CATS GU11 Soccer Team Ranked Among Best in West Michigan

CATS GU11 Soccer Team Ranked Among Best in West Michigan
The CATS Girl’s U11 Purple soccer team moved from 19th to 6th overall in state rankings after a successful showing at the recent Novi Elite Tournament, where they faced several top-ranked teams from throughout Michigan.

In their first match, CATS beat 6th-ranked team Canton Celtic 1-0 in very windy conditions. According to coach Christian Niles, team play was key. “I stressed to the girls all weekend that the only way they will be successful is to play together as a team,” said Niles. “This game showed that they can do this and play with the best teams in the state. The girls worked together as a unit to help each other out defensively and on the attack. Our persistence paid off as we were able to win that first match 1-0.”

Saturday afternoon, the team took on the 3rd-ranked team in the state, Michigan Elite, losing 3-1. “We more than held our own against one of the top teams in the state against MI Elite,” said Niles. “A couple of fluke goals put us in a hard spot. It was an exciting game back and forth, but we ended on the bad half of a 3-1 game.”

Sunday morning, the CATS team faced top-20 ranked team WAZA Blue, winning 4-1. CATS dominated in almost every aspect of the game. “The girls won almost all the 50-50 balls and kept high pressure on the attack the whole game,” added Niles. “We broke through for 4 goals and only gave up 1, completed a strong showing at the tournament. All in all, I’m very proud of the girls for working together and keeping the focus on playing.”Out of the 14 teams playing in the U11Elite bracket, the CATS team had the 4th best record in pool play, but didn’t advance to the semi-finals because of luck of the draw.

The team’s successful showing in the tournament moved the team from 19th to 6th ranked team in all of Michigan for their age group. This fall, Chris Allen, women’s head soccer coach at Davenport University, and long-time CATS trainer, will coach the team as the CATS GU12 Purple team during the 2010/11 seasons and will also coach the team as GU13 during the 2011/2012 seasons.

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