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15 Training Sessions For Counter Attacking PDF

In terms of the NCAA Division III Women’s Soccer world Capital University (Ohio) was a relative unknown.

Although Capital had won a hand full of Ohio Athletic Conference Championships in their 20 year history they had not done anything of prominence on the regional or national stage.

However, with my arrival at the head of the Crusader program prior to the 2011 season that was about to change.

Focusing on the strength of the players we had in the program I felt that a counter attacking approach would fit us well.

We had some quick players, but no one that was blazing.

We had some technical players, but no one that was going to skate through defenders like Messi.

We had some solid defenders, but no one that was going to shut down an All-American all game long.

However, what we did have, was a desire to compete and a chip on our shoulder... and those are really big parts of counter attacking!

As with any coaching change it takes time to implement a new style and system of play.

That process started us off the 2011 season 1-4 and with a lot of concern.

However, as the players began to buy into the merits of what we were asking them to do they found success.

By the end of the season we were OAC Champions, earned the first NCAA Tournament win in program history over Alma College (MI) and had the OAC Striker, Midfielder and Goal Keeper of the Year.

After making a little noise in 2011 NCAA Tournament we hoped for the momentum to continue in 2012.

Unfortunately losing both captains, and our leading scorer, to injuries prior to preseason there would be no progress on the big stag in 2012.

Yes, we equaled the previous year goal total of 45 for the season, but, we did not make the splash we wanted.

With all of that in mind we entered the 2013 season even more determined and with even more of a chip on our shoulder.

Our two captains were returning from their injuries.

We added a pair of very good attacking players from California and Florida who made us a bit more dynamic on the counter attack.

We also added in a holding midfielder from California who was terrific at breaking up play and starting our attacking corps on their way.

Coupled with the fact that our team had eight seniors who had now been immersed in this counter attacking system for three years we felt like we had the potential to do something really special… and we did!

2013 was a coming out party for Capital University Women’s Soccer.

Early in the season we came from a 2-0 halftime deficit to tie nationally ranked Carnegie Mellon 2-2 before surrendering a late goal for a 2-3 final.

We went on the road and defeated nationally ranked Thomas More 1-0 for one of our first wins over a ranked opponent.

Then, as the season rolled along we beat our cross town rivals, Otterbein University OH), to win both the OAC Regular Season and Tournament Championships.

Along the way we also upped our goal total to 50 for the season with yet another OAC Striker of the Year.

Our opening rounds of the NCAA Tournament took us to Whitewater Wisconsin where we knocked off nationally ranked University of Chicago (IL) and then handed nationally ranked UW-Whitewater (WI) their only loss of the year for our first NCAA Sectional Title in program history.

As we moved onto the Sweet Sixteen we met up with nationally ranked Thomas More (KY) again and handed them only their 2nd loss of the season (both to Capital) and set up a showdown in the Elite Eight with the #1 team in the nation Washington University (MO).

Although they were also the #1 seed in the entire NCAA Tournament we utilized our counter attacking approach and won! With that victory we headed to San Antonio and the NCAA Division III Final Four with everyone asking “How did they get here?” 

As I was interviewed by the NSCAA College Ratings show, and heard from coaches all over the country, that question kept coming up but there was no secret formula.

It was really quite simple… we valued counter attacking.

As a result of counter attacking we were fortunate enough to have two of our players earn All American status, one as a striker and one as a goal keeper.

As a result of counter attacking we had the opportunity to fall in the National Semi-Final to eventual National Champions William Smith (NY) 0-1.

As a result of counter attacking we achieved the first national rankings ever for Capital Women’s Soccer with a final ranking of #8 NSCAA and #9 D3Soccer.com.

In addition, as a result of counter attacking there were also not very many people who had not heard of Capital University left in the NCAA Division III soccer world!

That notoriety was thanks to the dedication of our players to maximize their talents using the activities contained in the following pages.

Each session was an important part of our team success and ultimately I am confident with the right mix of players, and luck, they can do the same for you and your team.

15 Training Sessions For Counter Attacking

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