SharpShooters bringing season to a close

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 12, 2006

Albert Lea&8217;s U-9 traveling soccer team, the SharpShooters, is just completing its fall season.

This team is made up of boys and girls ages 7 and 8 with most of them previously playing YMCA or Off-The-Wall soccer.

The SharpShooters have played two home and three away games, compiling a 0-3-2 record so far.

Their final game is this Saturday at 11 a.m. at Lakeview Park against Rochester.

&8220;We are lucky to have an athletic and hard-working group of youngsters already playing at a competitive level here in Albert Lea,&8221; Albert Lea head coach Mac Ehrhardt.

&8220;If we can keep this group playing together for a few years, they have a bright future.&8221;

The team began practicing twice per week Aug. 21.

Ben Loney, a professional coach from

England who is an assistant coach for the high school soccer team, ran more than half of their practices.

&8220;Ben was a great asset to the development of the team,&8221; Ehrhardt said. &8220;He has a tremendous knowledge of the game and was able to help the children develop individually and as a team.&8221;

&8220;The team has shown lots of improvement over the course of a short season,&8221; Loney said. &8220;It&8217;s a good group of kids with some great competitors.&8221;

In their first home game Albert Lea lost to Bloomington-based BANGU 8-2. Three weeks later it tied BANGU in Bloomington.

It also tied Eagan in Eagan after losing to them in Albert Lea.

U-9 soccer is the youngest bracket of competitive soccer sanctioned by the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association.