Despite the Middle School co-ed soccer team’s 1-3 record, the team fought hard and experienced major improvement throughout the season. Practices led by Head Coach Josh Garrison and Assistant Coach Amanda Pasko were always about improving players’ soccer skills and playing style.
One important skill that the players worked on in practice was their spacing on the field so they wouldn’t clump up too much during games.
“Our team has the tendency to kind of stay really close to the ball, but that can make it harder to advance around the field,” Coach Pasko said. To fix this issue in practice, coaches taught those players playing the left or right wings to spread out and not clump to the middle as much. By the end of the season, the team improved tremendously.
The team’s toughest opponent was Rectory. “It was hard because some of their students are in eighth and ninth grade where my team is predominantly sixth and seventh-graders,” Coach Pasko said. “[The Rectory’s team] mainly had boys where the KO B team is mainly girl weighted.”
Seventh-grader defender Tobias Van Wilgen said he agreed. “All the teams we faced, other than the American School for the Deaf, the majority of the kids were bigger than us and considering that I thought we did pretty well,” he said.
During the Rectory game, Coach Pasko noted KO’s team spirit even though they were losing from early goals; the team never gave up throughout the game. This spirit was important for the team.
The team’s win against the American School for the Deaf gratified them all and wrapped up their season successfully. “We won 4-2 and we definitely earned it, we outplayed them,” sixth-grader forward Addison Nicholson said
Van Wilgen said his favorite experience was defending against the opposing team’s offense. “I played defense and I remember just kicking the ball out and when they kicked it back I got it out, and I liked sabotaging the other team’s attempts,” he said.
Coach Garrison said this was his first year coaching the team. “It was lots of fun, tons of energy,” he said. “Always something new every day.”
Coach Pasko said she is looking ahead to next year. “I think next year will be a little more of a different group with our Form 2 players moving up to the high school and there are definitely a good number of players on our team hoping to make the A team next year,” she said.