The U18 Girls Premier Division 1 team had their first games of the season this past weekend. The team had not been practicing long in preparation for this event, however they were wanting to hit the ground running. I managed to catch up with head coach Allison DeGroot and player Bella Bacigalupo to get their thoughts on the games.
Coach DeGroot is new to the team and is excited about working with them. Her observation? “The team was actually down a few players and this meant a few players had to play out of position, but they handled it extremely well. The players put the team first and they bought their best individual game on the day.” She also added that the team has a few new players and are fitting in well.
The team played two games, winning the first 2-1. DeGroot said, “They showed tremendous grit especially in the first game. We went down 0-1 in the second half and to put the team in the best position we changed up the system to a more offensive one, a system we haven’t even talked about. They took in the challenges, changed roles, buckled down, and scored 2 goals to win 2-1.”
DeGroot then went on to speak about the second game. “The second game we got out possessed in the first half but (in) the second half they dominated play and had some amazing chances.”
She also added that “I’ve been extremely impressed with their combination play in the final third, especially with how few practices we have had.”
Bella Bacigalupo continued on that thought. “Our first event as a team this year went pretty well. We were a little rusty in the beginning, but that is to be expected when coming into your first scrimmages. As the tournament went on, we improved and began to grow as a team. We were able to apply many things that we worked on which helped our success. These first scrimmages were really helpful with knowing and understanding how we play with each other and will be helpful entering our first league games this spring.”
Bacigalupo then went on to speak about what herself and the rest of the team are excited for this season and emphasized how much the team is looking forward to competing at a top level and challenging themselves. She said, “I think that our team will really grow together and learn to play a fast game, which is something that I am looking forward to.”
Bacigalupo admits that the team will be facing a tough schedule and reiterates the level of ability of the Premier 1 level. However, she is confident the team will show up, rise to the challenge, compete, and get positive results as a team.
Coach DeGroot added, “My basic expectations for every team I coach are work hard and care for one another. When we do those two things, we are able to push the boundary of not only what we are capable of individually but what they are capable of collectively. When we are in an environment where we can be creative, not fear making mistakes, are able to take risks, try new things and push the boundaries of what we’ve done before, we all grow. They definitely did that this weekend, which was exciting to see.”
Bacigalupo insisted that the girls are on the same wavelength. “Everyone understands that it will be a challenging year, but if our work ethic and grit are there, we will have success this season.”
DeGroot then went on to speak about how the new indoor facility at Proctor will help with the team. She stressed how good this facility is for allowing the players to work on their skills and confidence. She said that herself and the team are excited about being able to use a quality turf surface and noted that it is massive for the team (to have the use of Proctor's turf) to be able to compete at the highest level.
Tag(s): In the News