Mass Young Gunners - Commanders vs. Western United Pioneers 2014

 Young Gunners 2013 - Commanders

Mass Young Gunners - Commanders vs. Western United Pioneers FC 2014

Thomas Prince Field, Princeton, Ma

Sunday, May 8, 2022

Great Progress from Many Fronts!

The Commanders came out with a strong performance the week before and looked to continue and focus on making progress as a group. The first ten minutes was exciting with some back and forth play from both teams. Western United demonstrated some strong passing skills by moving the ball around which has left the Commander’s vulnerable throughout the season, but with focused team defense and marking closely was an area of improvement this week. Each keeper in the first half had some nice saves that could have swung the momentum further to one side. Unfortunately, the first goal coming from a wide open midfielder left open on the opposite side gave Western United the first goal. Jack McDonald and Alex Harned played good possession soccer, by passing back to open players and moving the ball around. Reed Badhe and William were aggressive on the attack throughout the game, often creating some of our best scoring opportunities.

Half-Time Adjustments 

Continue to focus on defense as the Commander’s seemed to be getting tired playing against a strong passing team and the first half left open a few holes once again. Marking up a player every time the opponents have the ball and recover on defense continues to be a main focus for the team. The positive note from this inconsistent team defense is that the rate of chances continues to decrease, giving the other team less opportunities to score. In the end, the Commanders still left too many holes open on the field as a team and just couldn’t get one in the back of the net against Western United even with a few strong chances from the continued effort. The final score was 8-0, but progress was still made on many individual fronts. 

Players of the Match

Players of the Match go to Kai Hepler and Evan O’Toole. Kai started the game at right back and was very aggressive with his pressure and was able to recover quickly by going in with strong tackles that made it difficult for the opposing player. The most noticeable part of his performance which helped the team’s performance is what he did after he won the ball. Multiple times in the first half, Kai won the ball, and showed great composure by passing out wide to his teammates, passing back to the keeper to keep possession or dribbling into space and making a key pass to his teammates. 

Evan O’Toole had one of his stronger performances of the season. His effort to track back on defense to mark up his man was certainly noticeable from his coach. There were several times that he looked a bit tired from making the offensive run with his team, but you could see in his body language and eyes that he was not going to give up and relentlessly ran back to cover his man. When he did control the ball offensively, he was able to use his skills to get by his man and found himself in the right place a few times for scoring chances.


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