Battle of the sexes aids soccer squads

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Adam Hawboldt
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Sometimes games are hard to come by.

This certainly has been the case for both the boys and girls Zone 8 soccer teams leading up to 2008 Saskatchewan Summer Games.

With most club teams finished for the season or away on break, the two squads were having a difficult time finding someone to scrimmage with.

Battle of the sexes aids soccer squads

Sometimes games are hard to come by.

This certainly has been the case for both the boys and girls Zone 8 soccer teams leading up to 2008 Saskatchewan Summer Games.

With most club teams finished for the season or away on break, the two squads were having a difficult time finding someone to scrimmage with.

So with a little more than a week to go before the Games in Lloydminster, they decided to improvise.

"Both teams needed the experience of playing 11 a side on a full field," said girls' coach Joe Day, "so we decided to get together and play against the boys."

Under a scorching sun and with the temperature hovering in the high 20's, the boys and the girls teams met on the pitch at PACI on Saturday morning to get in some much needed playing time.

After the scrimmage was over they took a break, then played again later in the afternoon.

"It definitely benefited both teams," said Day after the first match. "We're not really concerned with the score. It's more about development."

The girls need to improve on playmaking before heading to Lloydminster.

"We're working well together and we have some good speed on the team," said Day, "but we still need to work on our passing. It's not quite where we want it to be, but these scrimmages should help that."

The scrimmages should also help the boys team improve their communication out on the pitch - or at least that's what coach Neil Hamilton hopes.

"We have a good team here," he said. "We're fast and aggressive, so that should help keep the opposition on our toes, but we need to work on our communication. That's one thing we have to improve."

If that happens, Hamilton likes his team's chances.

"My expectation is to certainly come home with something," he said. " I feel that our team is strong enough to come home with a medal."

As for the girls, Day's expectations are slightly less.

"We're in a tough draw off the start," he said. "We have to play Saskatoon, Regina and a Northern Saskatchewan team. So hopefully we come out of that with a win, a loss and a draw. That should get us through to where we can make (the playoffs)."

The girls first game is August 7 against Zone 7. The boys start a few days earlier, taking on Zone 1 on August 4.

ahawboldt@paherald.sk.ca

Geographic location: Lloydminster, Saskatchewan, Saskatoon Northern Saskatchewan

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