U16 GG Far West Regionals Honalulu Hawaii

Hi my name is Leticia Oliva and I am on the U16 Arsenal Gold Girls team and have worked my way up from the blue team to the gold through a lot of hard work and dedication. I have put so much work into myself trying to make myself the best person on and off the field and have been voted captain for 3 years in a row.

 Right now I am currently in O’ahu, Hawaii and participating in regionals with my team. Wake up call came at 8:30 and breakfast at 8:45. The nerves were starting to kick in and reality was starting to set in. This wasn’t any vacation or at the least any soccer tournament either. This was the beginning of what we had been working for. This was the time that we had to show to everyone what we had been working on for such a long time. Our first game was at 2:00 in the afternoon against the Idaho state champs. We ate our breakfast and had some down time to try to let the nerves settle in our stomach and we were on our way to our 45 minute drive to the fields in a newly found place that we would be battling up and down the fields for our spot to move on. We show up at the fields and set up our cones behind field 13. And it just so happened that the other team set up right next to us for an attempt to intimidate us. Of course that and their bright neon green uniforms didnt have an affect on us. We came out with all we had and battled in the 84 degree weather with a humidity level that made it feel as if it was 95. This all didnt stop us. We came out with a job. Our coach Tracy had prepared us and gave us everything we needed to win and we weren’t about to let us down. We came out strong and kept position pretty much all game and came out on top with a 2-0 win. We were ecstatic and ready to move on to our next step. Our only goal? Move out of pool play and take things one step at a time. We had done all we could for the day and came out with 3 points. This was the start we needed to set a tone off for our trip and first time at regionals. Next step? Some serious sleep!
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U13 GG Day 2 from Honalulu Hawaii

First, we woke up for a delicious breakfast around 8:00am. Soon after that we all started to get ready for our 2:00pm game against Hawaii Rush Nike. We had to gather our things and gear to leave around 10:30 because the traffic was so bad. Normally it would only take 45 minutes but traffic made it difficult to arrive in less than 1 1/2 hours. When we finally reached the fields, we all put our gear on and got ready to warm up. Warm up took 40 minutes, but it didn’t feel like we were focused on the game. When the game was close to starting, we had to do the international walkout. The whistle blew and we got a rude awakening. We all weren’t focused on our tasks and we panicked. We became very negative towards each other. As the half went on, the score remained 0-0. At halftime, we all realized it is now or never, and we have to leave everything on the field. Kris and Luis were frustrated, but gave us advice on how be more effective and finish the game. When the second half started, we came out relaxed and gave 110%. In around 10 minutes, the goalie came off her line, and Madison Williams chipped up and over the keepers head, and into the goal! We celebrated as a team, and quickly returned to our positions. We continued to penetrate and pressure the goal. This paid off when Sophie Smith scored around 5 minutes after Madison Williams did. She scored by receiving a pass from Jaelin Howell at about the 18, curving a pass around the keeper and into the goal. We continued to keep up the high pressure and they did as well. However, Rush Nike never successfully made a comeback. Finally, the whistle blew, and we all breathed a sigh of relief. We had reached our goal and were happy with the results, but were not happy with the way we played. Soon after, we drove home and picked up ice for ice baths. Ice baths provided 15 minutes of relief for our muscles. Then, we swam in the ocean behind our beach house wearing our “completely stylish” water shoes. After we finished swimming, we took showers and cleaned our battle wounds up. We were all exhausted and ready to enjoy a home cooked meal. After dinner, everyone was happy and full, and ready to rest for our last pool play game.

Monique Roche/ Jade Gosar/ Taylor Bee

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13GG Far West Regionals Honalulu Hawaii Day 1

First, we woke up at 8:00am. Then we fixed up our hair and washed our face before heading upstairs. When we got upstairs we got our delightful breakfast burritos and sat at the table with everyone else. During breakfast, Jaelin Howell had brought up a gecko that she had caught from outside. After breakfast we headed back to  our to assigned rooms and got on our game face and uniforms. We were told to put on all blue for the game against  LaRoca, Utah. After putting up our hair we headed back upstairs to fill our water bottles for the game. We made sure that they were full of ice for the hot and humid game coming up. After everyone was prepared to head to the fields we had a little competition on the ping pong table. Kris had come down about 10 minutes after we started to tell us to start heading out to our cars. The car ride was silent. Everyone thinking about the nerve racking game ahead of us. When we got to the fields it was hot. We all met up and got a spot in the shade and ate a banana. After 15 minutes we put on our gear and started warmups. The first whistle blew and we had the kickoff. The game was high pressured and tense until they scored their goal. The arsenal team knew we couldn’t give up and we had to step up our game. Half time came and we were down 1 to 0. As hot as we were, us and the coaches both knew that we had to improve our game if we wanted something more than a tie. We came out with more intensity than Utah in the second half. The goalie had been playing high up and all we had to do was take a high and hard shot. Jaelin dribbled up the middle and cut outside away from the defense. She took a hard shot right above the goalies reach and it went right in. We all screamed in joy and relief and boosted up our energy. The game went and we had chances back and forth but no results. Kenady Adams started with ball at about half line and dribbled with a breakaway all the way into the box. She took a power striking shot right over the goal keepers hands. We were up 2 to 1. The final whistle blew and we all celebrated in joy! After the game we had a talk and cool down before heading to our parents. After hugging out parents we went over to the tent and got our shirts and sweat shirts for the tournament. We all headed back to the beach house after that. When we arrived we had lunch. After lunch we took ice baths to prepare for the long week of games ahead. We all took showers and cleaned up. After meeting back in the family room we took a long walk on the beach. We took lots of pictures along the way. We came back inside and had a good filling dinner. We all met up in one room to have a talk about the component for the next day. Tomorrow we play Hawaii Rush. We talked about how to play defensively and offensively. After the talk we all headed back to our assigned rooms and got in bed. We laid in bed thinking about the game to come. Then it was lights out.

Kendall Furrow and Madison Williams of the U13 GG Arsenal Colorado Team;

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The Values of Coaching for Arsenal Colorado

As we take time around the holidays to slow down and appreciate the little things in life, I wanted to take the time to share the value of coaching this great game; for your great club.

What can soccer give a child who first steps onto our field at the age of four or five?

It goes without saying that soccer can teach valuable life lessons in fairness, sportsmanship, and grace under pressure, respect for your teammates, coaches, opponents and officials. Also sports can teach kids how to recover from setbacks and give the ability to solve problems and face challenges.  Of course many parents will believe, and will in effect lead their children to believe, that winning sets you apart from your peers. No matter if you are 5, 15 or 25, first is everything and anything else means you have failed. However, what we soon forget is that our children are not signing multi-million dollar contracts to play for Arsenal.

As a club, we want our coaches, our parents, our volunteers and our players to think wider and bigger than what the scoreboard says each week. We need to measure performances individually and collectively to give our children and players a sense of worth no matter if they played on a winning or a losing team. Our coaches are tasked with not just developing the player, but developing the person and getting them to constantly think outside the box and evaluate situations and challenges differently. Educating our players on how to set measurable goals, unique to each individual is paramount to building on the foundation of a love for the game, which most if not all children have. Where we come in as coaches is to make them see their successes, and help them work on their weaknesses. This will only be achieved through educating ourselves to do this. As a club we are making positive strides in this direction. We have coaching tools which will allow every coach access to training sessions which are designed for a specific age-group and can be modified to fit the ability of the players involved.

As coaches once we have this foundation in place, we can begin to educate the parents on how their journey will take form, reminding them that development and passion always need to be at the forefront of their child’s voyage, when parents will begin to understand this is when the chance of success begins to cultivate. We want our teams to have a unique style of play; we want the players within our club to have the confidence to try new things without fear of failure. We want any child that plays here to take confidence and belief into other areas of their life, where it will serve them well today as a young person, and tomorrow as an adult. It’s about the understanding that team is more important than self, which can hold endless possibilities to those in the work place later in life. Those players who, while being the most gifted of athletes or soccer players to begin with, grasps that through hard-work and perseverance they can reach their goals by developing their strengths and being able to overcome their perceived weaknesses, is that same person who needs to pass their Biology exam and uses that experience of working hard on their own to get a good grade. The child who played on a team that lost all of their recreational games finds themself on a State team at U15 and is constantly hungry for more success because he/she haven’t been spoiled by ‘over-winning’ at a young age as well as they were taught it was more important to learn to pass the ball with both feet than worry whether their team was winning or not.

If we can give these gifts to our children today, then no matter if they were winning or losing on an Arsenal team, they will look back and say “I really loved my time when I was here and I really learned something about life,” then we will all be winners. They may even come back and coach our next generation of players.

We want our kids to LOVE soccer, we want it to be a big part of their families’ lives, something they can do and enjoy together. Whether watching games on TV or following the Men’s and Women’s University teams or simply just being out at city fields or the complex. . We want them to wear their jersey with pride and believe that they are part of something unique and special. It is no accident that soccer is the most popular game in the world and it is a gift that we can all enjoy together, every day at Arsenal Colorado.

Thank you for allowing me to do what I love and to be a part of your child’s memories

Have a wonderful holiday season and we will see you in the spring!

-Jayme “Beamer”Halsey – Assistant Director of Coaching & Player Development

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Update from Presidents Cup Nationals (Day4)

Day 4 Blog 1

We woke up at 7:30 and went to get breakfast from the lobby then meeting in a room to talk about the day ahead of us and our breakdowns yesterday.  After eating together as a team, we went back to our rooms to prepare for the game. We knew that we had to come out ready to play hard because this was the game to get us to the championship. We went to the cars and headed to the fields to stretch well and warm up. Our warm-ups were focused and we were ready to play knowing how much tis game meant to us. The game started and you could tell from the whistle that we were on. Our passes were to feet, our movements were quick into space, and we were playing for each other.  After our outside mid, Kait Eden, scored from a through ball, our defensive mid, Kat Bossenbroek, went down with what we later found out to be a sprained ankle.  We still continued to play strong and at half, we talked about our strengths and the few things we needed to fix to seal the win.  We went into the second half just as strong as the first and we got a PK and Jordan Paulson finished it for a 2-0 lead. As the game continued, we didn’t let up and Kait Eden scored again from the top of the 18. We continued to hold them and the game ended in a 3-0 win against Libertyville Chicago, Illinois sending us to the Championship game tomorrow.  After the game, we went to the hotel as a team to eat lunch celebrating our win. We got ready quickly to go to a movie, Ice Age 4, where we relaxed and stayed out of the heat. We went back to our hotel and relaxed for a couple hours then headed to the chaperone’s hotel to eat tacos for dinner. After dinner, we split off with some girls going to the mall and some going back to the hotel to play games and relax. We are heading off to bed tonight realizing that we have a big game tomorrow and mentally preparing ourselves for the important battle tomorrow.

-Joanie Ellis and Kait Eden

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Update from President’s Cup Nationals (Day 3)

Day 3 Blog 2

We began our warm up shaky due to one of the girls forgetting a cleat, the problem was later resolved. During the warm up the team got into game mode, we all focused and made sure our touches were down. We then took the field determined to leave it all out there. We began rough and it seemed that neither team was getting much work done. We connected a few good plays but it still hadn’t gotten us far. Finally after a great free kick by Jordan Paulsen, Alex Klema finished it off with a header goal. At half time our coaches let us in on what we needed to fix and we again took the field. After a hard fought half we finished the game with a 2-1 loss. After getting our lunch and regrouping we are now getting ready to pay a visit to the Jelly Belly factory. We are all in our cute matching purple shirts and excited to tour the factory.  Until tomorrow, so long.

Adria Davis

Day 3 Blog 1

The team woke up this morning and came down to the meeting room for breakfast. We had a box of a bagel, juice, fruit, yogurt and a granola bar. We were all ready as ever. We headed back to the rooms and suited up to play, then hopped in the car to go to the fields. Check back after the game for the update.

– Kat Bossenbroek

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Update from President’s Cup Nationals Day 2

Day 2 Blog 2

After coming back and winning 4 to 2, the team was in very good spirits. We all received water bottles that had special gifts inside them from the other team. After taking off our soccer gear and going through our gifts, we all packed into the cars to go to lunch, which is kind of strange because we eat most of our meals at a hotel that is about a mile away from the hotel that all the teams, including us, are staying at. But I like it because it gets us away from all the chaos and distractions. Our lunch was sandwiches, chips, fruits, brownies and juice, which were all very yummy! One of the cars didn’t show up for like 45 minutes because they got lost which was hilarious because they did the same thing for dinner the day before. Finally everyone had eaten and we all went back to the hotel. We had about 4 hours of free time where some girls went to the pool, some went to the mall and some just slept! I love this team because you can truly be with anyone and trust them with your deepest darkest secrets and know that they will love you and support you no matter what. So after all of us chilled out, we went and had dinner and then got froyo for dessert, which we all stuffed ourselves to the brink! Today also happened to be one of the girl’s, Abby Zimmerman, birthday and so we celebrated that by surprising her with a giant cookie at the team meeting tonight!! So glad we have the opportunity to be here! Check back for more tomorrow! Night!

– Cassie Florentin

Day 2 Blog 1

This morning we got up for breakfast at the hotel with all the girls. After getting ready for the game we all loaded up in the cars then headed to the fields. We had a strong focused warm up and all the girls were very ready to get on the field for our first nationals game against Miami Lakes SC. We started off the game with a quick play that almost ended with Alex Klema scoring but after a few more minutes we started to play worse as nerves got to us, missing the possession our team is known for. We would have bursts of controlled play throughout the first half but mostly the opposing team was winning balls out of the air, physically stronger on every challenge and passing around us. We were down twice in the first half with them scoring first us second, by Alex Klema, and then them again. At half time the whole team was upset with the way we had started the game. Our coach, Adam Bauer, talked us through our nerves throughout half time, pointing out even though we are in another state we are still playing the same game and if we played how we could, we would blow this out of the water. Second half started off well. Alex Klema scored two minutes into the second half. Having our confidence back we started to play more possession. And Alex ended up scoring again… the last twenty minutes of the game was stressful because we knew the one goal lead could be taken away easily. With three minutes left in regulation Jordyn Seidel score our last goal calming the team. After the game was over we got lunch then headed back to the hotel to relax. Good start to the tournament and excited for our next game!

– Jordan Paulsen 

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