Riptides Futsal Season
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Written by: Eric Beck
Friday, November 2, 2007
The Bristol RIPTIDES, Girls U12 A team, played futsal this winter in the Norfolk County Futsal League, in Mansfield Massachusetts. Futsal is a non-boarded 5v5 game of Brazillian origin that is played on a hard surface about the size of half a basketball court. It is played with a smaller, heavier ball that doesn’t bounce. Training for Futsal is focused on ball skills, possession of the ball, and quick decision making when attacking or defending.
The NCFL at Mansfield is a highly competitive premier or club team league. The RIPTIDES entered the GU12 Division II for the first session and were the only “Town” team in the Division. In fact the RIPTIDES were the only Town team to play at the facility, out of well over 60 teams at all age levels. The team walked proudly into the facility wearing our BYSA uniforms, representing Bristol while the other teams were represent various futbol clubs like PRIDE, EXPLOSION, STINGERS, NOR’EASTER, ELITE. The team trained very hard as they worked on the skills they would need to compete and to understand the tactics of a game they had not played before. Week after week the skills developed and the growth was exponential. In the first game of the season, the girls played well and lost by one goal. Not bad for the first game. The second game was a wake-up call, showing how far they needed to go to compete. Motivated, the team continued to work hard and quickly grew competitive. By the end of the first session, the RIPTIDES were in second place out of six teams going into the playoffs. In the first game of the playoffs, the RIPTIDES tied the Stingers 1-1 and advanced to the finals by having the better record in the regular season. Although, the team eventually lost to Explosion FC in the finals, the girls received a metal for being finalists. It was an amazing accomplishment considering it was their first session of futsal ever for this team and it was at a highly competitive level against premier clubs. After watching the amazing development of the players over the course of the first few months, each parent felt like the 45 minute ride to Mansfield and the many hours of training were worth it and everyone was committed to the second session.
For the second session, the NCFL was starting another league for Town teams at Durfee High School in Fall River Mass. At Mansfield, they were combining Division I & II and only having one division for GU12s. The RIPTIDES chose to stay at Mansfield and play in Division I. The exponential growth continued as the girls became more confident and masterful with the ball and off-the-ball movements, and started the season with two convincing victories and one tie before losing their first game. The RIPTIDES went on to win the rest of their games and finish in second place again. The team that finished first (RIPTIDES only loss) was the team that the RIPTIDES eventually faced in the finals for the second session DIVISION I Championship. The game was well played and the RIPTIDES led 3-2 at the half. In the second half the Bristol team carried the play for most of the half, but the other team scored two late goals to win. The RIPTIDES received finalist medals for the second session, this time in Division I.
The coaches and the parents are extremely proud of this team and the dedication the players bring to the sport and the team. The RIPTIDES represented BYSA well in Mansfield. Keep on eye on the RIPTIDES this Spring as they play in the Superliga Anchor Division against sixteen of the best U12 girls teams in the State of RI.
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