Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Steamboat Mountain Tournament

When we found out we would be playing in a tournament in Steamboat, I was so happy. I love Steamboat, next to Telluride it is one of the most beautiful cities in Colorado. I could live there, but it is such a huge tourist town I don't think I could handle all the people.

Because it is a tourist town the hotel the team stayed at was almost $200/night... totaling almost $600 for the weekend. With our big family vacation coming up, we opted to take our pop-up and camp in a campground. This was perfect for us because Maddox could run around and play, and the weather was almost perfect... just a tincy bit hot in the afternoon, but the night was cool and crisp. The only downer was the amount of mosquitoes. Maddox and I got eaten alive!

I think if I lived there I would run every day... Anne and I took a morning run along the Yampa, and it was absolutely beautiful. I expected to be gasping for air because of the elevation, but it wasn't so bad...or we were compensating by running really slow! It was also quite communal; there were so many other people out running and biking on the trail, it was energizing to be amongst others of like running minds. The run also passes the botanical gardens which was amazingly luscious and bursting with color, heck I could have run laps through the gardens for an hour and been captivated by it's beauty the whole time.

Enough about my love affair with Steamboat, and on to the real reason for this post... the soccer tournament...

This last soccer season has been, well, trying... to say the least. But we have had new hope with a new coach coming on to the team. The little bit that we have watched at practice and from what Madison has said, that hope has been sustained. He is actually doing conditioning with the girls AND teaching them situational soccer, explaining how a drill they do in practice helps them in a game. I really didn't know what to expect coming into the tournament, and I am happy to say the difference this coach has made in just a few weeks is day and night! The whole team looked amazing! They played with a confidence and fire I haven't seen in over a year.

Madison's friend Tia, is our forward, and in the past year she hasn't scored but 1 or 2 goals; in this tournament she scored at lest 6 or 7 in the 5 games we played. Our middies and wings did an amazing job getting the ball up to her, and their defence was impenetrable (the one goal scored on us was a questionable penalty kick).

Game 1 vs Storm 2-0 WIN
Game 2 vs Castle Rock 2-0 WIN
Game 3 vs Broomfield U11 2-0 WIN
Game 4 Semifinals vs Broomfield U12 2-0 WIN
Game 5 Finals vs Rapid City Rage (SD state champs) 3-1 TOURNAMENT CHAMPIONS!

This weekend was also a big weekend for Madison, her confidence had been crushed by the previous coach, and she had gone from being the most aggressive defender and one of the best on the team to not starting. This was super frustrating for Brian and I (being we are both uber competitive) because we knew she was not playing to her potential. Madison, being the resilient young lady she is pulled herself up by the boot straps, got into a new pregame routine, and came out much improved. I am proud of her and am excited to see what this next season holds for her personal growth.

Learned: It's a bit early to be singing the new coach's praise, but I am amazed at the difference a coach can make... both for the team and for the individual.

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