After playing the opening spring weekend in sub-zero temperatures in Rockford, the FC Wisconsin Spring Teams headed to the Blue Chip Showcase in Cincinnati the weekend of April 13-15. The weather was far better for the first two days of the event, before thunderous rain washed out the final day of games.
With mixed rosters at U16 and U18, many of the FC Wisconsin players were playing “up” a year in competition, to provide additional challenge and development opportunity.
The U17s, following up a dominant weekend in Rockford, were again dominant in Ohio with wins of 4-0 and 4-1 before their third game was called due to weather in the 30th minute at 0-0 and multiple chances to take the lead. The team vastly dominated possession in every game, and created approximately 10 chances to score in every half of soccer. The U16s finished the weekend 1-1, also with overwhelming possession, but unable to convert the possession so efficiently into goal-scoring chances.
“The best part of the last two weekends has been seeing the continued growth in understanding and application of our game model in competition,” said Director of Coaching Christian Lavers. “We have been teaching and implementing more and facets of our game model, and layering in detail and complexity, for nearly a year now in these age groups. You could clearly see that the players have a new depth in understanding of space, positioning, and movement – and it translated to 80-90% possession in the games.”
With the U17/18s, Emma Jaskaniec continued a torrid streak of goal-scoring, created individually and through better and better combination play with Aryssa Mahrt and Rachel Dallet. Impressively, with almost two entirely different back lines in Rockford and in Ohio, the age group showed consistent quality in building into midfield. Credit for this consistency goes to backs Peighton Steffen, Nicole Norfolk, Emma Roemer, and Sierra Barho (in Rockford), and backs Audrey Poorman, Sydney Schaaf, Eliza Holton, and Sierra Barho (in Ohio), for their play. In Rockford, Amara Thompkins also showed well in defensive midfield breaking up play quickly and moving the ball just as fast.
The U15/16s made big steps over the fall and winter months in their quality of play, and the progress continued even more rapidly from game to game over the past two weeks. A back line of Fiona Skwierawski, Katrina Patscot, Jadyn Rupnow, and Sam Danczyk progressively got better and better at progressing possession into and beyond midfield. Emily Ehlert and Anna Faust locked down central midfield, built a good relationship with each other in positioning and support, and found more and more opportunities to penetrate each game.
“We teach our game model in phases – from maintaining possession, to progression concepts, to finalization concepts – and you can see the progress in each age group,” said coach Monica Gonyo. “You can also see them start to understand the differences of implementation in different areas of the field, which is another big step forward in soccer intelligence.”
The Spring Teams continue their season with matchups against several colleges over the next few weeks: UW-Parkside, UW-Eau Claire, and Cardinal Stritch.