The 1st half was as intense a match as I've seen at the high school level. There were 5 yellow cards given to Dalton & 1 red card given to EPHS --- & that was just the 1st half. The red card meant EPHS had to play a man short the rest of the match.
The 2nd half was not much better. EPHS was already down 2-0 when another red card was given to an EPHS player. Now EPHS is down 2 players. Dalton then settled down the play & took advantage of the short-sided EPHS squad & systematically took shot after shot.
To be fair, Dalton is well-known for some rough play, & they did not disappoint tonight. EPHS responded in like fashion, but tempers got out of control, playing directly into Dalton's strategy.
Even Coach Cartee was given a yellow card with 5 minutes left in the game. Now that is something one doesn't see often in high school soccer!
I was really impressed by the intensity of the EPHS team. They never gave up & played much, much better than they did at the Jamboree a few weeks ago. Credit can be given to the Seniors as they stepped up & gave a better performance tonight.
EPHS desperately needs a striker; too slow, too indecisive, & rarely playing in position to make a quick strike. If Coach Cartee can make some adjustments, & the team plays with that same intensity as they did tonight, EPHS may not be in for such a long season after all.
1) Strikers are all over the field. That is a killer as it allows the opponents defense to pull up & make the field of play smaller. EPHS strikers' miss play directly resulted in 1 of the goals as they weren't in position & the Dalton defense pulled up to make a play, pushing the ball forward for a shot. EPHS had several chances in the 2nd half to play the ball in the box, but the strikers weren't there for the cross.
2) Defensive backs are not playing the attack, especially on EPHS corner kicks. The ball is going to come out of the box 7 out of 10 times at an angle, rolling out about 30 yards. If the defensive corners would play those odds, they could take some long shots.
3) The wings need to coordinate with the strikers & mid field for some overlapping runs. The wings have some speed & so do the midfielders. If the strikers would stay in position, make some cris-cross runs to pull the defenders out of position, the wings would have some open shots from the 18.
4) The defense needs to work on changing the field of play from the back. Too often the midfield was trying to make the switch --- bad move against a fast team. The defense has to make those. By changing the field of play from the back, there is less pressure & the opponents' midfield have to actually =look= to see where the attack is coming --- that slows the opponent down by a few steps & gives the chance of a quick shot.
5) Speaking of switching, the speed of EPHS is definately in the back. If they can work on some run-throughs & get that speed ahead of the opponent by a few steps, they can take some shots easily. It will take a lot of practice to coordinate those runs, & the strikers will have to be patient, choosing to get the deflected shot instead of the initial. Of course, if the strikers don't stay in their position, all the runs in the world won't result in a goal.
Lots of work ahead for these guys. Strikers need some Mtn Dew, some serious help in understanding their play, & a good kick in the bubushkin if they don't stay in position. Defense needs a good night sleep after the Dalton game.
This post has been edited by thatboyaintright: 24 February 2004 - 11:08 PM