I would be wrong to put on a happy face and write that we did some great playing but lost due to some unlucky breaks. You do things as team win or lose. That is not to say there weren’t individual highlights on sunday. You had to see the individual effort on Leopard faces to appreciate their frustration. But I would ask them to consider this, with the exception of the Harvard penalty stroke, none of Harvard’s defensive schemes or their offensive displays came with single person efforts.
Yes, we did have some individual highlights, and we do have a young team, but we failed to mesh together. In clearing the ball, we were more into individual effort to break a press, and as the game progressed our breakdowns occurred because we were hoping an individual could use their skills to dodge or power their way up field. We looked for individual heroics as we tried to press without using double teams. Asking someone else to make that great play to break open a game is not a recipe for consistent success. Games like these can be learning tools by reviewing, as a team your work together, focusing on things that can be accomplished in the future. Certainly, you shouldn’t dwell on losses but learn from them!!
The leadership challenge will be in keeping it all together in this tough patch and emerging stronger. You win together not apart. We are only at the halfway mark. and a majority of the Patriot League games remain, as is the possibility of having a winning season…even a championship season. But the journey is only successfully ended when we find the assist that has eluded us this weekend, or the clear, moving as a team up the field, seeing the open teammate while breaking a high press. That may require moving to get open and practice to know where your teammate will be during the heat of a game. That’s when success will appear.
Yes, and it also means taking a chance now and again, by breaking a well known pattern that the opposing team has seen on recordings. I WANT to see us play against Boston a second time. But that will happen only with additional Patriot League wins, three more, for certain. A winning season is there for our Leopards, indeed without wins from this Boston weekend, but with wins accumulated in the next 9 games and hopefully into the playoffs, building on the experience and lessons learned in this two day stretch.
I look forward to the tenaciousness from Theresa, the fearlessness from Sophie, the stamina and effort from Audrey, the blazing speed and leadership from Ellen, the strength from Meg and Cody, the cleverness of Grace, the focus from Rosie, the skills from Lisa and I could go on. However, most of all I’d like to see the team put it all together and build on each other’s strengths to reach our goals. Go Pards!!