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Coaches Reports: How the teams are doing

Varsity

This year we got off to a slower start than preferred, but the team has come together and fed off of one another, and appears ready to change the outcome of the season.  We have risen to the challenge of the last few games, and minus a hiccup or two, have played very well, and continued to improve from game-to-game. The team has not backed down from their opponents, regardless of what the weekly rankings say, and have fought hard during every contest. The team has won their last three matches, including their first overtime/shootout of the season.  With many of the ranked opponents from the conference behind us, we are looking to make waves during the last half of the season, just in time for a playoff run.

Overall, the team has a lot of new faces, and mixed with a handful of returners, have made themselves a team to be reckoned with on any given day/night.  Due to increased numbers in our program, we made the roster larger than in most other years, and getting players minutes has sometimes been a challenge. All of the players have been practicing well, and challenging one another, which is certainly helping with some of the adversity we have faced.  On any given night, any one of our 25 players could end up being the Man of the Match…an award voted on by his peers after every game.

I told the team early on, as long as we are at our best at the end of the season, we have a chance to return to Des Moines.  With the State’s current playoff system, every team gets a chance in the post-season; many times the favorites advance, but it is never a given.  I look forward to the next few week’s with this group of care-free, funny, and passionate soccer players.

-Coach Brinkmeyer

 

JV1

Hard to believe that we are at the midpoint of the season already. It seems like just yesterday we were stepping on the grass/turf for the first time; perhaps that is in part to the crazy weather so far this year. With cold temps and snow more than once it was hard to find adequate time to fit in a good quality practice. This was evidence in our back to back loses to start off our season. The team faced some tough choices after those first two games. Would it continue to play overly physical while allowing the opposition to get into their heads (which kept us from playing to our potential) or would they adjust their focus and control those aspects of the game (all of which have a direct impact on playing together, communicating, and getting better each day)?

As it turns out we have done an exceptional job with our focus, as of late. We’ve adjusted our playing our style, while still being physical, which has allowed us to score at least 1 goal in each of our games after our first two losses. Our focus on what needs to be done has been to be successful, has also been much better. We have improved to a 5-2 record and have 5 straight wins. In addition, we’ve had multiple goal-scorers along the way and have shown great team effort. We’ve recorded 3 clean sheets so far and have only been shutout once.

All of the players have shown improvement since our first day together and I know with even more hard work we’ll get better during each practice and game. I, for one, am looking forward to the second half of the season and what it might bring for our players!   

-Coach Schmidt

 

JV2

This season has been a very rewarding one for me. Every practice and every single game I can see some improvements from the players and their attempt to play up to their potential. As a soccer coach, my goal is to have my players to be able to look, think and play while moving. For some players, it may be a very strange experience practicing with me, especially because I am not from around here. But I love seeing our players trying to figure out the way to play even if they are confused by the unique rules and instructions in some drills. Finally, some things are starting to click and we are able to connect so many more passes in a game than we were able to do in the first game of the season.

Throughout the first half of the season, we have had some tough losses and some dominant wins as we improved to a record of 2-4. Some of the schools we have played so far have different makeup of teams; we have often played against an opponent that contains many upperclassmen and even some varsity level players. I am satisfied with how we have been playing even when we are physically or technically overwhelmed. This experience will definitely be beneficial for the players moving forward during their remaining high school soccer experiences. I am hoping that we can gain some mental toughness as a team, that keeps us playing hard, even when we are down on the scoreboard; this will be one of my biggest challenges.

I am very excited to see what our team and our players can achieve in the second half of the season, as we continue to get better, as both soccer players and human beings.

-Coach Sho

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Check out our players in action

AS A REMINDER…

Many parents have been taking photos at our games, and have been sharing them on our team’s Shutterfly Team Share Site.  It is designed to give users full access to download, and print photos of our players and teams.  *We expect anyone sharing photos in this matter, has this expectation. The coaches also often use these photos online, and via social media, to help promote our program.  Thank you to everyone who has and wants to contribute to these great photo albums!!

To access, go to the Media > Photos > Shutterfly Team Photo Site
**If you are not already a “member”, please email and ask Coach Brinkmeyer to be added…

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Dubuque, here we come

 

As the teams loaded their charter, players sat back and relaxed…maybe too much.

The Lions got to the field with plenty of time to warmup, but still seemed a little sluggish after the trip North.  Varsity played first, and took the (narrow) field in their black jerseys.  Strangely, the home team wore green, but nonetheless, the game started as usual.  The home team took advantage of the higher than normal winds, and made things interesting early on, catching the LM defense at sleep at times.  Not until a PK was called in the 35th minute, though, could the Mustangs capitalize.  Despite this, the Lions had their chances; the team got forward often, but the Hempstead defense often got back in numbers.

The second half was similar to the first, in that the team with the wind at their back had more chances in front of goal.  Even though this was the case (for Linn-Mar) the Lions could not seem find the back of the net, despite taking over 30 shots.  When nearly all hope seemed lost, the Lions got one last attempt: a free kick from nearly 80 yards away.  Goalkeeper Seth Lukefahr (JR) got the ball up into the windstream, and it found its way over the first line of defenders, bounced on the 18-yd box, and over the second line of defenders.  Danny Peak (SR) took the ball first time and bounced it off the far post (and in) to tie the game with less than 45 seconds remaining!!

Overtimes were uneventful, despite both teams trying to score the Golden Goal, and so it would move on to penalty kicks.  After Lukefahr saved the first Hempstead kick, the first LM attempt was sent wide. The next kick was made by Hempstead, and Linn-Mar’s was saved.  Lukefahr made another save, and then the Lions got onto the board with a Patrick Talley (SR) make. After three kicks, the score was tied 1-1. Lukefahr then made the third save of the round, but the Hempstead keeper was up to the challenge of the next Lion shooter, saving his team from going down.  The final Mustang shooter put his shot over the bar and Danny Peak then sealed the win, to take the win-streak to three games for the Varsity. Man of the Match: Danny Peak.

In the JV1 game, following a brief discussion with the officials (about shortening the halves), the teams took the field and played a lot of back-and-forth, without any goals to show for it.  After an inspiring talk from Coach Schmidt, the Lions responded with a dominant second half performance, led by a goal less than two minutes into the second stanza.  The Lions would push for more, and had some great looks, but the ball had other ideas.  Final score, 1-0. Man of the Match: Alex Cochrane.

Last Meeting

Last year, the Lions needed extra time to beat the Mustangs, in a game played at Linn-Mar Stadium.  Despite the possession favoring the home team, Linn-Mar had a rough game in front of the Mustang goal; eventually, the 23rd shot found the back of the net.