BETHEL - The New Milford Cosmos U11 girls soccer team continued its successful 2016 season by competing in the Bethel Columbus Day Tournament on Sunday at a rainy Rourke Field.

The Cosmos went 2-2 in Bethel with a pair of tough one-goal losses, including one to the Burlington Blaze, who have advanced to the Sweet 16 of the U11 CJSA State Cup.

“There were some tough conditions, the rain, the wind, but the team played hard and had a good tournament,” said New Milford coach Wade Wallace. “Our goal is to teach the kids about the importance of teamwork and have them really enjoy playing soccer. We work very hard to discourage selfish play and teach the kids that if we play as a team we can be successful.”

The Cosmos play out of the Soccer Club of New Milford and are comprised of both U10 and U11 aged players. The Cosmos have moved the U10 players into the U11 team because there were not enough players in U10 to form a team.

The Cosmos players are Ileana Feliz, Imilia Feliz, Morgen Kleppin, Brooke McKibben, Jaden McMullin, Hanna Milot, Sophie Poirier, Ellen Retter, Gabriella Rohlsberger, Gillian Romeisz, Daniela Sari, Annabelle Sterling, Jade Wallace, Riley Wallace, Madeleine Walsh. The Cosmos are coached by Wallace, Hugo Poirier and Marc Rohlsberger.

Along with a solid showing in Bethel, the highlight of the Cosmos season so far has been a hard-fought 3-2 win against Shepaug. New Milford went down 1-0 in the first minute of the game, but held on and kept clawing their way back throughout the game. New Milford took a 3-2 lead with about 20 minutes to play and were able to hold Shepaug scoreless the rest of the way to secure the comeback victory.

“The kids learned a lot about perseverance and teamwork in that game,” Wallace said.

Winning games is great, but with a young team the goals go beyond the win-loss record as the Cosmos are looking to establish a strong skill base and teach concepts of the game.

“The team works every practice at playing possession soccer while moving the ball from the back, through the midfield at speed with short combinations using lots of passing,” Wallace said. “Although our ability to bring that style of play to each game has sometimes been more successful than others, the kids are beginning to see that this type of play pays off.

“As field sizes continue to get larger and larger as they get older it will be the only way to be successful.”

According to Wallace, the team and coahcing staff are looking forward to the second half of the season with games against Middlebury, Brookfield, Torrington and Thomaston coming up.

“Those are all are good teams that will put us to the test,” Wallace said. “If we keep working hard, we will be ready.”