The first three were girls who went to school together at Sewell elementary, and they combined with two girls that they met in the FC Sonora youth program. Those five soon turned into 18! We decided to go ahead and make two teams, one coached by Julie Stevenson and the other by Toby Canto. The teams were run academy style and one played U9 and the other U10. Overall, both teams did very well and were competitive.
After making a tough decision to split the teams into two different age groups, the Cheetahs also had a new coach magically appear to set us on a new course! Gillian Hatch, who has played at the highest levels, with the US Youth National Team, and at the University of Virginia, took over as the new head coach. The focus was solely on the girls individual development. We had some tough losses, as we were not focused on winning, but each player grew tremendously!
The mandate from US Soccer to birth year team formation forced us to make a tough decision. Four of our best players were born in 2005, and the rest were born in 2006. We decided to let the '05's go to play with another team in the club and keep the '06's together. Again, the players growth was so obvious, that we knew the philosophy was correct!
Although we still weren't focused on the results each game, the girls were ready to get some wins under their belts. With that in mind, we added a couple of new players that were very advanced! This made us competitive with almost all of the teams we played. We did suffer some injuries and had some tough stretches, but overall, it was another great season of improvement! We were promoted to Divivision 1 in the league and competed with the top teams, we took second in the TSA Striker's Cup, the Legacy Ostrich Festival and the CDO Challenge Cup!
Change is in the air again! We will have a new head coach in Chris Cox, and the focus will be on results, and starting the process of qualifying for higher level leagues and tournaments with the long term goal of being able to get the players who wish to play at the next level, the chance to get seen by college coaches. The short term goal is to win division 1 in our league and apply to play in the AZ State league! With the two 2006 girls teams in the club combining, and the addition of five new girls from outside the club, the team should be highly competitive this season!