Liberty Center 10 Evergreen 0

I like to check in with the teams I conduct camp for during their regular seasons to see if what we worked on has translated to their games.  Saturday morning found me making the trip to the Widewater Retreat Center to see the Lady Tigers of Liberty Center take on Evergreen Lady Vikings. I have conducted camp for Liberty Center the past two summers and was anxious to see if the progress made in camp would show itself in an actual game setting.

This is a young program, in their 4th year of varsity soccer, I believe. When I first camped with them in the summer of 2013 I found a group with little actual playing experience, but very eager and willing to learn. This summer I returned to find a group who had obviously worked hard under the guidance of head coach Billy Daniels.

The Tigers began the match in a 1-4-1-4-1 formation with striker Lexi Noll on top and attacking mid Candace Sayers in support.  The Vikings countered with a 3-5-2 formation played a bit unconventionally with the center defender advanced of two outside backs split wide. This aggressive attacking formation put the Tigers back on their heels initially as Viking forwards broke through time and again. Great pursuit angles utilized by the defenders and outstanding play in goal provided by Libby Ball kept the Vikings off the scoreboard.

Beginning at about the 10 minute mark the Tigers were able to begin exploiting the center of the Vikings defense mixing in attacking flank play for variation. Once the first goal went in the Tigers pounced repeatedly on other scoring opportunities.  I was pleased to see the ideas of penetration, depth, width and mobility in the Lady Tiger's attacking play. I was also pleased to see the sequences of two touch play we had worked on in evidence. Overall there was marked all round improvement from when I last saw the Liberty Center women play late last season.

While today's score was lopsided Evergreen had some good runs of play, especially early on. They threatened the Liberty Center goal on numerous occasions but just could not get one in.  Coach Daniels slowed the attack early in the second half seemingly calling for the Tigers to work on their possession game before looking to go to goal.  It was good to see the Vikings continue to work the full 80 minutes of play. That type of spirit will pay off as they build their program throughout this season.

Today's scorers were Candace Sayers and Lexi Noll each with a hat trick (3 goals a piece) while Courtney Taylor, Julianna Crockett, Davina Fredrick and Kris Keller each contributed a goal. Lexi Noll was also credited with 3 assists. Kirstin Daniels had 2 assists and Courtney Taylor 1. Libby Ball was credited with 11 saves and Lexi Noll with 2.

I am looking forward to returning to Liberty Center later on this season. Coach Billy Daniels and this young team are moving in the right direction in establishing a solid foundation to grow the program upon.

Best of Luck!

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