Greene County’s girls soccer team hosted Lincoln County last Tuesday, March 10, in what will be its last game for at least a few weeks.
The Lady Tigers took a 7-2 loss. The defeat dropped their record to 0-6.
Despite the loss, Lady Tigers head coach Michael Smith said he is pleased to see his squad show steady improvement this season.
“Of course, we were disappointed in the results but the team is improving weekly,” Smith said. “Offense is working together and new strategies in defense are starting to show results. Our midfield has improved with the addition of Melani Sotelo and Victoria Cua. They complement captain Tania Lopez in pushing the ball to our forwards.”
The first several minutes of last week’s game went scoreless. However, once Lincoln broke through, the Lady Red Devils racked up the goals in the first half.
Lincoln got on the board with about 27 minutes remaining in the first half. The Lady Devils added another goal at around the 18-minute mark.
The deficit grew to 3-0 when Lincoln kicked in another goal at 8:52. Less than a minute later, Greene’s Cynthia Romero scored the Lady Tigers’ first goal.
Lincoln tacked on two more goals before halftime. After the break, Amber Higdon scored for the Lady Tigers on a play that saw Maleah Glenn help crash near the goal and draw Lincoln’s goalkeeper far enough away for Higdon to score.
Greene gave up two goals the remainder of the game, moving Lincoln’s lead to the decisive 7-2 advantage.
Smith said his team’s second-half turnaround is evidence of the players’ determination.
“Our team has developed grit this year in that, even when down, they push hard and adjust their goals of the game,” Smith said. “We may not win but it is still an opportunity to work on drills we've done in practice to perfect field play.”
The Lady Tigers were scheduled to host Crawford County last Friday. The day before, though, Greene County schools decided to close and suspend sports for three weeks in light of the coronavirus outbreak.
Greene’s girls do not have any wins this year, but they noticeably took a step forward in terms of being more consistently competitive.
They scored seven goals through their six games. The team only scored three goals in 10 games during 2019.
Smith said he hopes the suspension of sports is lifted soon so that his team can continue improving and taking steps in a positive direction.
He said the team has made strides this year because of the players’ adjustment to Smith’s coaching style and the leadership of the older players.
“We knew there would be a learning curve with the team and my approach to coaching, plus working on conditioning in the offseason has helped us to focus more on drills and spend less time getting the team in shape,” Smith said. “I couldn't ask for a better group of captains. Raven [Dominy], Maleah and Tania work hard with their squads to prepare them at practice and on game days.”