Rapid Improvement Under Coach Dizzy
To say that the first 4 games have been a difficult stretch for the club, is certainly an understatement. With a 26-3 pasting in Bellingham and a 9-0 shutout in Tacoma under their belts, if you just looked at the results, you might think there isn't much to be excited about in this year's squad...you'd be terribly wrong.
From the first day of training to the last quarter against the Tacoma Stars Reserves last weekend, this team has improved, drastically, in a very short period of time. After losing the lead and ultimately their home opener against the Artesians to start the season, the Force sent a roster featuring 9 players that were playing in either their 1st or 2nd ever games in the WISL against Bellingham.
The team struggled and ultimately were on the wrong side of a 23 point goal differential. Inside of that result was a team that improved every shift and every quarter of the game. After giving up 15 goals and scoring just 1 in the first half, the team rallied for a very respectable 5-2 3rd quarter. "For a team whose total WISL game experience as a whole was less than 5 of Bellingham's players had by themselves...They fought hard, they played to the final whistle, and they improved with every shift. Do we like the result, of course not, but if you took a group of Men's A players that had no experience at this level and had never really played together before, you'd get the same result and I would suggest that they might give up after the first half. This team didn't quit and kept improving, and we move on." said GM, Micah McMonagle
The next time out would show that improvement and resilience as the Force would take on Snohomish at home. Fighting every quarter in a very equal affair, the Force ultimately exploded for 5 goals while only giving up 2 in the second half and earning their first win on the season.
The challenges continued with the Force traveling away to the Tacoma Stars Reserves. Again, history was made for the wrong reasons with the Force getting shutout 9-0. However, you could clearly see the improvement from shift to shift and from quarter to quarter. The first quarter saw TSR jump out to a 3-0 lead. The second quarter was a little better giving up only 2 goals. The third quarter the Force really locked things down and only gave up 1 goal. In the 4th quarter, Coach Dizzy opened the offense back up. While this did result in giving up 3 more goals, the Force created more good scoring chances in the 4th quarter than they had in the previous 3 combined. In the end, the ball didn't find the back of the net, but there were some really unfortunate bounces that happened to prevent goals for the Force. While the game itself wasn't really in question after the first half, with players with drastically less experience than their opponents, the Force improved and gave a great accounting of themselves.
The Force have one more game before the holiday break, away to Tacoma Narrows. It will be a tough battle for a team looking to continue improving on the season and build for the future against a team still looking for their first points on the season. Both teams have a lot to play for and should be a highly competitive game.