Nashoba FC Girls U12 on a Roll
By Jess Thomas
Despite participating in a special team night out the evening before, the Nashoba FC girls U12 squad took the field at Willard Park in Devens on Sunday, handily winning their game against Lusitana FC by a score of 4-1.
The premier team, recently started under the newly reorganized Nashoba Regional Soccer Association, had spent the previous evening at the New England Revolution game, having been invited as a result of winning the premier league’s GPS Milan Cup Tournament held during Labor Day weekend.
Head coach Dave Lauffer said, “The girls got to go out on the field and dragged a banner out and put it in the middle of the field.
“They actually got to spend 10-15 minutes running around on the field, getting their pictures taken on the field, so they had a blast,” Lauffer said. “It was really a lot of fun for the team.”
The club is 5-1 this year, their only loss coming to a team that they would later beat on penalty kicks to win the Milan Cup.
At Sunday’s game against the Lusitana FC premier team, only one goal was scored in the first half on a nice cross that was kicked in just under 10 minutes into the match.
Nashoba kept the ball on Lusitana’s side of the field most of the half, but were only able to put in the one goal.
“We didn’t get home until late last night, so we played a little bit flat today in the first half,” Lauffer said. “The second half was a different game.”
Indeed it was, as Nashoba came out with renewed energy and a sense of purpose, scoring their second goal just three minutes into the second 30-minute half.
In the next fifteen minutes, Nashoba scored two more goals, both on plays where the player slipped the ball past the goalie right next to the net.
Lusitana would get on the board on a free kick halfway through the second half on a ball that was lofted over a line of defenders heads and into the top middle part of the goal for their first and only score.
Despite the 4-1 win, Lauffer is still looking for improvement from his squad.
“The girls are really starting to implement their foot skills. The technical skills of the game are starting to really look good,” Lauffer noted. “Tactically, we are sloppy- we are all over the place sometimes- but they’re getting better. Each game has been progress in the right direction.”
There were multiple offside penalties called toward the end of the game, making it difficult for Nashoba to score any more.
Lauffer has high expectations for the rest of the season now that the team has won the Milan Cup.
My expectations were to go and do well at the Milan Cup – not win the Milan Cup. Now that they’ve won it, my expectation for the next tournament, which is Columbus Day up in Nashua – I expect them to win it.”
The team will still have seven more league matches left after the tournament on Columbus Day, so Lauffer still has time to develop his players.
We play in a premier league,” Lauffer said. “This is not town rec soccer – this is a level above town rec soccer. Kids try out for the team, so the bottom line is that we have to develop these players and get them to the next level because it’s our responsibility to get them there.”
It looks like this group of 11-year old girls will be on their way to bigger and better things as they continue to improve their skills.