In an exciting 2013 debut this past Saturday at Vallecito Elementary School my U14 Girls Dixie soccer team defeated a West Marin team by the narrowest margins, 1-0. The game was not as close as the final score because Dixie controlled the field position for the majority of the game and offensively threatened repeatedly but just couldn’t find the back of the opponent’s net more than once. Only late in the second half did West Marin get their offense going. Limited to 11 available players for the game I was unable to make any substitutes and in the 90 degree heat my girls finally started to wilt in the game’s waning minutes. I credit the entire squad for their gutsy effort in the adverse conditions.
Last year my U12 Girls team made it to the semi-finals in the 19 team Marin Interleague Soccer Alliance season, losing to the eventual champions. The West Marin coach we played on Saturday was able to take his U12 Girls last year all the way to the finals, so theoretically this game matched two of the best squads in the league. The biggest difference between the teams was West Marin kept much of their aged-up roster intact and our Dixie roster was an amalgamation of the other Dixie teams. We only had 3 of the same players from the previous season. The new mix of players turned out to potentially more potent than the previous mix, which raises my expectations for this season: especially after the week 1 victory.
Speaking of great expectations Taylor the Titaness Thimas (goddess of order and justice) was the undisputed star of the game. I’m sure you’ll be reading about her high school successes in the years to come. I’ve coached both of Thimas’ younger sisters who were excellent in their own right, but Thimas is the most all around talented player I’ve had the pleasure to coach. She’s got great footwork and is outstanding on both offense and defense, capable of taking over the game from anywhere on the field. It helps to have help, and Malia the Flash plays at the same level as the Thimas only quicker. Not surprisingly the one goal we scored Thimas knocked in with an assist from the Flash. That’s a one two punch sure to strike again this season.
I could go on about each of the kids, and I will in the weeks to come, but a special mention should go out to my assistant coach’s daughter Katrina, my daughter’s BFF. Last year I felt the BFF was the most talented defensive stopper in the league, and once again she seems poised to grab that title. The kid has a knack for not just stopping attacks but booting the ball way down field, in a one swing of her mighty leg changing the game’s momentum to our favor.
Next up we get to play one of the other two Dixie teams this coming Saturday morning on the artificial turf at Terra Linda High School. It’s always exciting for the Dixie kids to play each other because of the middle school bragging rights at stake. We won’t have the BFF’s boot in our backfield due to a prior commitment, but we will have our other three players available for action so that will give me two substitutes. That should be just enough for our kids to get breathers and be able to keep our foot on the gas throughout the game, which is a scary thought for any team that faces us this season.