SOLON– Not only did the Solon girls’ soccer team lose its first game of the season last week, but they also lost three players to injuries.
Monday’s game against defending 1A state champ Davenport Assumption was a test for the unbeaten Spartans. The Knights are a well-oiled machine that could take on any team in the state. “In terms of the game Monday…the score does NOT reflect the play of our team,” stated head coach John Tucker. “Assumption is a great team and surely destined to be the state champions, but there was also a little luck in several of the goals that they scored on Monday. It was just one of those days when everything they threw at us seemed to go in our goal for whatever reason. We had some extremely solid play in the midfield and did a great job of disrupting most of their scoring opportunities.”
Even though Solon lost this one 8-0, the Spartans learned some valuable lessons and now know what areas of their game to improve upon. The biggest loss of the game was another injury to goalkeeper Mikaela Lighty, which could possibly keep her out the rest of the season.
Saturday’s morning game against West Delaware got the Spartans back on the winning track. Alison McKinnie scored all three goals in the 3-1 victory. Anna Seydel and Mattie Cook each had an assist. “Saturday’s game was a tale of two halves,” said Tucker. “The first half we had a tough time getting to our level and style of play, but the second half we completely dominated and had many more scoring opportunities than the final score shows. I was proud of the girls for stepping it up after half time and proving that they really are a great team, even in the face of several injuries.” The Spartans lost Cook and Brianna Pike to ankle injuries in the game.
“Injuries are a coach’s worst nightmare,” said Tucker, “and this year we seem not to be immune. It remains to be seen how long each of our injured players will be out of commission. We have some depth in our bench and I am proud of the girls for stepping up and playing their hearts out. We have a lot of games in a very short window the next few weeks, so we are going to have to really work on playing good solid soccer and not let the injuries get to us mentally.”
The Lady Spartans are on the road for their next four games, but can be seen at home Thursday, May 17, at 4:30 p.m.