to a 1-1 draw with Shelton, partially avenging a 2-1 loss earlier in the season. On the last game of the year, the team continued to improve. For this league match, both starting center backs were injured. Conventional wisdom may have been to pull back and play less aggressively, but the team wanted to finish what they started. In addition, the confidence built from allowing the players to execute proved immeasurable. We were level at 3 all with less than 10 minutes to go, but a breakaway goal gave Naugatuck the victory. No matter; in the scope of what we set out to accomplish – we were successful.
Since moving to U14, the team’s ultimate goal was to prepare for playing at the High School level. The summer league is already underway, although we’ve had only two practice as of this typing, the incoming freshman should be proud of themselves, as they have shown to be prepared, and worthy, of joining the defending shoreline champion Coginchaug Regional HS team. (Submitted by Coach Will Kovacs)
The Coginchaug U10 Boys enjoyed a very successful spring campaign. With a roster made up of both U9 and U10 players, some of whom had never played travel soccer before, the team showed enormous development over the course of the season. After a rough 0-3 start, the boys turned it around and went on a tear, losing only one of their next eight league and friendly games. During that stretch the team went 5-1-2, with strong wins over Haddam Killingworth, North Haven, Prospect and Meriden. The only loss during that spell was a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat to a strong West Haven side. The team also made a solid showing at the Cheshire Invitational Tournament, their first appearance at a tournament of this type, highlighted by a dominant 4-0 win over a strong Wallingford club.
Over the course of the season the boys showed unrelenting character and heart, with some notable come-from-behind efforts. They also developed skills as individual players while at the same time learning to play very well as a team. This was especially evident toward the end of the season, when the boys finished playing their best soccer of the year. Most important of all, however, is that they had a lot of fun and showed great spirit and camaraderie in each and every practice and game. (Submitted by Assistant Coach Joe Nielsen)
U11 Boys Comp
After earning a South Central District Division C Championship in the fall, the U11 boys were advanced to Division B for the spring season. Playing against some bigger, stronger, and faster teams the boys have utilized their skills and smarts to maintain possession and out play their opponents. With a record of 11-5-1 overall the Gunners were once again a contender for the league championship. In a situation that mirrored this year’s Barclay’s Premier League, the championship came down to the final weekend. The Gunners finished a strong 2nd, missing the championship which was decided by goal differential by 1 goal. They are looking forward to moving up to the U12 division B in the fall. Congratulations Gunners!! Submitted by Coach Mark Salley)
BOYS U14 COMP
Our team finished off an excellent season in second place with a 9-3-1 record. We recorded numerous feats throughout the season. The one I believe our team should be most proud of is defeating teams from Meriden, Amity and Southington. This Coginchaug group of kids had previously never beaten over the past 5 years of travel soccer. This shows everyone that our kids are improving faster then other towns and bodes well for our soccer future. It should be noted, two of our losses came against undefeated teams in Seymour and Naugatuck. In addition, our competition mainly comprised of all U14 players while our roster had 6 U12, 2 U13 and 8 U14 players. The coaches wish our 8th graders the best in their high school seasons. (Submitted by Coach Ken Judson)
BOYS U16 COMP
Our season came to a great ending this year when we became the first Coginchaug Boys U16 team to win the A Division, after winning B last Spring.
An unfortunate draw in our second to last game placed an even higher level of importance on the final match against second place Haddam-Killingworth. The team knew we had our work cut out for us. I was worried that the team would focus too much on the draw, but was happy to see that we fought through it and pulled together the next day for an exciting 4-3 victory on the final day of the season. I was not only happy that we won our division, but I also noticed some great progress throughout the season from every individual player. More importantly, I felt that as a team we only got better as the games went on. This year was by far my favorite season with the team and I can’t wait to see how we will perform in the high school season as well as next spring. (Submitted by Team Captain Alex Preneta)
BOYS U19 COMP
Congratulations to the Coginchaug Boys U19 team for winning their division! The boys went undefeated in league play, with a 4-0 record, but the season was far from easy. Every game was a challenge with three one-goal margins and one two-goal margin. The boys showed immense heart and dedication, often playing with no substitutes, and repeatedly coming back from being a goal down. The team was a pleasure to watch as every individual played their role, and a great team emerged. Well done boys! We look forward to seeing you all carry this success forward into your fall season at the high school. And finally, a sincere thanks to our seniors- Alex, Kyle, and Derek- who played their last season with the club. (Submitted by Coach Matt Taber)