It was the start they wanted.
The Prince Rupert Youth Soccer Association’s under-15 boys’ Rep team began the season strong at home this weekend, beating the Terrace under-15 rep squad 4-1 — an impressive result for the athletes.
Coach Gordon Armstrong appreciated the offensive flair his team showed. “We can’t complain about scoring four goals. We had lots of chances just like we wanted and we took care of the ball,” he said.
Most of the game saw one-way traffic from the home team. Going left to right in the first half, Prince Rupert’s forwards created a number of chances with their pace.
It was evident Rupert’s early season training gave them a leg up as they held possession and did not give the ball away at the back.
Coach Armstrong likes to play a high pressure line, which means their back line pushes up on the other team’s strikers, looking to put them offside, making it imperative that they win the ball when it comes at them.
This allows Rupert’s midfielders and strikers to pressure Terrace all over the field, creating turnovers.
But that is all irrelevant when your team has the ball, because then it isn’t about defensive pressure, it’s about keeping the ball, making the other team have to defend. Rupert was able to counter well off turnovers too.
After six corner-kicks, the ball was driven in from a Rupert corner and was knocked around by the Terrace keeper and a defender for a Rupert player to pounce on, pounding it into the open net.
The team had opened their account for the season, and they would look to continue the trend. The athletes hit a post, and then after a bad Terrace turnover, Rupert punished them again with a second goal before the half.
There was some chippyness to the game, signifying the athletes’ seriousness about winning. There was nothing malicious, just high-intensity play.
Rupert scored a third time early in the second half and coasted from there, making it look like Terrace was the more inclined team to score, but Rupert used a counter attack, keeping their shape and holding possession.
Rupert added a fourth goal with five minutes to complete the rout. Terrace scored a consolation goal late. The final score read 4-1 for the home side.
“We started chasing the ball, we need to be more disciplined in our positioning. We were too high too often. The offensive pressure was what we were looking for, and it’s something that we have worked on,” added Armstrong after the game.