The team is coached by Caitlyn Wood and Andy Madill. This was the first year coaching the team for head coach Wood. This was the first challenge of the season with the team having to learn to play under a new coach with a different approach to coaching. Wood and Madill started the season off by talking about the roles on the team, for both the players and coaches. Coach Wood said going into the season "My goal was to teach the girls how to be a team player, a teammate, and ultimately a team". This was key in helping the team in learning to work together, being good teammates and working hard as an individual and as a team.
When asked about the season and how it went both Aria Bauers and Nina Thorson said how the team started off slow and not really playing as a team. However, this improved and the team started to play well as people put the effort in to play as a team.
One of the big points of the season and the most memorable game for Coach Wood was the game against Northern Lights/Coon Rapids United. The team tried to get the game rescheduled but they couldn't manage to do so. They went down to the game with guest players from the 06 2nd team and the 07 MN1 team to make up the roster. The team started poorly going down 2-0 early and it would stay this score until the half. The team would improve a little and get a goal back but then the opposition would score again to make it 3-1. They scored again making it 3-2 but the time started to run out with the game at 3-2. Time was running out and the team was struggling to find an equaliser. However, the equaliser did come in the last 5 minutes. The team was now in a position to come away with a tie after being 2-0 down at half time. Then right at the death the team scored to make the game 4-3 to Gitch.
Player Nina Thorson said these games where the team made a comeback were her highlights of the season as well. Thorson said "several times in League we were down in the second half and we came back to get a good result. Our team never quit! To me that was our biggest highlight, that and earning a promotion to premiere next year". Lucia Haggenmiller also spoke about the comebacks and said "We had a lot of games where we were down by one or more goals and we had to push ourselves to comeback. I also think that the fact that every game mattered really motivated us to work hard and improve".
The players were also asked about what helped them grow as a player and a team. Aria Bauers said "I feel working hard outside of the games and practices was a key component in helping me grow as a player physically. As a team all of us working together and getting to know each other definitely helped strengthen us physically and mentally". Nina Thorson said that the organisation of the team on the field and being mature enough to understand the tactics and importance of fulfilling the roles on the field helped her grow as an individual and as a team.
When asked about next season Coach Wood said "I’m excited for next year and also preparing mentally for what lies ahead. We made amazing progress this year, and we’re going to have to work even harder next year. The competition we face won’t hand over games to us. We’re going to have to fight for it, and want it fiercely in our very soul. There’s no time for selfishness on or off the field. It’s time to step up to play and push ourselves beyond what we thought our limits were. It requires dedication outside of practice to improve oneself for the betterment of the team. I can’t wait to see these young women rise to the occasion as I know so many will".
We also asked some players about how they feel for next season. Aria Bauers said "I personally am feeling excited but I know that it will be a lot of work and people are going to have to put in a lot of effort for us to be able to keep up with the other premier 2 teams. That will mean people doing more to get better outside of games and practices". Nina Thorson and Lucia Haggenmiller both said emphasised that the team is going into the season excited and they know it will be hard work but they are ready for the challenge.
The success of this team also got them to the semi final of the USA Cup as well as getting them promoted to the Premier II division. They finished the league season with 25 points from 11 games. They won eight games, tied one and lost two. As well as scoring 20 goals and only conceding 14.
Everyone at Gitchi Gummi would like to congratulate the team on getting promotion and having a successful season.
Tag(s): In the News