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Girls Sep 02, 2012

Toys for Tots: Krieger leads another fearsome PWSI girls squad

By Roger Gonzalez

Ken Krieger has been around dominant girls soccer teams for much of his adult life. A coach for PWSI’s Under-16 and U-17 girls, the tactician has seen both of his teams win the state championship in years past as well as seeing his daughter, professional soccer player and United States national team star Ali Krieger, succeed in the United States and in Germany, including a runners-up spot at the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

In 2012, he hopes for more success.

His club team, PWSI Courage 96 Red, are playing up in the U-17 division at the Toys for Tots Tournament this weekend. If what they are accomplishing is a sign of things to come, then watch out.

At Valley View on Saturday morning, the ladies won 9-0 over Reston Fireballs. In the early afternoon, a 8-0 result saw three more points to the home side as it took down Chan Fuego.

“The level of competition, it’s a good level, but it’s not at the highest level that we will play in the national league and in state cup,” Krieger said. “We are doing everything we can to not run the score up…I don’t want demoralize the teams we are playing because we are hosts.”

But the team is just so dominant all over, led by Megan Enos, a regional pool player who plays midfield, Caitlyn Flores, a creative central midfielder who also is a regional pool player and Emily Maxwell, a newcomer from North Carolina who dominates as a central defender. The team has moved the ball around well and creative numerous scoring chances.

“We are doing well,” Krieger said. “But when you have a lot of time to do what you want to do, it’s easy to do.

“What I’ve been trying to do is, force them to play fast, play quick like they are under pressure at all times, keep the ball moving, so it simulates a team with high pressure.”

The team has the Virginia State Cup coming up later this month and hope that this competition will provide a quality warm-up.

“I think it’s also good for us,” said Krieger after referring to the great competition other teams get when facing them. “They are friendlies, they are warm-up games, they are games we need to get everybody on the same page.

“For me, it’s an opportunity to really mold the team.”

There has been no concern of the results going to the team’s head.

“I put them right them in their place,” said a chuckling Krieger. “They are well aware of what their weaknesses are.”

“The weakness of the team is just cohesion as a group. We have several good players, five or six new players…It always takes a while to get used to.”

Their competition will get tougher as the regular season gets under way. There is always something to improve on, according to the coach.

“I don’t think they play fast enough, I don’t think they play quick enough,” he said.

“State Cup is starting up September 15…Hopefully we can get good results out of that…We should have home-field advantage and a good draw, so we are looking forward to that.”

Many fans are looking forward to seeing the girls play on Sunday. You can see them at Valley View’s field one at 11:30 a.m. in the semifinal.