The SX cup was a great experience for the 2004 Renegades. We got to play against teams from other provinces and countries, some even brought pins as gifts!
Even though Nicole and I had coached many of the Renegades before, we used this tournament to learn about the team. We were pleasantly surprised by their positive and polite attitudes, willingness to work hard (playing two games in a day in blistering 30 degree weather!) and exceptional skill and team work. We finished the tournament in third place, but we were definitely the best team in terms of technical skill and hustle. As I told the girls, there aren't many teams that can link 7 or 8 passes together and work the ball up the field as consistently as we can. The key to this style of play is immediate support from a teammate, and they were amazing in running to their teammates to provide passing options. Perhaps the most exciting aspect of absorbing this team is the fact that every player is very skilled, in their own unique way; Allison has amazing courage and reflexes, Taylor has great focus and precision when dispossessing opponents, Siena is fearless and handles strikers regardless of their playing style, Rose has unearthly confidence on the ball, not to mention she can make the opposing players (and her coaches) dizzy with the dangles she pulls off, Lizzie is a fiery defender; I don't think I saw anyone get by her! Addison uses her speed for the sake of the team; blistering forward runs down the field, but always there to receive the pass from the defense. Chantal introduced herself with effective wing play, winning vital battles and making key passes. Brooke makes her intentions clear for her teammates with great communication on the field, using her voice and body language to ask for the ball. Sadie is a hungry midfielder, winning physical tackles and attacking balls in mid-air. Megan has impeccable vision and timing, achieving near perfect pass completion rates in several games. Abby is a force wherever she plays on the field, as an attacker she can dribble through players and on defence she can protect the ball perfectly, even in high pressure situations. Tay is a classic forward, combining her hold up play with her creative one touch through passes makes her impossible to handle for other teams. Brenaugh is effective with the ball, proven by her dribbles and long range scoring ability. Speaking of scoring ability, Alex didn't play in the tournament but showed us 2 quality goals in our first league game. It is clear we have a special group of young talent.
Off the field we had a wonderful time; a picnic between games provided a chance for coaches, players and parents to get to know one another. The squad enjoyed a mix of music from the wireless speaker of a teammate, and we all ate famously until it was time to warm up for the next game. In all, the SX Cup was a smashing success, Nicole and I got to see what the girls can do, the parents got to know us better, and most importantly, the Renegades had a lot of fun while playing the beautiful game we all love.