Experience was the winner in Monday’s junior girls KASSAA soccer match-up as the visiting Regiopolis-Notre Dame Panthers overmatched the young NDSS Golden Hawks club 7-0.
NDSS was able to secure a small moral victory however as those seven goals represented the fewest the top-ranked Panthers have posted against any opponent this season.
The game also provided plenty of teachable moments for the Napanee club as the Hawks matched up against likely the toughest opponent they’ll see in KASSAA play this season.
Early in the game it was actually the Hawks who were pressuring but just couldn’t finish the play. On the defensive side the Hawks held the Panthers to just a single goal in the opening 40 minutes.
“I think they just figured out our tactic,” said Brianna Milligan, one of the Hawks’ goalies.
Once the Panthers mastered the Hawks’ strategy, the floodgates opened in the second half with six goals. They began to find holes in the Napanee defense, setting up corner kicks, crossing passes and even scoring on a high arcing shot from just inside Hawks’ territory.
Despite the loss, there was some positives for the inexperienced NDSS team.
“It was definitely an improvement from where we started in the first game,” said Milligan.
“Only about three of us are experienced on good teams like the (Kingston) Clippers,” added Maddy Glenn, who also served as a goalie for NDSS. “We did pretty good against a good team, we’re proud of ourselves.”
Growing pains were to be expected for the Hawks as they look to rebuild their soccer program. Much of the team’s roster is still learning the intricacies of the game. They’ve had to do a lot of learning on the fly early in the season.
“In the first game we didn’t know how to spread ourselves out but in (Monday’s) game we were just a better team overall,” said Glenn.
They hope to take the lessons learned in Monday’s tough game and apply them against some of the younger teams that will be more their skill level.
“We’ve learned how to work together and use each other’s skills,” said Milligan.
Discounting the loss to Regi, the Hawks have played their opponents tough in their other two games this season, earning a 2-2 draw against Bayridge to open the season followed by a 3-2 loss to La Salle last week.
They were scheduled to take on Sydenham at home yesterday afternoon. Results weren’t known at press time.
On Friday they’ll travel to Frontenac to face the Falcons and then return home Monday to host the KCVI Blues.
NDSS’ junior boys are also still searching for their first win of the season following a 6-0 loss at Regi on Monday. They’re now 0-3 on the season.
They were scheduled to travel to Sydenham yesterday afternoon. Results weren’t known at press time. On Friday they’ll take on the Falcons at home.