This weekend MCPS hosted the inaugural Knights of the Round Table Varsity Soccer Tournament. It was a busy time with 2 teams each from 4 schools playing 12 games at 2 different locations.
The Varsity Boys played St. Paul’s, the #4 team in the state (4A-5A), Guntersville, the #2 team in the state (4A-5A), and Montgomery Academy (1A-3A), a perennial playoff team who is undefeated in their division this season. St. Paul’s and Guntersville are regular contenders in the final four and for us to compete against them was a good learning experience for our boys.
Words from Coach Wolfe about the Varsity Boys
The boys opened the tournament Friday night against St. Paul’s, losing 1-0. This was a hard fought game against a team that is routinely our region’s representative in the Final Four of 4A-5A soccer. The second half of this game was one of the best halves of soccer we’ve played since I’ve been here and I was very impressed by the boys’ response to going down a goal. While we didn’t get a goal in the game, our fight and determination to get back in the game left their coach with high remarks for our team. He said he fully expects to play us again in the playoffs on the way to the Final Four. This is high praise from an opposing coach of such a quality team.
In the first game Saturday morning we lost 4-3 after a second half surge by Guntersville. The Guntersville team has aspirations of winning the state title this year, and they have been building for this year for the past three seasons. This is, without a doubt, one of the top teams in the state and we were right there. In fact, we should have won the game. We started the game extremely well going up 3-0 at half time. Our second half collapse was a combination of mistakes, nervousness, and Guntersville’s experience to never give up. However, the fact that we played them so closely and should have gotten a result from the game shows how far we’ve come. The center referee told the coaches that this was the best game he’s refereed in years and that this is the best Catholic team he has ever seen. This particular referee is the head of the refereeing association for this part of the state, so I consider that high praise.
We finished the tournament in a game against Montgomery Academy, ending in a tie 0-0. This game was a letdown because we should have won, but didn’t play anywhere near the level we played in the first two games. However, a shutout is a shutout and we’ve still yet to be beaten by a Montgomery area team this season.
It was a great weekend despite the results. For those of you who have been a part of the program since I arrived, it is hard to describe how far we’ve come in less than three years. Our program is thriving with 59 boys players and 36 girls players, which is just incredible for a school our size. Our MS Boys and JVG teams are developing nicely to set us up for the future. Our JV boys have won a tournament and finished runner up three times and have had winning records the past three seasons. Our VG/VB made the playoffs for the first time in years last season and are primed to make it again this season. And now our VB are ranked #5 in the entire state. The fact that we were genuinely upset about losing to both the top teams we played this weekend is all you need to know about the state of our team. Last year we said, “We’re pretty decent.” This year, I’ve heard our opponents say, “Those boys are actually good.” We’ll bounce back and we plan on doing that this Tuesday against rival Houston Academy.
Words from Coach Rosser to his Varsity Girls
It was a tough weekend for the girls with three shutouts, but they were against some of the best teams in the state: St. Paul’s (0-3), Guntersville (0-6), and Montgomery Academy (0-10).
Thank y’all for your positive attitude in response to the result of this weekend’s tournament games. As I stated at the outset, Coach White, Coach Crimi, and I had low expectations for results, but high expectations for living out our three cultural virtues of choosing to love, working relentlessly, and mastering your role. We also wanted to improve with our defensive discipline and our first touch. While the results on the scoreboard don’t show it, I believe we lived out all three virtues and we did improve with our defensive discipline and first touch. Of course, the latter virtue was rather challenging since many of y’all were playing out of position. Each of you responded positively regardless of the situation, however, and for that we are very proud. I believe that we will look back on this weekend at the end of our season as a pivotal point as we challenged ourselves by playing the best Alabama has to offer and improved immensely because of it.