The U10 ‘A’ Club de Soccer Mont-Royal Outremont Griffons shut out the Dollard Dragons 3-0 on Friday evening during a blistering heat wave.
Not only were the girls dealing with a relentless sun and rising humidity levels, but they also lacked bodies. Both teams fielded less than 10 players. MRO had two bench spots, while Dollard had one.
“It is a turf field and they are 10-years-old,” said Dragons head coach Stan Martell. “What doesn’t help at this time of the year is the fact that there’s a lot of vacation.”
After falling behind 3-0, Martell says it was difficult for his team to regain their footing. But the girls never relented. They kept MRO on their toes and tested their ‘keeper on several occasions. They just couldn’t bury the ball.
Dollard’s diminutive striker Neha Jacob came dangerously close to scoring on several occasions, but the MRO’s defense always seemed to find the lane. Her shots were blocked more often than not.
“Sometimes the other team gets a lucky bounce, sometimes we get it,” said Martell. “Today, the other team got one or two of them on their end.”
Despite a disappointing result, Martell says the key is improving on a weekly basis. I think the girls played pretty hard considering the temperature, he said. They showed that there is no quit to their game. Something Martell has known for a long time.
“I’ve been with some of these girls for the last six years, since they were four-years-old, they’re a very hard working bunch and even in adversity like this they’ll never stop until the last whistle,” Martell said.
MRO head coach Hagop Bayramian echoed Martell’s sentiments about the heat. Bayramian says it was all about keeping the girls hydrated and refreshed. But, like Martell, he struggled to cope with a short bench.
“The hardest thing today was the heat, so we needed to keep the changes going and it’s tough times because everybody is on vacation,” Bayramian said.
His team pulled off the victory and displayed a lot of character. The girls moved the ball well and created space for each other. However, Bayramian is always striving to help his squad improve. He says they’ll keep practicing, heat or no heat.
“Well, basically the most important thing is for the girls to progress and learn every day,” he said.