As La Roca struggle to score goals and win games the coach decided to play Natasha at striker. It is the very first time she has played striker in over 13 years of playing football but her ability to generate attacks and create scoring chances from defensive midfield supported his decision to play her more forward.
While La Roca continued the lack of precision with their passing game they did play better and had a tight loss however the positive was the attacks and danger Natasha created in her attacking role. She gave a very impressive display in her first game at striker using her speed and midfield ball skills to terrorize the Fontsanta defence,
If La Roca can get their passing game more composed and accurate we may see an exciting young attacking player developing.
Below is a compressed version of Natasha´s highlights for the first half of the 2019-20 season. She has had a very impressive first half of the season playing mainly as defensive midfield yet has still managed 4 goals, 2 assists and a massive 27 keypasses along with many key attacking plays that have started strong attacks or lead to goals. Her coach decided to play her in a more forward midfield position in the last game before the Christmas break and she scored a goal showing that she is huge value when playing forward. Also, her 27 keypasses with only 2 assists highlights the difficulties her attacking teammates are having scoring goals and therefore the problem with winning games.
Natasha had the chance to squeeze in a medweek speed session and is looking quite good considering she has already played 19 games since September and has done alot of running in the midfield so her legs are getting tired and looking forward to the xmas break for a rest.
Below is a video of one of her 30 mtr sprint.
Natasha made a fantastic run and scored a great goal which rewarded the coach for his decision to play her in a more forward midfield position in an attempt to get the team attacking more.
With Natasha playing more forward in the team plan La Roca certainly made more attacks then in previous games as she played many quality balls forward. This resulted in La Roca scoring more goals then in the past 6 games and equaling the most goals in a league game for the season.
However, 2 goal keeping errors and the ongoing problem of inaccurate passing along with the attacks inability to create shots on goal resulted in another disappointing 3-2 loss.
While the attack was much stronger with Natasha playing a forward midfield role it is still a major concern that attacking players have only scored 1 goal in the past 6 games.
With a rest weekend in front of her Natasha cracked out a great gym session today. After 2 months out of the gym, not without resistance training but not in the gym, she matched her personal best (PB) in the Single Leg Extension with 2 x 50kg and Single Leg Supported Partial Squat 2 x 180kg. Impressive, especially considering she weighs 57kg.
Natasha had record first half as she had nearly 40 posessions which is a record number of posessions for her in one half of football. She won many balls and distributed the ball well and was a major influence in La Roca going into the halftime break at 0-0 as La Roca played some of their best football of the season for the first 30 minutes.
However, as we have seen regularly this season in the second half is the opposition coach instruct their team to keep the ball away from Natasha due to her ability to control the midfield and Mon Terrassa did it well. Natasha had nearly 40 posessions in the first half but only 17 in the second half. Amassing an impressive 57 possessions at about 80% completed but her lack of posession in the second half clearly resulted in stronger attacks from Mon Terrassa who played a solid game and stuck to their game plan for a deserved win.
Mon Terrassa scored 4 soft second half goals to have a comfortable 0-4 win
Well the end to the most difficult month a team could have in football with games against Sant Gabriel (3rd), Fc Barcelona (2nd), Damm CF (1st) and Girona FC (7th). All are selctive teams and all play very good football.
The game against Girona was tough because the team was tired and while the team began very well and scored early. However it quickly deteriorated to a scrappy game of football as La Roca lost patience and composure with the ball. Girona totally dominated the second half equally the score which ended 1-1.
Natasha had a strong game with nearly 30 posessions in the second half and again using the ball with precision however she watched as it was turned over too easily too often.
To give you an idea of how tough this competition is, in the weekend games just played second place beat 10th place only 1-0 and 3rd place beat 13th place only 2-1. I have never seen a higher level more competitive competition.
Following an extremely physical game against FC Barcelona last week, this weeks game was against last season´s champions Damm CF in a game the promised similar challenges to the previous weeks game.
Again La Roca were competitive until halftime, missing a penalty on the break to go in 0-1 down. After the break Damm clearly made some adjustments to their midfield which enabled them to control the second half and went on to win 0-3.
Natasha had another strong first half as she did against FC Barcelona but after halftime with Damm CF changing their game plan to keep the ball away from her she got far less posession and it was noticeable in a decrease in effectiveness in La Roca attacking play.
Ultimately a great compliment to Natasha that these impressive teams change their game plan to keep the ball away from Natasha in order to win but that along with an attack that is struggling to click sees La Roca struggling for points in such a strong competition.
And it doesn´t get any easier as next weeks game is against FC Girona.
Round 7 and La Roca took on the mighty FC Barcelona A U19 team. This Barcelona team is arguably one of the best U19 womens club teams in the world. So La Roca knew they were in for a tough battle. That´s exactly what it was, extremely physical outstandingly technical and a battle from the opening minute until the final minute.
The speed of the La Roca players caught Barcelona off guard as the La Roca midfield won alot of ball, especially Natasha, Ainhoa and Capi and they would quickly drive La Roca forward to their fast attack. Barcelona scored first midway through the first half but La Roca were creating many attacks and had Barcelona rattled (which is not easy) finally scoring. They went into the halftime break at 1-1. That was the first WOW, that La Roca were very competitive with Barcelona and were in a position where they could win the game if they could play an equally good second half.
Natasha had been brilliantly effective in the first half accumulating a massive 10 ball wins (0 ball losses) and 22 posessions at 85% effective. This may not sound like much but for a game against Barcelona whose entire game plan is to maintain posession at all costs even if it means to pass along the backline for 5 minutes these are very impressive statistics.
The second WOW came in the second half as Barcelona produced one of the most impressive displays of football imaginable. The coaching staff obviously identified that Natasha was too effective in the midfield and that La Roca was attacking quickly from that so in the second half they played largely around the midfield and moved the ball more quickly. They did this with such precision and quality that at times they produced passages of play that included over 30 consecutive passes without La Roca touching the ball. Even though their second half goals all came from La Roca defensive errors we were fortunate to witness an outstanding display of football. Barcelona 4-1 La Roca.
Natasha again worked tirelessly in the midfield with over 20 ball wins and 50 posessions at 85% completed in a grueling game between 2 evenly matched teams. These two teams fought tooth and nail for 80 minutes in what was another very high standard game of football with a well worked goal by Sant Gabriel with only 2 minutes left to play giving Sant Gabriel a 0-1 win.