Good Luck Ladies!!!| May 21, 2010
Three years ago, a group of random 10 year old girls from Mebane’s Rec league showed up for travel team tryouts. Some coach had contacted their parents encouraging them to come out – to have the chance to play on an all girls team and travel around NC to play soccer. Some were excited, some were hesitant, some were ambivalent. But they went through the activities and worked hard. Some girls were tripping over the ball, others had an almost unbridled fury in their intensity, but no ball control, and others hung back not entirely sure WHAT they were doing there. Except for one who was already picking out team names and had suggested ‘Lunachicks’ much to the other girl’s delight. In the end, 13 girls came out, and 13 girls made the team. We picked up a 14th player that summer and the MYSA Lunachicks were born.
Our first match was a wake up call. Against a team that had been playing travel for a year, we got utterly run over, losing 0-9 to our cross town rivals. The next match we lost 0-6 and it could have been much much worse. But this group of girls got through that and kept working hard. They were working hard and showing off stuff they had learned in practice. Suddenly matches were being won or lost by a point or two. Their next season they finished 6-2. Suddenly this team of random players was a team to be reckoned with. We picked up a few players, said goodbye to a couple players and soldiered on. They moved up to Classic, but never believed believe they could play at that level. In 2009 they won four matches, but lost 30. Yet this group of girls stuck together. Of the original 14 Lunachicks, 9 still play on the team.
So they moved back to Challenge and had the most successful season they ever have this Spring, finishing undefeated at 7-0-1. They came ‘this close’ to beating a team that qualified for Premiere this year, losing a hard fought 1-2 match. But above all else, despite all the past disappointment, heartbreak, and ‘agony of defeat’, these girls have been having the time of their lives. 12 of them made their respective middle school teams and it was wonderful to see Woodlawn and Hawfields battle it out until the end, finishing tied for first place and both matches between the two ending in shootouts. Some of you in Mebane have probably seen them around town in those blinding yellow sleeveless jerseys they begged the league to approve (thanks Shannon ). Two of them taught themselves the flip throw-in, adding flair to their already intense style of play. One of them tore her ACL early in the season, but with doctor’s approval has been playing her heart out in a special knee brace, determined to finish the season. In short, they have become a team – fiercely protective of each other and determined to prove that they CAN play competitive soccer and play it well against any opponent.
And this past weekend they took another step towards proving that. They advanced to the semifinals of the NCYSA Challenge State Cup. So while many of you are still asleep tomorrow at 8AM, they’ll be taking the field to face the CASL Rockets trying to advance to the State Cup finals on Sunday. Tomorrow they’ll be representing Mebane proudly as they battle three CASL teams for the U13 Girls Challenge State Cup and hopefully bring it home to Mebane.
Ladies – I can’t tell you how proud I am of what you’ve accomplished so far. Many teams, enduring the difficulties we have in the past, would have dissolved in the wind. But you toughed it out. You may have struggled to believe you really were as good as people said. But hopefully this past season has helped with that. You went undefeated in your division. Your middle school teams tied for first. You’ve played many matches where the ball rarely gets into our end of the field. And now you’re in the State Cup semifinals. Yet it’s not the wins that make me so proud of you as your coach. It’s all the other things you’ve done. The sportsmanship you’ve displayed. Helping with or holding clinics for younger girls in Mebane to come out and play/learn soccer. The way you’ve kept your chins up in bad times and tempered your excitement in good. Thanking the officials after each match, and more. I’m incredibly proud of you and it’s been an honor to coach you all these past 3 years.
But like I said last night. There’s nothing else I can do for you to help you win this weekend. It has to come from your heart. If you really believe, deep down, that you AND your teammates can do this, there’s no opponent that can stand in your way. It won’t be easy and will require you leave everything on the field. But it certainly is within your reach. Take the field tomorrow, composed, with your heads held high and confident you can play your best. Good luck ladies! GO LUNACHICKS!