Somerset girls soccer team faces daunting opening week scheduleFacing the defending Middle Border Conference champion in the opening game of the season proved to be a difficult assignment for the Somerset girls soccer team.
By: Dave Newman, New Richmond News
Facing the defending Middle Border Conference champion in the opening game of the season proved to be a difficult assignment for the Somerset girls soccer team.
The Spartans opened the season against Hayward, which won the MBC title with a 13-1 record a year ago. Hayward returned many of its players from that team and the Hurricanes delivered a 5-0 defeat to the Spartans last Thursday.
The next night, the Spartans played at Rice Lake in a 7 p.m. start. This was a forgettable performance by the Spartans, who lost to the Warriors 10-0.
Somerset coach Erin Wilson said the talent is available for the Spartans to be a quality team this season. She said the challenge is finding the right position for each of the girls and getting the girls to believe in the coaches’ decisions.
“It’s going to take time and a lot of work and a lot of trusting,” Wilson said. “I think we’ll get there.”
Wilson said the Spartans didn’t play badly against Hayward, like a 5-0 score might indicate. This game showed a few areas where the Spartans need to make progress. Hayward exploited a couple Spartan defenders in the first half. When lineup changes were made in the second half, Hayward didn’t get any of those easy scoring opportunities.
The biggest issue for the Spartans against Hayward was getting the ball into the offensive zone. Somerset has some talented players on offense, but they didn’t get the ball frequently in the opening two games. Wilson said the Spartans need to get the ball to senior Laura Wells in the midfield, so she can move the ball up to the offense.
Wilson said the girls worked extremely hard in the off-season on their conditioning, so the coaches don’t need to spend much time on that aspect in practices. That is freeing up more time for the coaches to teach strategy, which means the Spartans’ learning curve should have a quick upswing.
The Spartans’ schedule gets demanding quickly, with at least two games a week for the foreseeable future. On Thursday the Spartans will play an MBC game at Superior. The Spartans play at home next Tuesday against Amery.