It was the perfect end to a perfect season.
The U13 Rossland girl’s soccer team went through their Super 8 league season undefeated at 13-0, and then capped off that run with two straight playoff wins to win the league title.
To say the club played some great soccer would be an understatement. Although the 20-player house team contained some remarkable athletes—with a blend of skill, strength and speed—it was their commitment to learning the game that made the difference, said the club’s coach, Kelly Acheson.
The players worked really hard on positioning and playmaking, she explained, as well as what it meant to play soccer with your head up.
“They are just such natural athletes, you know, at kicking the ball, but if you are in the right position, and you are playing some heads up ball and you are understanding the needs of your team mates around you, you put yourself in a better position to score,” she said.
The club listened to that advice and executed the strategy. They also added in additional practices—not a normal feature in house league soccer—scheduled in to work on skills and team strategy.
The players and their parents really bought into the extra time commitment to the club and what was going on, said Acheson.
“You just need to have that enthusiasm to have that success in, and those girls did,” she said.
Despite an undefeated season there were no “easy” games during the season, said Acheson. They had to battle through the season all the way to the final against Trail, a team that evenly matched Rossland in skill, but not always in goals on the scoreboard.
Rossland narrowly won the final against Trail, going to overtime tied 2-2, and then on to a shootout, scoring four more goals to down their neighbours to capture the final.
“It was an outstanding game … and the girls just worked so well together,” said Acheson.
Around half of the championship club returns again next year for Acheson in the U13 division.