Hawks positioned for COSSA push
By Darren Lum
Published May 17, 2016
Optimism is still high with the Red Hawks senior girls’ soccer team despite a 2-0 loss to the visiting Fenelon Falls Secondary School Falcons on Wednesday, May 11 at the Gary G. Brohman Athletic Field in Haliburton.
The loss drops the team to 3-2 to end the Kawartha High School Soccer League.
Head coach Judi Paul said playing the faster Falcons team is important preparation for the upcoming Kawartha playoffs this week.
“It was good for them to watch a team that moved as quickly as those guys [did] to the ball. Our guys tended to wait while those girls were very quick and very fast so I think that we started to see a little bit more of that toward the end of the game the girls trying to be first to the ball,” she said.
Volunteer coach Doug Sullivan loved how, as the game wore on, the Hawks were able to respond to the physical play initiated by the visitors.
“They were aggressive so our team responded in kind. I noticed our team being a lot more assertive with getting their bodies and getting their shoulders in front [of Falcons’ players] and it was good, which I hadn’t noticed until this point. That looked good,” he said.
Sullivan said the areas the team will need to work on is increasing their speed of play, moving the ball, and running to space on the pitch without the ball to allow an outlet for ball carriers.
There has been a disconnect between working the ball down the field with short passes and the tendency to favour long passes towards the net, he said.
He said their backfield defender Vivian Collings was their player of the game. She was reliable and nullified attacks with her balance on the ball and clearing ability.
Leading scorer Mackenzie Henderson watched from the sidelines, first from the team bench and then the opposite side of the field in the second half with crutches. She was out of the lineup after being injured in a collision with a goalkeeper two days before at the same field. Her diagnosis is unknown and her return this week is uncertain.
Paul said the team is likely the top seed for AA Kawartha. She adds if the team wins its Kawartha playoff game against St. Thomas Aquinas (a likely candidate) this Wednesday in Lindsay they will earn a berth to the Central Ontario Secondary School Athletics A finals on May 24. If they can win the semi-final game on the same day after they will host COSSA, they said.