Last season the EDSS girls’ soccer team only played a handful of games because of poor weather. Record-setting levels of precipitation last spring caused delays across the region as games were not permitted on the outdoor fields because the ground was so wet.
This year Mother Nature has been kind, allowing the regular season to kick off without a hitch.
Unlike last year, the high school team only has a few Grade 12 students and a trio of Grade 11s, but so far the team is off to a reasonably good start. They managed to tie Glenview Park in their first game, 3-3, but a 5-1 loss to Preston High on Tuesday left EDSS with one point so far this season, placing them fifth in the standings. That’s not a bad start to the season seeing as the team has a large number of Grade 9 and 10 players, said coach Jennifer Amos-Harrison.
Given the number of young and smaller players on the field, Amos-Harrison is happy with the way her team is performing.“I think we’re doing very well; I think we just have to believe in ourselves a little bit more,” she said. “This year I think we have a chance to do quite well and stand to do even better the following year.”
This year the team is playing in the second or blue division.
The girls tend to play strongly for the first half of the game, but lapses in the second half have left them playing catch-up. Amos-Harrison would like to see them work on their ball control for the remainder of the season, as that is the area where they tend to second-guess themselves.
“We have two very strong forwards this year with Grade 11 striker Kristen Wiens and Grade 9 Kacie Martin, as both have proven themselves on the field and are showing good leadership.”
Although Martin is playing her first year with the team she does not let her smaller size deter her from taking much larger Grade 12 opponents as she is feisty, has great ball control and playmaking skills, said the coach.
Goaltenders Grade 11 Serena Cressman and 13-year-old Michelle Wang replace Yi Wang, Michelle’s sister, who graduated last year. Both netminders have maintained strong performances between the goalposts, showing they are quite aggressive.
“They know when to pick the right moments to challenge for the ball; they are both developing quite well. The goals they’ve had against them have been well placed shots,” Amos-Harrison said. “(Wang) is still very small and is up against some 19 year old girls but she is handling it very well.”
Despite the zero in the wins column, the girls don’t criticize or lose their enthusiasm for the game, she added.
“It is still very early in the season and it doesn’t matter, win, lose or draw, the girls are always happy and positive.”