The Ocean City FC girls teams played the first of their three summer tournaments
last weekend (July 30 & July 1) at the Lehigh Valley Steamroll Tournament near Allentown, PA.
The U9 Girls, coached by Steve Thurlby, were placed into a U10 age bracket which makes for tough going, especially when there are a handful of U8 qualified girls playing on the team. It was a fun weekend for the girls with the ups and downs a tournament brings. The girls played 4 games overall, a 6-1 defeat to a U10 Lehigh Valley United team, they won 10-0 against a U9 Lehigh Valley United team and won 4-0 over JDI Hotspur. This placed them into the final against the first opponents, U10 Lehigh Valley United. The girls were in the game all the way but were eventually beaten 3-0 as the fatigue of the weekend caught up, but that shows the progress of this new team in just one weekend.
Coach Steve wanted to tell us about the experience, "It was a great weekend for
the girls development as individuals and as a team. They worked their socks off
all weekend and it was good for me to see them in action and to see what they
can and can’t do in the games. We have plenty of practices left and I am already
looking forward to the tournament next week."
The U11 Girls, coached by Dan Ash, had a mixed bag of results as they played their first games together as a team. A 6-0 defeat in the first game was immediately turned around in the second game with a 6-1 win leaving the players happier and more confident moving into Sunday’s games. A couple of close loses came on the Sunday as the heat rose and the players tired. However, for the development of the players the coaching staff would take a close loss over an easy win any day. Coach Dan told us he was encouraged by what he saw, "There was some really good performances during the weekend, we just need to gel the team together and they will improve further. The girls played a lot of soccer this weekend and it was good to now know who can do what and what we can work on in practice"
Leon Brown’s U12 Girls had a fantastic weekend in terms of performance, development and results as they won the first ever Lehigh Valley Steamroll Tournament. Even better for the players development this summer was that all but one of their games was tough and only won by a single goal. This tells us how hard they worked to win the tournament. Coach Leon explain more about the effort the girls gave over the hot weekend, "There was nothing lucky about our performance just pure effort and the ability to follow instruction. At the start of the tournament I ask the girls to believe in themselves and most importantly win their individual battles. Notice I did not say ‘win’. In the end they followed through on what was ask of them and ultimately won and had fun doing it."
Coach Leon also took charge of the U13 Girls at this tournament, although having to play in a U14 age bracket, and as always with a team playing together for the first time took a while to get used to each other. After losing the early Saturday morning game 3-0 to Vincent United Eclipse from Pa. the girls rallied in their second game to tie US Parma Tempesta 0-0 The girls created plenty of good opportunities to score and was anything but a boring goalless draw. On the Sunday the girls were up early again to play Berkley Heights, even though the result went against them the coming together as a team and potential for much more was clearly on show. Coach Leon told us "I don’t want the girls to be disheartened by the weekend, it was a tough tournament against older, year round teams and we definitely held our own. Our girls have to get slightly more physical and thoughtful about how they use the ball but it looks good for the rest of the tournaments coming up this summer".
The Ocean City FC staff are very proud of the level of commitment and dedication from all of our girls and are filled with hope and optimism going forward that the coaches and players will achieve what they are striving for.