In the same tournament, Valley beat two varsity teams from the Nebraska league: Lincoln and Papillion La Vista. Valley narrowly beat Lincoln 7-6, but their 10-5 score against Papio after the St. Thomas loss indicates that last year's team knew how to recover. Granted the Rampage finished the season 0-17, but it was their first varsity season. Papio finished the season in fourth place after getting knocked from the championship tournament by eventual runner-up Creighton Prep.
Excluding the three games against varsity competition, Valley finished the season with 101 goals for and 28 goals against. Even for junior varsity, that is quite a big gap.
This fall, Valley was scheduled to play in a fall ball tournament in Lincoln in early October. Due to early snow, the tournament was postponed to Halloween. As a result several starters and second line players - including the varsity goalie - could not make it. With a team comprised mainly of under classmen with little experience, Valley finished the tournament 2-2. Early wins against Lincoln (4-2) and a combined Westside & Black Knights squad (11-4) showed promise. After lunch Valley faced Creighton Prep. Despite losing team captain Cam Bostwick, the Tigers held on and for a narrow 3-2 loss.
The only team that dealt strongly with the Tigers was defending state champions Millard West. With a full varsity squad and a packed bench, the Wildcats handily beat Valley 7-3. The young Valley team played with a lot of heart despite being out of gas. Would they have beaten the Wildcats with all of their varsity starters? Maybe. Would they have played a better game in the morning? Maybe. The point is that it does not matter.
In the year since Valley started playing in the Nebraska league, they have lost only 3 times out of 17 games. Those losses came to the strongest teams in the league and a team from a stronger league. Coincidentally all three losses occurred in Lincoln, NE.
So why am I bringing this up? Because of something that I read on West Side Lax yesterday. I understand that players will talk trash and I am ok with that. But this goes beyond trash talk into flat out disrespect:
"...i know our JV played valley a couple times last year. They were alright against our JV, but they will get smoked by varsity teams"
As I acknowledged before, I recognize that Valley primarily played JV teams last season. But I would say the large score differential indicates that the Tigers were more than "alright." Valley's combined score against this player's team (both JV and varsity) is 18-9. I am letting the facts speak for themselves. I am definitely not talking smack about any team .
There will be more facts to consider come next Monday after Valley plays its first four games...