Fall Soccer, 2013

It is that time of year again...time for fall soccer!


And see the matching jerseys?  They're all on the same team.  The 10-12 year old team.  Yes, only one of my children should technically be on that team.

We have the same coach, Matthew, that we've had twice before.  It was his idea to move the kiddos up (you can move up...but not down).   When LK was watching one of E and N's practices last year and a ball went out, LK punted it back in.  Matthew said, "I want her on MY team!"

So they all four played on the same team together under Matthew this past spring.  And now...they're in the "big leagues" together in the 10-12 year old group.

And seriously, I do mean the "big leagues".  This is much more intense and serious.  And there are now some rules in play that the kiddos didn't have to abide by in the younger age groups...like "off sides."

A few minutes into the first game of the season, when Lao Lao was getting riled up at the expectations placed on LK, I thought we were going to have to ban her from games!  For her own good, mind you.

Elisabeth is the most vocal about "loving" soccer.  She is also the least aggressive of our bunch.

Elisabeth plays defender, and thinks that Coach Matt is "the best coach ever!"

I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised about her ladylike behavior on the soccer field, as this above picture (which smacks of a ballet pose) sums up my precious girly-girl.

While Daniel will tell you he doesn't love soccer, he does good out there.

Daniel plays goalie most of the time when we're practicing here at the house and he is really good at it.

But (much to this mama's relief) he doesn't play goalie on the team.  He plays defender. 

Lily Kay is the team's "bulldog."  (Coach Matt's nickname for her.)

Sometimes she plays mid-fielder...and sometimes she plays striker.  (For those not proficient in soccer, those are both offensive positions.)  

She is not afraid to get in there.  She is the shortest out there, but for a 7-year old amongst 10-12-year olds?  She definitely holds her own.  And then some.

And Coach Matt (who played himself growing up and as a young adult) says that "she is going to be really good!"  Is it too early to hope for a college scholarship???

For being such a nice, non-aggressive guy in real life, Noah has honestly surprised me on the soccer field.  Noah plays mid-defender. 

I mentioned to Coach Matt at their first practice with him a year ago that Noah has had two open-heart surgeries and has a pacemaker.  I think this has alot to do with him placing Noah on defense instead of offense.

Noah isn't afraid to get in there to defend his goal.  Coach Matt has also put Noah in charge of the other defenders.  It is Noah's job (as mid-defender) to tell the other two defenders where to be located.  He didn't like the idea of this at all at first...but he has gotten used to it and does a good job "controlling his defenders."

I love what the children are learning out there during practice and games.  How to work hard.  How to work together.  How to play with character...even if the opponent is kind of "pushy." How to win gracefully.  How to lose gracefully.  How to take direction.  Even stern direction.

During practice the children run drills...run lines...and run up and down (and up and down...) the steep hill at the Y.

Two 1.5 hour practices a week...plus 2 to 3 games a week?

Means that I have some kiddos who have actually been sleeping some during afternoon rest-time lately. 

Old enough to being playing with the big kids...but still love their blankets.  I love this age.

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