Girls’ soccer defeats Battle 2-0, improves to 8-2 season


Ji-Sung Lee

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ith the RBHS girls’ soccer leading Battle 1-0 in the first half, senior Molly Gunter’s goal within the first 10 minutes may have seemed impressive. The low scoring 2-0 game, however, gave coach George Brand motivation for future games.
“Our varsity team played pretty well and dominated possessions, but it would have been nice to score more goals. Battle seemed intent to sit back and defend the whole game and they did a nice job of executing their defensive scheme,” Brand said.  “I wish we could have done a better job making adjustments and changing our attack strategy a bit to better expose their defenders. It’s nice to get the win, but I wish our team could have used this game as an opportunity to practice making in-game adjustments.”
Gunter’s goal was assisted by junior Payton McCallister, who helped the Bruins score goals for the scoreboard.
“I had the ball on the wing and was dribbling and I cut the ball and passed a girl down the line dribbled to the end line and passed the ball back to Molly,” McCallister said.  “Her first shot hit the goalie, but then she finished it in the back of the net on the second kick.”
Despite bringing home a win, Brand believes Battle can still be a difficult opponent due to the mere four years of their existence. The youthful program lacks history or tradition, so planning against a team like that can pose challenges.  But the age of the team does not affect the level of competition Brand expects his players to bring.
[quote]“Battle is a tough team to play because they’re somewhat unpredictable.  Because they are still a relatively new school, they’re still building their soccer program. Whereas most schools’ soccer programs are relatively stable in terms of talent, it’s a bit hard to predict what to expect from Battle because they don’t have much history or tradition established yet,” Brand said.  “But we try not to prepare too much for what the other team is going to throw at us; the goal is to come out and compete consistently as best we can regardless of who we’re playing against.”[/quote] Though the victory has secured a 8-2 record for the Lady Bruins, Gunter’s role on the team allows her to continually seek improvement in games even with a win.
“We were a bit flat throughout the game and were not as mentally engaged as we should have been. The game should not have been that close,” Gunter said.  “We should have put it away much earlier. We were very good defensively as the ball was in their half most of the game. Offensively we needed to be a bit sharper.”
With less than a month before postseason games begin May 13, Gunter trusts that the team still has time to make the necessary adjustments to keep the season going.  She believes that the team is in need of taking advantage of upcoming games and making sure to improve every day during practices.
Going forward, Brand only hopes for improvement in his players by developing a diversity of playing styles.  He anticipates that his athletes will continue to be able to make in game adjustments, which is a crucial part of soccer.
“The best teams and players understand how to change their strategies based on a number of different variables such as the score, time left in the game, playing style of the other team, or personnel and skillsets on the field,” Brand said.  “Moving forward I’d like to see some of our younger and lesser-experienced players get more attached and involved in our attack.  Overall I’m proud that neither our varsity nor our JV allowed any goals today. We focus a lot on defending in practice and I think it showed on a day like today.”
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