2016 has already been an offensively challenging year for the Hiland girls soccer team, and Saturday, September 10 was no different, as the Lady Hawks were shut out 4-0 by Western Reserve Academy.
On a blustery day in Hudson, Hiland surrendered a pair of goals in each half, but had spurts of life where they had a few good chances of their own but failed to convert.
“Well, the first three minutes were pretty bad,” said Hiland coach Jeremy Kauffman. “We came out pretty timid, because we knew coming in this team was pretty good.”
But after an early score saw them trailing 1-0, the game seemed to slow down for the girls a bit.
“Once we settled in we played a lot better,” said Kauffman. “There were seven to eight minute stretches there where we created some good scoring options, even again in the second half we created some good chances. So there’s something to take away from it that’s positive.”
However, the one continuing aspect of the game that continues to plague Hiland is a lack of confidence that results in a lack of aggression.
“I think the biggest thing we need to do is to learn to be more aggressive,” said Kauffman. “We didn’t have any fouls today, and while our goal isn’t necessarily to have fouls, they do show signs of aggression and that you’re going after the ball hard.”
As for being in a school district that has in the past had a difficult time gearing up its student athletes to be aggressive, the coach would have none of it.
“I don’t buy that,” he said. “We want to be a good skill team that can run, but I think there’s something to be said about being aggressive. You can play a good, hard brand of soccer that’s at an appropriate level.”
Hiland still has a good chunk of its season to grow, and they’ll get their next crack at it on Tuesday when they visit Our Lady of The Elms.