OK, so the season is over and the dust has settled…what did we achieve?
Well, we ended the regular season last year with an 11 game unbeaten run in conference games and we remained unbeaten for the first 5 conference games of the new season, making the run total 16 games.
We picked up 10 wins this season, the most we believe since the 1970s.
We qualified for play offs for the second season running, first time this has happened in the program’s history.
We outshot every opponent in every game except one (when we left 9 starters at home to rest) and we produced the most shots for any team in the conference.
Last season we placed the most players per team on the All Conference first and second teams and this year we did this again with 6 players making either the first or second team.
Last year one of our players came runner up for player of the year and repeated this again this year.
Finally, our captain was awarded the Brine Distinction Award for achievements on and off the field.
So, all in all a successful campaign, although we just look back and realise how close we came to making it so much better.
In the play off semi final, we faced a team who were 9-0-1 at home and had not conceded a goal in those 10 games. We were the only team to pick up even a tie against them at their ground all season.
The semi final was a fantastic game, end to end with us outshooting them again. We came ever so close by a mere couple of inches at the end of the second half and the beginning of the first half of OT. Five minutes into the first OT period they produced an identical shot to one of ours, however, as ours just missed the far post by a whisker, their shot creeped in winning the game for them.
Heartbreaking end to the campaign, especially for the seniors as they saw their college soccer careers come to such an abrupt finale. That’s two semi final losses in overtime in the exact same minute of the game…can you believe it!
After the game it became official that I was to resign from the position as head coach. I had discussed this with the athletic director a couple of weeks earlier. I was the only part time temporary coach in the conference and it had been tough holding down a regular job, having a young family and commuting to and from the college as well. I was going up against full time coaches who had been at their programs for many many years and although we beat everyone of those teams and had two amazing seasons, it had taken its toll on myself, my wife and my family.
So, I will keep an eye on the program and help the interim coaches until a replacement is found.
I came to the USA in 1996 to be involved in soccer and this is the first time I have not been involved in the game as a coach or referee or player….I am now weighing up my options to see how best I can get back in the game.
I will keep you posted….