Soccer team struggles to find consistency
After what coach Matt Higgins said was a full 80 minutes of quality offensive and defensive play, the Cardinal soccer team lost to Perry-Lecompton 5-1 Tuesday afternoon.
"We played hard, and we started the game off with controlling possession of the ball," Higgins said. "We gave ourselves lots of opportunities to make goals, we just never connected."
After a scoreless first 20 minutes, Perry-Lecompton's Caleb Gesner was run into by two Cardinals, allowing him a penalty kick, which whizzed by goalkeeper Anthony Barta, bringing the score to 1-0.
In the second half, the Cards again gave Perry-Lecompton a penalty shot, which went in.
Higgins said although the two penalties were easily avoidable if the Cards had been communicating with each other, there was one condition that made it difficult -- the wind.
"The wind played a huge factor in our loss today," Higgins said. "It was very hard for them to hear on the field because of how hard the wind was blowing. There were times when we had three people on the ball and they were just hacking at it."
Regardless of the force of nature, Higgins said the team just did not trust each other enough. He said each member of the team was playing like he or she was the only person on the field, which was unacceptable.
After the Cards gave up another goal to the Kaws, Erryn Kindle made a 50-yard direct shot from the center of the field over goalkeeper Bryce Walker and into Perry-Lecompton's net, bringing the score to 2-1. Seconds later, the half ended.
The Cards were somewhat sluggish in the second half, giving up two more goals and the penalty shot, bringing the final score to 5-1, Perry-Lecompton.
Higgins said the only way the Cards could communicate better was to play soccer more and more.
"The best way to learn is to play soccer a lot and practice it the right way," Higgins said. "Everybody was just trying to do too much instead of trusting each other."
In addition, Higgins said the team's lineup was still in a constant state of flux. After two weeks as a forward, Anthony Barta went back to the net as the goalkeeper. Higgins said until he and coach Paul Thevarajoo find the appropriate positions for the right kids, the players would continue to be moved around.
The Perry-Lecompton game was actually the third game the Cards played last week. The Cardinals tested their mettle against Ottawa on Thursday and Louisburg on Saturday, losing both games 7-0 and 7-1, respectively. Higgins said although they lost both games, the Cards were admirable with how they played.
"They were the toughest games of the year," Higgins said. "They were the best two teams we've ran into. The scores didn't represent how hard the team played. That's what's sad -- they really played well against two tough teams."