The Hiland Lady Hawks saw some definite improvement in their Tuesday, Aug. 21 soccer game with Triway at Hiland High School.
The Titans saw a complete reversal of fortunes form their opening night loss.
Triway passed the ball crisply, and found the back of the net three times in disposing of Hiland 3-0. However, even in the loss, Hiland coach Jeremy Kauffman found a silver lining.
“I felt better about tonight and I told the girls that,” said Kauffman. “I didn’t feel like we came to play on Saturday, and I think Central was a better team than us. But tonight, I thought we played hard, competed and left it all out there. I think the ball was as much in their end as it was in our end. We just didn’t capitalize on our opportunities and they did.”
While the defense and effort improved greatly from the first game, an opening 5-0 loss to Central Christian, the Lady Hawks were unable to stick a shot in the back of the net for another 80 minute periods, and Kauffman said that can be a frustration, knowing how badly his team would like to break the scoring seal on the season and get off of zero.
“We just aren’t sharp yet in being at the right place at the right time and making plays when we have an opportunity to score,” said Kauffman. “It’s not as much physical as it is mental at this point. I think the girls are getting a little frustrating having not scored for two games. It’s like the lid is on the basket, and until you break it you keep pressing to make a perfect play. We just need to relax and let it come to us, and when it does, I think that will help us relax and play better.”
The Titans got two goals in the first half, and tacked on an insurance goal mid way through the second half. The Triway goals came from Kennedy Lawson, Chastity Lawson and Maddie Burns. All three goals came off of nice passing assists from teammates.
For Triway, the move to a different scheme seemed to pay off. Having been soundly defeated 8-0 in their opener by Mapleton, head coach Scott Clapp said they went back to the drawing board after game one, made some adjustments in their offensive attack and that transitioned into a much more productive offensive flow.
“We had a lot more open players tonight with the new formation. I thought we passed the ball really well tonight and made some nice things happen, and we played a well rounded game,” said Clapp. “I felt that both teams played very hard and got after it tonight, but I thought our passes were spot on tonight and that made the difference.”
Sporting a young squad with a pair of freshman and a number of sophomores logging big minutes, Clapp said the one thing that always concerns a coaching staff is when they make major adjustments, will the youngsters pick it up and run with it or will they fall back on what they know.
His Titans picked it up well, accepted it and he said he couldn’t be more proud of the way they responded.
“They listened and did everything we asked of them,” said Clapp. “As long as we get this kind of effort and we keep moving forward, we will see some nice things this season.”
Despite the loss, Kauffman said the key is to continue to improve on a daily basis. Game one to game two saw improvement, and he said that is encouraging.
“The 0-2 record means absolutely nothing in the overall scheme of things,” said Kauffman. “This is a process. We have 14 more games to go, and it is much more important how we are playing in October than it is right now.”