The Central Carroll Soccer Club's CC Force began competing back in 2014.
Things weren't too great early on, and head coach Dave McCabe recalled that, “we may have won one game between the spring and fall seasons that first year.”
However this isn’t 2014, and this isn’t the same CC Force team either. Over the summer, the now-under-13 boys team won June’s OC Sand Duels tournament in Ocean City. And in November, the boys clinched their first league title.
They finished their Central Maryland Soccer Association season with a 6-1-1 record and the championship of the 2005 B Challenger League.
An opportunistic offense that scored just enough goals to win, combined with a stingy defense, was the recipe for the team's success.
This was a year of change for the Force team. It had aged out of 7v7 soccer and now played 11v11 for the first time. McCabe and assistant coach Audrey Tsanko had to get their players ready.
The coaches had a good base from which to work.The team, playing under-12, had finished third with a 6-3-2 record in its CMSA league this past spring, and ten players were back.
“We knew we had to adjust to a bigger field, a bigger ball and a bigger goal,” McCabe said. “We practiced with that starting in July, and it set us up for success this fall.”
The team was indeed ready when things started Sept. 9 against the Catonsville Cobras, who would eventually tie the Force for the league's best won-lost record. The Cobras led 1-0 at the half, but the local kids found the scoring range after intermission. The Force scored twice in the second half to win 2-1.
“We were losing at halftime but came back in the second half to win,” McCabe said. “That was a great way to start the season.”
That first game would be the most important one Central Carroll played this season. While the Force and Cobras would finish tied in the standings, Central Carroll got the nod for first because it beat the Baltimore County club in that head-to-head meeting.
That opening win also was significant in an intangible way.
“Afterward, they had a high confidence level,” McCabe said. “They went into every game thinking they would win.”
The following week, it faced Evolution FC. That particular opponent had beaten Central Carroll twice over the previous year.
The Force managed only one goal in the match, but it proved to be enough for 1-0 win. It then beat Northwest SC 2-1.
Overall, his team scored only 12 goals, but they came at the right time.
“We had a strong defense, and our scoring chances increased as our offense evolved even though we didn't score a lot of goals,” McCabe said. “The team improved most in foot skills, passing and receiving.We stressed those things in practice.”
That practice may have had a beneficial impact on Central Carroll's indoor season where foot skills are always supremely important. It got off to a good start at the Carroll Indoor Sports Center, winning its first three matches before losing its most recent one.
So far is has gone 15-5-3 in league play this year. And that is the best stretch the team has ever had.