Sept. 26, 2012
It wasn't the weekend we were looking for.
We expected to come home from Houston with two wins, six points and a good deal of confidence. Instead we returned Sunday night with zero wins, one point and all kinds of questions. Houston surprised us some. They were more athletic than we expected and very organized. That being said, scoring two goals on the road should be enough to win. We let down defensively and that lead to a 2-2 draw. It wasn't what we wanted but we could live with it.
Rice is a different story. We clearly looked the better team. We had long bouts of possession and scored two quality goals. Unfortunately, we turned the ball over and we paid on the counter attack. Again, two goals should be enough to win but it wasn't.
We need to figure some things out. We have a choice now. We can stop trying to pass the ball and take less risk going forward or we can continue to take risk but be better defending the counter. It's an easy choice for me. I want our team to play attractive attacking soccer. We will pass the ball. We just have to be better in transition. I struggle with the way many college teams play where random kicking of the ball leads to goals. I just don't believe you can win on a high level that way. You may win some games but eventually the lack of an organized sustained attack will get you beat.
We are spending the week in training on the transition from attack to defense. We realize that we may lose the ball at some point as we are trying to keep possession. The key is reacting quickly to a turnover, delaying the advance of the ball, and recovering into dangerous spaces immediately. We haven't done that yet but we will. As I told the team, we can fix this.
We face two teams I'm not that familiar with this weekend. From what I can tell UTEP has won some games and can be a difficult team to play against. Colorado College has had some success as well and is historically pretty good. It's go time for us as we need points to stay in the race. I'm confident in our team's ability to play and believe success isn't that far away.
We're hoping for a good crowd this weekend at Westcott. These players work hard and deserve the support.