The MCHS Girl's soccer team began their first ever season on the road at Harrisburg on Saturday March 17th, losing 1-7. Harrisburg scored the first 3 goals of the game, with Rylie Webb scoring the Lady Aces sole, & first ever, goal on the day to bring the score to 1-3. Harrisburg added one more goal before the half ended to go in to the break with a 3 goal lead. Harrisburg scored 3 goals in the 2nd half to complete the scoring.
It was a lot of firsts for us in this game. We've got many girls who've never played soccer, and all but one haven't played soccer in at least a few years, so this was definitely the first step towards learning to play as a team out on the field. Harrisburg is a good team, & our players were taught a lot in the first half, especially in regards to the physicality of the game. We weren't really ready for that aspect to start with, but as the girls learned what they were allowed to do out there when fighting for the ball, they really started to embrace that side of the game and began to try to match Harrisburg's physical play. We did a good job of being unselfish offensively and trying to use our teammates to move the ball up the field. As we improve our positioning and spacing, I feel we'll get even better at that moving forward. We gave ourselves some scoring chances and converted on one of them, which is what we want to see even when we lose. We want to learn to play aggressively in our attack, so I'd rather see a result like this than to play conservatively just to try to make the score look better. Most importantly, we played with joy, and we cheered our teammates on regardless of who was on the field and who was on the sideline. We have 24 players here, and we want all of them to play, & that only works if the girls are supportive of each other. The sideline was so loud in fact, that it was often difficult to hold a conversation over there. That's probably the thing I was most proud of and it made this game one of the most fun experiences I've had coaching. That attitude is infectious and it's going to help us as we keep looking to improve throughout the season. There's no shortcuts in getting to the point we want to be, so we'll just keep looking to improve with each day, hopefully driven by the positive energy we displayed in this game.
The Lady Aces then traveled to Olney on Tuesday March 20th to face the Lady Tigers, in a Varsity/JV doubleheader, losing 2-4 in the varsity match, and winning 4-0 in JV action.
In the varsity match, Olney took the early lead, scoring the first 2 goals of the game, but Maya Smith scored her first goal on an assist from Rylie Webb to bring the Lady Aces to within 1 at halftime. The scoring was the same in the 2nd half, with Olney adding 2 & the Lady Aces adding 1, when Rylie Webb scored to bring the score to 2-4. For the game, Mt Carmel had 10 shots on goal, 8 on frame & 2 off frame, with 3 additional scoring chances created. Olney got off 13 shots, 10 on frame.
We came out &, despite the adverse weather conditions, continued to play with positivity in this one. It was brutally cold with snow coming down off and on throughout the night, which gave us another situation to learn to play through. We gave ourselves a really good chance to win the match as we had 1 shot hit the post & had 3 other point blank opportunities that just missed going in. Being a new team, we’ve had to work so much on our technical skills & our play throughout the field just so that we can get ourselves in scoring situations that we just haven’t been able to work on shooting yet. Because of that, it’s not surprising that we’re not quite as sharp there as we hope to be, but we’ll work at it and we’ll get better there. Again, the main thing is we’re having fun & we’re showing improvement, & we’ll keep at it.
JV then played, beating Olney 4-0 in the first JV match of the season. Maya Smith started off the scoring with a quick goal just a few minutes in to the match. The Lady Aces never looked back from there, with Tristyn Wyatt scoring 2 goals & Sophie Berberich adding 1.
With so many players on the team these JV matches are good opportunities to experiment with things & get some extra playing time, which is big for us at this point. Half the team are seniors, so for the JV match we just threw all the freshmen through juniors out there, but I was happy that we had seniors volunteer to go play JV as well since we needed, and will continue to need, some more players for these matches to give needed rest to everybody.