Generals - Memorial Day Tournament

 Young Gunners 2012 - Generals

Mass Young Gunners - Generals

Rogers Field, Devens, MA

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Roster (Tyler Rice, Markens Benoit, Ben Mason, Cam Darlington, Braydon Tata, Connor LaChance, Danny McDonald, Ryan Chandonnet, Joey Berry, William LaChance, Reed Bahde, Cal Darlington, and Jack McDonald)


Part of a Game Opener

The Gunners came out firing right away against the Aztecs, with Tyler Rice posting up against a larger defender and receiving a nicely placed pass from Joey Berry before turning on the defender and placing it with power and taking an early 1-0 lead. Six and a half minutes into the first game, THUNDER AND LIGHTNING disrupted our rhythm. There was a great deal of chaos and uncertainty for the next two hours, but eventually the games started back up with the ability to play two 15 minute halves. 


First Game - Abby Villa

The boys came out strong in the first game with great passing, movement off the ball and intense pressure that created many counter attacks for the Gunners. Even with several breakaways in the first half, the boys were able to play great team soccer and selfless passing to open teammates that set up the goals. We took a quick 3-0 lead with goals coming from Markens Benoit and Tyler. Often playing against older competition, a lead is not often in our vocabulary and the few times we’ve taken a lead it usually turns on a “ball hog” switch and poor quality soccer. However, team soccer continued throughout the game, ending with a win and final score of 3-1. 




Game 2 - Steel United 

This game was noticeably against stronger competition than the first game, but we got a great and exciting game once again. Both teams showed some good passing skills and strong defense from the start. It was a back and forth game and players were moving positions and making adjustments often to keep up with the attack, making great decisions seemed to be a common theme from the Gunners once again. Cam Darlington made several important saves that kept them in it and eventually the ability to tie up the game. I was impressed with the quality of soccer that was played and the level of independence the demonstrated with their passing, covering, and movement off the ball. Joey Berry grabbed a goal on a break-away to tie up the game at 1-1. Steele United took the lead with about 7 minutes remaining to make it 2-1, but the Young Gunners did not give up. Eventually with several players in front of the net, Ben Mason blasted a shot from in the box to make the score 2-2. 


Game 3 - Aztecs - REPLAY

After a chaotic delay, time changes and field location drama, the Gunners were replaying their game against the Aztecs, which they originally had the 1-0 lead. The Aztecs clearly looked like an older 4th grade team compared to our Young Gunners, and it showed as they seemed to have the stamina and strength to compete for the three full games. It probably didn’t help that the boys were running around between games like mad men, but when you see those smiles on their faces with their friends, it’s hard to have them come sit down. The final game ended with the Aztecs taking the win with a score of 6-0, but even though we looked exhausted on the field, not one player ever gave up! 



Players of the Match

The Young Gunners ended the tournament with a 1-1-1 record, but had fun playing in a strong 2012 second division. Although everyone looked great this weekend and put everything they had out on the field, two players stood out. Danny McDonald showed tremendous growth, playing defense often through the three games, winning the ball with strong, physical tackles and making quick decisions with his passing that created numerous chances offensively. Joey Berry flew up and down the field every minute of the game. Playing center midfield a majority of this playing time. His ability to disrupt the other team’s attack and using his speed was noticeable and was able to recognize the right moment to pass off to his teammates when the other team collapsed around him.  


The Most Valuable Players of the tournament without a doubt goes to Jack McDonald, Reed Bahde, Cal Darlington, and William LaChance. Playing against 2012 (Probably 4th graders) with the exception of Abby Villa (2013), our YOUNG Young Gunners stepped up big right from the start. At no point while they were playing on the field did they not belong out there, playing aggressive defensive and offensive. Their ability to fit into the team’s passing game showed great confidence in their ability to play this game.

When your shirt looks like this playing against boys 1-2 years older than you, you can admit to yourself that you gave it everything you got! I’m sure everyone was just as impressed with them as the coach!


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