The Elmira District Secondary School girls’ soccer team is off to a good start, posting a win and a tie in the first two games of the spring season. Still, it’s early days and the squad’s still finding its legs.
The team won their first game of the season against Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate Institute on Apr. 13, with a goal from Julia Jajkowska and two from Amy Lacey.
They tied their second matchup against Galt Collegiate 1-1 on Monday afternoon, with a goal from Jajkowska.
Coach Paul Hildebrand says he was pleased with what he saw, even with a few injured players off the field and there are still a few kinks to work out in terms of game play.
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“Our first two games were both pretty tight, but I would say that both of them so far, we have had the majority of the play go our way. They put together some topnotch passes on some plays and that gave us the advantage. We have some good strikers, so we are a little dangerous in front of the net. All the teams, including ours, have good goalies,” he said. “We just haven’t been able to put in as many goals as we are capable of doing. Could be jitters, early days and trying to figure out how to play together – they do come from different teams.”
The team practices together at least twice a week right now, and are working on some basics.
“We are working on ball control and I think we need to work on their trapping skills, so when balls are coming to them, they don’t bounce to another player on the other team. Our girls will get a ball, try and trap it, but it would go six feet away from them, and right away, that is going to the other team. Overall, though, they play really well.”This year’s team is made up of mostly returning players in Grade 11 and Grade 12, having played together last year. Even with a few of their best players from last year graduating to post secondary school, head coach Jennifer Amos-Harrison says they have high hopes for the rest of the season with talented freshmen joining the roster.
“I think this year’s team will do well. We had a number of players who completed high school last year that were very strong, but we have been able to add that depth with our very skilled Grade 9 girls. The youngest on the squad that are in Grade 9, Katie Cornies, Peighton Uridil, Taya Bauman, and Nathalie Hibert, have proven to be fierce competitors on the field and a welcomed addition to the team,” she said, adding that they have their eyes set on winning at the regional level. “We have a core group of returning players: Jaimee MacDonald, Rachel Weber, Fiona McGee, Jessica Stewart and Amy Lacey, who add strength and depth to our team this year. They are also great communicators, which helps in providing guidance to the younger team members. The goal is to make CWOSSA this year. I think it is an achievable goal.”
Following a match against Glenview Park Secondary School on Wednesday at RIM Park, the team will have almost a week before their next contest against Eastwood Collegiate Institute on Apr. 26.