No matter what the level, travel soccer teams strive for great seasons. A lot has to fall in place to have success. That is precisely what happened for the Freehold Wolves U12 boys soccer team this fall. It was the best season in my 10 years of coaching travel soccer in Freehold, New Jersey.
The Wolves, named for the Wolverhampton Wanderers of the English Premier League, have been together for five years. Fall 2011 was their eighth season in the Monmouth Ocean Soccer Association (MOSA) league. MOSA utilizes a similar system as the English Premier League. Top teams are promoted to higher flights, while bottom teams are relegated to lower ones.
The Wolves remained in first place for most of the season. But on October 16, 2011, they lost a close 1-0 game against the Wall SC Celtics 99. It was their first loss of the season and a true gut check moment. However, the Wolves responded with three wins and a tie to finish the season.
On Wednesday November 09, 2011, the Wolves faced the Hibernian Fire with a chance to clinch the league championship. But a win by the Fire would make them the favorite to take first place. It was a playoff atmosphere under the lights at Opatut Park in Freehold. In the end, the Wolves prevailed with a thrilling 1-0 victory.
On Sunday November 13, 2011, the Wolves visited Red Bank FC United to play their last game of the season. With the MOSA Championship wrapped up, the match was meaningless. But the Wolves approached the game like they have all season long: to win. The Wolves defeated the United 5-0 and capped off their best season in team history.
The first-place Wolves finished the fall 2011 MOSA season with a 7-1-2 record (W-L-T). Their 20 goals led the league in scoring. The Wolves gave up just six goals, fewest in the league. The Wolves played dominant soccer on both sides of the field. However, statistics cannot describe how well the boys played together as a team. They displayed communication, awareness and execution of a team that has truly jelled.
The fall 2011 season was a great one for the Wolves travel soccer team. As a longtime youth soccer coach, it is fulfilling to finally see everything fall in place the way it did for us. I hope your fall season went well and I wish you success in your future seasons.
More from Edwin Torres:
Edwin Torres has been coaching competitive youth soccer since 2001. He enjoys coaching, playing and watching the game of soccer.
- Sports & Recreation
- English Premier League